May eUpdate
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Hello everyone!

We are all agreed that we want to dance, oh how we want to dance. But our personal reactions to how soon this can happen vary. Some would dance as soon as it is legally permissible while others are more cautious.

Your committee continues to hold a Zoom meeting each month and is putting in place a full programme of events and classes for 2021/2022.  We are dreading the amount of risk assessment involved and we cannot rule out future cancellations, but we want to offer every opportunity to dance.

We would like to start with a picnic on White Rose Saturday, that is on 10th July 2021. Is there anyone with a suitable garden to host this? Or can you think of a good venue? We could meet in a park, but it might be nice to find somewhere less public.

Last month we asked for your response to summer dancing. Are you thinking of signing up for a class? We have some names already, so we have started a list and hope to reach viable numbers. At present I’m just wondering if we’ll get a set! By June, though, we should be clearer about our own personal comfort zones and, if we all come rushing back to dancing, it may be necessary to put a cap on numbers.

Roll on summer! Fingers crossed we’ll feel safe to dance.


Our Online Ceilidh - 16th May

Our last online ceilidh was so successful we are going to try and organise yet another. Save the date - 16th May 2021 at 8.00 pm.  

Can you offer a contribution?  We'd particularly like a new musician or two, and/or someone who can read or recite poetry.  Or could you sing?  Dance solo, or with household members?  We'd prefer it if you can perform live, but you can send us a video. If performing live, you'll need a reliable internet connection, laptop or computer with a good microphone.
Please don't be shy!

Contact Evelyn or Marion for more information, or just send us the videos!

Committee News & Future Dates

 At our Committee meeting  on 25th April we firmed up some dates for  meeting up in the Summer. Add them to your diaries now, and keep you fingers crossed that things continue to improve and they are able to go ahead.

First off, Picnic in the Park - 10th July . No White Rose Festival, but a social afternoon picnic instead. Venue and time to be decided upon. Obviously a weather dependent event - unlike the Festival, there is no wet weather plan. It will be wonderful just to meet up and chat with you all again!
Following on, we are hoping to run Thursday night classes over the summer, both starting on the 15th July. Full details to be confirmed later. These "welcome back" social classes are open to anyone and though the teachers and format might change a bit to accommodate holidays etc, the welcome will always be warm. Come along to ease the return to dancing proper. (Covid restrictions and regulations permitting). Email us, if you are interested in coming and we will make sure you are contacted once the bookings and details are confirmed.  

Ceilidh classes - we are really keen to increase the number of regular dancers in Leeds. With that in mind  we are running a six week course of Ceilidh dancing with a Scottish Accent over the summer, starting on Tuesday, 10th August. The venue is The Welcome In Community Centre, in Cookridge, in their recently refurbished hall . This is a new venue for us, but the Tuesday evening Adel class were planning to move there just before the pandemic struck, and will be resuming their class there in September. If you know anyone who might be interested in starting dancing and would like to give us a try, please let them know about this introductory 6 week class.

We are now quite hopeful that our autumn term events can go ahead more or less as planned, with classes starting back in the week beginning 6th September and an afternoon School held on Saturday 17th September taught by David Queen, followed by the first Branch dance of the new season, both to the music of Ian Slater at St Chad's. 

Leeds SCD Club are also running a social dance at St Chad's on Saturday August 28th 2021.

Meet your Committee

We thought you might like to know a bit more about your committee members and how they got into dancing. So, starting this month in no particular order...

Nicola Waugh

Enjoying myself at Spring Fling. The group challenge was to "make a costume"  for Scottish Dancing out of paper and black bin bags.

Here I am modelling the finished product. The cranes on the shoulders were to give me height, and the extravagant headpiece was to encourage people to look up.
I started Scottish Country dancing  in Darlington when I was 7, at an after school class. I danced throughout junior school; during high school I walked back to the juniors for classes, and when I went to university in Leeds I joined the Scottish dancing society there.

