Happy New Year and term begins
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Welcome to the new dancing season

I hope you are all back enjoying dancing after the festive break.  Classes are now in full swing, and a special welcome to the dancers whom we have not seen at class for a while. 
News and reminders
Dances and Family Ceilidh
More on the new RSCDS Book and CDs
Representatives and Newsletter
Further afield


Further to the December Committee meeting here is the latest on who is responsible for what:
Chair: Marion Walbank, who has been buzzing around since her election in October meeting you all at class, and at dances.  She heads our 'strategic planning'  for the future development of the Branch as well as keeping us on our toes with current projects such as the Family Ceilidhs.  Obviously she chairs our Committee meetings and is one of our three elected Officers who are Trustees for the Charity Commission.
Treasurer: Ray Williams, responsible jointly with the Chair, Secretary and Assistant Treasurer for our bank accounts, and produces the annual financial reports to both RSCDS Head Office and the Charities Commission.
Secretary: Evelyn Davidson, who books venues for dances and most classes, dealing with contracts with the venues and legal obligations. Liaises with Membership Secretary and Head Office on membership matters, and ensures our returns are accurate and the HO website kept up to date.  Produces the annual report to HO and  Charities Commission. She also books the MCs, and collects their programmes in time for wider publication to teachers and classes.
Assistant Treasurer (new post): John Pugh, who deals with day to day banking and moneys from classes and dances.  You'll see him 'on the door' at most dances.
Vice Chair: Alan Horsfall, who stands in for the Chair when required and as current 'Father' of the Committee keeps us right on history and custom.  Crucially he is also the person who researches, contacts and books the bands who play for our social dances, normally up to two years ahead! He is one of the organisers of the popular Malhamdale Weekend course.
Minute Secretary: Jill Woodman, who takes notes at all Committee meetings, the AGM and any Special Meetings and then writes up the formal Minutes - a challenging task.
Catering Co-ordinator: Elisabeth Pugh, whose job it is to see that the interval refreshments for dancers and band are purchased and served punctually, and cleared up after.  She cannot do this alone, so please volunteer for her team of helpers.
Day School Co-ordinator: Nicola Waugh, who plans and organises the annual September Day School.  Currently she also keeps our Facebook page up to date.
Committee member: Sharon Taylor is a new Committee member and a relatively new, but enthusiastic dancer, who can remind the 'old hands' what it is like to be a new dancer learning dances and customs.
 Then there are two ex-officio non-voting Committee members:
Membership Secretary: Brenda Burnell, who keeps the paper membership forms and deals with renewals and new members.  She also teaches a class almost every Thursday of the year, and produces the beautiful handwritten posters of the programme for our social dances.
Shop Manager: Christine Parker-Jones, who not only manages our wonderful shop which keeps us in the black, and contributes her extensive IT skills with help for the eUpdate and transferring the membership data to electronic formats suitable for the 21st century, but is an enthusiastic source of ideas for recruiting new members.
Others who are no longer serving on the Committee, continue to support us with their skills:
Irene Dracup who not only teaches, but collects all the material for each Newsletter.
Catherine Livsey, also a teacher, who organises and teaches two Highland Day Schools each year and edits and produces our beautiful Dancers' Newsletter and designs most of our printed stationery and advertisements. 
Adrian Dickin: our Webmaster, who manages the website - an ongoing job.
Janet Brayson, who produces the cribs and final version of dance programmes for the website, with links to the videos and cribs. She is also one of the organisers for the Malhamdale Weekend. And of course
Don Andrews who teaches three of our Branch classes.
Heather Foote who leads a small team to organise, deliver and report on the annual Musicians' Day Workshop to around 20 musicians from all over the UK each February. She also co-ordinates our own group of amateur Scottish Country Dance musicians who meet regularly at the Chemic Tavern to rehearse.

Good News -  We'll be dancing at St Chad's for most of 2020,  exceptions being the joint ball in November 2020 which will be at the Riley-Smith Hall in Tadcaster, and the two Family Ceilidhs planned for March 7th  and May 2nd, which will be at Trinity Hall, Meanwood

Newsletter - If you are not currently receiving the branch newsletter you can read it here
Dances and Family Ceilidh
First dance of the New Year is the branch dance: 
Remember, do ask a Committee member to arrange a lift to events such as these which are not very local  - or indeed to local events not well-served by public transport, despite our new earlier start time of 7pm for Branch social dances.

