July eUpdate
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Chair Chat

Hello everyone!

The first event of the season is our Picnic in the Park on 10 July at 1.30. The venue is Roundhay Park near the Mansion House. Just turn up with something to sit on and your own picnic. We seem to be having a typically British summer, but I do hope that the weather will be fine so that we can enjoy a couple of hours chatting together or exploring the park. I am informed that the best ice-cream is to be had down by the lake.

With summer dancing due to start on 22 July, it will soon be time to sort out dance shoes and see if they have survived the long break. A new pair of shoes may be the first thing many of us want to buy from the shop. That lovely feeling of soft leather round your toes!

Looking at all the events listed below, I am going to risk saying, “Happy Dancing”.


Picnic in the Park - 10th July

Our Picnic in the Park - 10th July will take place in Roundhay Park from 1:30 to 4:00 south west of the Mansion House (Map) or What3Words - Obviously a weather dependent event - unlike the Festival, there is no wet weather plan. We suggest people have a lateral flow test before they come to minimise the risk. You can order one now. It will be wonderful just to meet up and chat with you all again!

 Future Dates

  • Saturday 10th July - Picnic in the Park - (Fine weather only)
    Time: 1:30 - 4:00
    Venue: Roundhay Park, south west of the Mansion House (What3Words -
  • Thursday 22nd July - 2nd September - Welcome Back classes
    Time 7:30 - 9:30
    Venue: West Park United Reformed Church 
    Teacher: Don Andrews
    All Welcome  Please park in the (small) car park or on West Park Drive, not on Spen Lane
  • Thursday 22nd July - a one-off summer class
    Time 2:00 - 4:00
    Venue: St Margaret's, Ilkley
    Teacher: Don Andrews
    All Welcome
  • Tuesday, 10th August - 14th September - Ceilidh classes
    Time 7:45 - 9:45
    Venue: OPAL Welcome-in Community Centre
    Teachers: Various
    Aimed at beginners who might like to try Scottish Dancing - tell your friends. 
  • Saturday 28th August -Leeds Club Dance
    Time: 7:30 - 10:30
    Venue: St Chad's

    Band: Ian Slater 
  • Week beginning 6th September - Branch classes resume
    Times See website for details
    Venues: Various - but note that the Tuesday evening (formerly Adel) class with Irene Dracup will now be at the Welcome In (Opal), in Tinshill.
  • Saturday,  18th September - Half-day School and Branch Dance
    Time: School - 2:00 - 4:45   Dance - 7:00 - 10:00
    Venue:  St Chad's Parish Centre 
    Teacher: David Queen         Musician: Ian Slater      MC: TBA

Committee News 

At our Committee meeting on 27th June we confirmed details of the summer classes (see Future Dates). While pre-registration is not necessary, it would be helpful if you could Email us

Please note that there will be no July classes at Lidgett Park Methodist Church as the church is not accepting bookings yet. Don welcomes all dancers at West Park United Reform Church until August when we hope Lidgett Park can resume their class. 

We anticipate some restrictions will be in place. For the Thursday evening classes at West Park URC these include:-
  • Enter directly into the Sanctuary (first door on the right) not through the foyer.
  • Wear a mask as you come into the hall and use the hand sanitiser on entry. 
  • Bring your own water bottle and drink as the kitchen will not be open. 
  •  When using the toilets, please wait in the foyer and only enter the lobby if no one else is in there.
Buy your loyalty cards on-line - The committee discussed how to allow people to use a contactless payment system, and it was agreed to trial a system at the ceilidh classes. In the meantime, if anyone wishes to buy a loyalty card before attending the welcome back classes they can do so via our branch shop.

Ceilidh classes -  Do you have friends or neighbours who might be interested? Please bring them along to this introductory 6-week class and please come and help out if you can. 
The next Committee meeting is on the 1st August - Any issues or suggestions. Let us know.

Meet your Committee

Continuing our know your committee members. this month features...
Elizabeth Pugh

My involvement with the RSCDS began in the 1990s when our daughter Megan decided that I needed a hobby which would also keep me fit so she signed up both of us for a tap dancing evening class.  Great fun!