I eventually found Branch classes, and I've never looked back. In the past I've taken part in dancing trips overseas with Newcastle Branch, and have danced at youth events & Spring Flings in the UK & Europe. As a student I spent a year in Germany, found a lovely dancing group there, and every year I spend a weekend in the Black Forest dancing with them - normally practising the dances for a local Ball (which I don't actually attend).

At the White Rose Festival, I can often be found dancing in a junior team - the team I danced with when I was 7, taught by the same teacher! I was irrationally disappointed the year they had a full team & didn't need me!

Dancing has brought me so many friends. It has given me holidays, and so many happy memories. It is so much more appealing than going to the gym to keep fit!

What do I love most about dancing? The people (goes without saying) and the challenge of attempting a really complicated dance, getting it right,  and maybe even making it look good!

I can't wait to get back to dancing!

Next Meeting and Future Dates

The next Committee meeting is on the 23rd May - Let us know how we are doing. Send us your bouquets, brickbats or suggestions. 

Assuming everything goes as planned, we will include future dates, including term dates, to the next, and subsequent, eUpdates. 

French, German, Scots? 

French, German, Scots? – the languages of Scottish Country Dancing 

When you take up Scottish Country Dancing it comes as a surprise – well, it did to me – that it involves so many foreign languages.

Many of the names of steps and figures are in English – Rights and Lefts, Skip Change, Hands Across and Slip Step. Surprisingly few sound convincingly Scots, like Strathspey, and some that do sound Scots are uncommon, like Schiehallion and Inveran Reels.

Lots of the things we do most club nights are in French, like Promenades (a walk) and Poussettes (a pushchair – literally ‘little push’). More unexpectedly, some of them have French names referring to another country, like the Allemande, which means ‘German’ in French, the Espagnole, which is the classic brown sauce of French cuisine, but which also means ‘someone from Spain’ and Pas-de Basque, the ‘step from the Basque Country’.

Perhaps the weirdest of all occurs in The Robertson Rant, the Highland Schottische Setting Step. Here the name is part Scots, part German (Schottische is the German for ‘Scottish’) and part English.

These names for what we dance reflect the longstanding links between Scotland and France, united in their dislike of the English. They also show the connections between dancers across Europe, pre-dating Scottish country dancing’s worldwide appeal.

The above article was written by Robert Vale, Secretary of Johnsville and reproduced here with permission.

And now for something completely different...

Solve the clues to find the shoes:

1. A knife or dagger with a long slender blade and needle-like point.
2. The capital of New Zealand and the Duke after whom it is named.
3. Henry Cecil, Mick Channon and Martin Pipe.
4. A distinct accent, especially Irish or Scottish, when speaking English.
5. A type of venomous pit viper of the Crotalinae family.
6. A beast of burden and a machine for spinning cotton invented by Samuel Crompton.
7. Euston has 16 and King’s Cross has 11.
8. A line on a ship’s hull indicating the maximum depth to which the vessel may be immersed.
9. A sudden change of position by a politician or, in electronics, a circuit with two stable states
10. Milligan, Lee and the dog in Tom and Jerry.

And finally...volunteers wanted !

Can you contribute to this Newsletter?  We've asked before, but usually only the Committee respond!  Even very short contributions are welcome.

This is a special invitation for the photographers and writers amongst you.  Please share your photos, thoughts, ideas and observations with the rest of the Leeds Branch.  Which media or activities have kept you going during lockdown?  What dancing or music items have you enjoyed?  What memories of personal dancing highlights could you share? Have you any news to share?

 For the next AGM we'll be also on the lookout for fresh new faces on the Committee.  Could you offer to serve on the Committee for a couple of years?  Again, don't be shy - let Marion or me know if you want more information about what is involved.  

 We'll be looking for helpers at 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!

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, 
Copyright © 2021 Leeds Branch RSCDS, All rights reserved.

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