Family Ceilidh

Our first two family ceilidhs were a wonderful success, exceeding everyone's expectations and made a profit to boot. Here's a picture from the event of some younger dancers, with their banner for Global Youth Week.
We are looking forward to the next one  on Saturday 7th March.  Do come and join us! 
RSCDS New Book and CDs
Following on from our item in the eUpdate several of you have purchased the new exceptionally well produced and informative book. If you would like to know more about it, and to hear some of the tracks from the CDs from a recent recording of Take the Floor, courtesy of the Southwest Washington State Branch
Representatives and Newsletter

Representatives and Newsletter

Don't forget to give the Committee your comments and suggestions for classes, dances or improvements in the way things are run via your class representatives, who are:
Elisabeth Pugh - (Mon afternoon) Marion Walbank - (Mon evening)
Evelyn Davidson - (Tues evening)       
Elisabeth Pugh - (Thur afternoon Ilkley)
Alan Horsfall - (Thur evening Lidgett Pk)        Jill Woodman - (Thur evening West Park)    
The next committee meeting is on Sunday 9th February.  Send us your suggestions.

Your Newsletter needs you!
And why not put your ideas in writing?  Copy on any topic related (even loosely) to Scottish Country Dancing welcomed for the Leeds Branch Dancers' Newsletter - next edition out in early February 2020.  Offerings to  Irene Dracup,  preferably by email, by mid January.   

Volunteers needed!
The Committee would like to establish a rota of volunteers to help with serving refreshments at RSCDS events such as social dances and ceilidhs. You need only help out once a season if everyone mucks in - ALL are invited to join the pool of helpers, we're not sexist or ageist!  Please let Elisabeth Pugh (the new Catering Co-ordinator) know if you are willing to help.  You need to be able to help prepare the refreshments before dancing starts and to help serve during the interval and clear up.  A reduced price ticket for the dance compensates you for the loss of a couple or so dances. 

You can still consider a wee winter break in the Highlands
The 21st Winter School in February 2020 in Pitlochry.  This is a brilliant week of dancing and socialising in a relaxing and beautiful location. Dancers can also look forward to a formal Ball in the enchanting and historical Blair Atholl Castle!

In addition to the fun of daily Scottish country dancing there are many optional extras dancers can enjoy such as whisky tasting; a visit to the archaeological Scottish Crannog Centre; a guided walk around Pitlochry; a talk from the John Muir Trust as well as one from the Society’s Archivist, Alan Macpherson.

Workshops and Day Schools
The next events are the
Further afield
  •  Harrogate Saltire SCD are holding their annual Burns Ceilidh Dance on Friday January 24th, 7.30pm at their usual dance venue, St. John's School, Stockwell Road, Knaresborough HG5 0JN.
    They invite you to come and share the fun of a Burns Night celebration, including the Piping In of the Haggis and the Address to the Haggis. During the interval we enjoy a full Haggis, Neeps and Tatties supper (vegetarian haggis also offered) followed by Scottish trifle dessert.
    Tickets are £15 (£8 for under 25s) and the dancing is suitable for less experienced dancers.
    Tickets are available from Ian Brown on 01423 567576
  • Our own Leeds Branch Musicians will again be performing at the Chemic Tavern's Burns Night celebration on Saturday 25th January 2020.  Music starts at around 7.30. No dancing - unless you are an angel and can dance on the head of a pin!  Later in the evening a haggis supper is served, both traditional and vegetarian versions available at a modest charge!
  • Newcastle Festival of SCD takes place on Saturday 8th February at Emmanuel College, Gateshead. 
    Competitions 9.30 - approx. 6.30
    Evening dance 8pm -11.30pm
    Price for dance: £12 RSCDS Members,  £16 non Members
    All welcome.   Evening Programme
    For tickets contact 07713708711, or email
I hope to see you all soon, at class, at a dance or ceilidh. I was truly disappointed to have missed two of last year's highlights, the joint dance with the Leeds SCD Club and the Hogmanay Dance, due to what I hope has been a temporary lameness.  The first was mitigated to some extent by a family visit to the Wakefield Theatre Royal's pantomime - highly recommended.

Best Wishes 
Copyright © 2020 Leeds Branch RSCDS, All rights reserved.

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