It was at this point that John decided that he was being left out of all the fun, which led to rock & roll  and ballroom dancing.  These lessons were also run by Bradford College as part of the adult education department, which was at that time in the charge of a certain Mr D Andrews.

The importance of this role meant that he was always the guest of honour at the “end of year" parties where he would present the medals and certificates achieved through the IDTA examinations.

We knew that Don was a keen Scottish dancer and it was decided that we should learn a dance in his honour in which he and Brenda would join us to celebrate his final appearance at the prize giving and so the Eightsome Reel was introduced and rehearsed at every lesson. 

I am sure that some of you will be surprised to learn that John and I were deemed to be good enough to be part of THE SET. 

Shortly after this we all retired from our day jobs and John and I moved to Berwick upon Tweed where we found and joined the local RSCDS branch where we spent three very happy years dancing in the Borders. 

A huge dose of homesickness, on my part, led to a return to West Yorkshire and the Leeds branch of the RSCDS and once again coming under the influence of Mr D Andrews! 

So it’s all down to you Don.

Leeds Festival of Scottish Dancing

As we approach the sad occasion of not holding our Festival for the second year running, it is amazing to look back on happier times when attendance to the festival had to be limited to 40 adult teams and 24 Junior teams. This is taken from the  full History of the Leeds Club written in 1971, and  can be read on the Branch Website

 "In July 1954, arising out of a chance remark by Charles Camm one fine summer evening at Adel when we were dancing out of doors, we held our first Festival of Scottish Dancing at Beckett Park Training College. We had no experience of such a Festival. 13 clubs sent 19 teams and six schools sent 11 teams and apart from being a great success, the Festival taught us many lessons. The first was that the afternoon display needed streamlining and the second was that the Training College Hall was too small for the 250 who attended the evening dance, also an experienced band was needed.

So when we held our second Festival in 1955 we knew exactly what we were doing. So much so that apart from the introduction of a display by foreign dancers, the afternoon plan has remained virtually unchanged up to 1972. Our bookings of the New University Refectory and Jimmy Shand were fully justified. In the afternoon we had 28 adult teams and 24 junior teams. and the evening dance was attended by no less than 694 dancers. 1956 saw our first Plan B Festival which ran like clockwork, and also the first visit from Bobby Watson who was immensely impressed. Our maximum and self-imposed limit has been 40 adult teams and 24 junior teams. In 1958 Jimmy Shand made his first long playing record at the evening dance. After reaching 754 dancers in 1959 we ran two evening dances in 1960 reaching a staggering total of 909 dancers with Jimmy Shand and Andrew Rankin. But in 1965 we reverted to the single dance

Macmillan Mighty Hike

Good luck to Jane on the 17th July when she is doing a Macmillan Mighty Hike - walking 26 miles along the coast of Northumberland in memory of Robin Walford and to raise funds for Macmillan. If you have not already supported her it is not too late to make a donation at:
We hope the weather is kind for her. 

Name the dance

Following on from Jill's quizzes for the ceilidhs, she has volunteered to do some for the eUpdate. Quiz 2 - Answers next month.... 
Dance 1 
Dance 2
Did you get last month?
The Tattie Boogle    
         and             Red Kites over the Black Isle

Membership renewals

Normally, at this time of year, you would normally be receiving your membership renewal notices. The committee has decided to delay this until September when we are actually able to dance again, and see some benefits of our membership. 

Volunteers still wanted !

Thank you to those who have offered to help with the ceilidh classes we're running in the summer (see above), both to join in with the dancing and to encourage the newcomers to continue with our regular classes. You don't, of course, have to be on the Committee to help!

We are looking for volunteers to help produce our eUpdates, now things are hopefully opening up again and we can dance again. Please get in touch if this is something you would like to do. No previous technical skills required. 

Please let  me, or a Committee member know if you are willing to have a specific role with beginners, classes and ceilidhs, or dances generally.  

Best Wishes, 
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