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The Ball, Family ceilidhs and other dances plus news...
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Welcome to the November/December 2019 Update

AGM, News and reminders
The Ball, Christmas Dance and Family Ceilidh
New RSCDS Book and CDs
Representatives and Newsletter
Schools 
Further afield

Maureen Haynes

I am sorry to start the newsletter with sad news, but Maureen Haynes died on the 22nd November in Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Maureen has been a long time loyal supporter of the Leeds Branch and regularly traveled from Carnforth, and more recently Doncaster to attend dances. She was been a regular supporter of the White Rose Festival, always bringing a team with her.  Most recently she danced with us in August for Countryfile Live at Castle Howard.  She will be sadly missed.

For those who don’t know the background Maureen had been ill for some months and in typical Maureen fashion she decided that she ought to keep walking and dancing to get fitter. Sadly that wasn’t the answer and she was eventually diagnosed with vasculitis – an auto immune system condition which initially responded to treatment. At the time of our autumn gathering Maureen although still frail and in hospital, was replying to emails and get well cards, but a week or so later she had a relapse from which she was never able to recover.

No details of the funeral are available yet, but if you want further information email Evelyn. 
 

News from the AGM

Following on from our AGM, a sad, but grateful, farewell to Claire Johnson, the retiring Chair (but she's still around in Leeds!), and a warm welcome to Marion Walbank as our new Chair.  Doubtless she'll be visiting your class in the near future to introduce herself.  She has already kicked off her term of office in style as part of the MC team for the Joint Ball with York and Humberside Branch last month.  A warm welcome also to Sharon Taylor, a dancer from Harrogate,  who was also elected to the Committee in October.

 The other two Branch officers were confirmed in post: Ray Williams, (Treasurer) and Evelyn Davidson (Secretary). These two, along with the Chair are also Trustees for the Branch as a Charity.  At the AGM we also agreed an additional officer post of Assistant Treasurer, currently John Pugh.

However we still have two vacancies on the Committee; please feel free to volunteer your help!

At the next Committee meeting we will be confirming the roles and responsibilities of the Committee members;  these will be announced in the next Newsletter and eUpdate.

The Branch AGM was held at the Queen's Hall at the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Harrogate Road and was followed by a fantastic social dance MC'd by Alan Fox, with music from John Dudley, who will certainly be asked again!

Good News -  We'll be dancing at St Chad's for most of 2020, an exception being the joint ball in November 2020 which will be at the Riley-Smith Hall in Tadcaster.

Newsletter - If you are not currently receiving the branch newsletter you can read it here
The Ball, Christmas dance and Family Ceilidh

Joint Ball

Our annual Joint Ball with York and Humberside Branch was held on the 16th November at Stockton-on-the-Forest Village Hall, to lively music from Matthew MacLennan and his band, and with a delicious buffet supper at the interval.  We provided two of the three excellent MCs, Marion Walbank and Jill Woodman, with York & Humberside providing the third. The hall was bright and cheerful and the event very well attended by an eager crowd of dancers from all over Yorkshire and beyond - well worth the long drive on unlit roads!  Here are a couple of photos from this friendly event.
Remember, do ask a Committee member to arrange a lift to events such as this 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.
Next up is our second Family Ceilidh, followed by the annual Tea Dance (no longer at Adel, but at our new home at West Park), our Joint Christmas Dance with the Leeds SCD Club at St Chad's, and a chance to welcome in the New Year with the Hogmanay Dance, again at West Park:  NOTE: The branch shop will NOT be at any of the above. If you require anything email your order and we will try to ensure you can pick it up at the dance.


Family Ceilidhs

Our first family ceilidh was a wonderful success - it exceeded everyone's expectation and made a profit to boot. 
Here are some of the pictures from the event, including some comments from the younger dancers. 
We are looking forward to the next one this Saturday (30th November).  It is not only St Andrews Day, but also a grand finale to Global Youth Week, so do come and join us!
RSCDS New Book and CDs
We don't normally advertise books and CDs in the newsletter but this one is exceptionally well produced and informative. This is the latest project from Head Office, which has just arrived in our shop.  It is a three part set consisting of a book, Thirty Popular Dances, Volume Two and two accompanying CDs. 
The book is more than just a collection of popular dances as voted for by branches around the world and which have stood the test of time. It also includes information about the dances, devisers, composers, music and creative stories. 
PART ONE CD is of new recordings by James Coutts and his Scottish Dance Band and the second CD, (or PART TWO) is a re-release of RSCDS archive recordings.
The book or the set would make a lovely present and even if you have never been tempted by a dance book or a CD before, these might be good ones to start with.
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:
The next committee meeting is on Sunday 8th December.  

Invitation
West Park United Reformed Church invites Branch members to join them at their Christmas Service of 9 Lessons and Carols, followed by a Fellowship Lunch at midday.  They hope that you are able to join them for lunch, even if you can't make the Service, but RSVP by 30th November to nickgillgrass@btinternet.com.

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  

RSCDS AGM
Our two delegates to the Society AGM in Perth in early November were Claire Johnson (retiring Chair) and Evelyn Davidson (Branch Secretary). Unfortunately, for the second year, Evelyn was ill and unable to go; fortunately, Marion Walbank the newly elected Chair was already planning to be there and acted as Evelyn's proxy.  Evelyn has fingers and dancing toes crossed - third time lucky?

The motion to reduce the proportion of branch subscriptions paid to Head Office was passed, so that branches now have a little more money to spend on local issues, and stay afloat in these financially challenging times.

Scrolls of Honour were presented to Catherine Elliot Shaw from the London (Canada) Branch, Mervyn Short from the Berks/Hants/Surrey Border Branch and James Stott from the Aberdeen Branch for their outstanding commitment to the RSCDS and Scottish country dancing.

Dancing is a key part of the weekend with around 400 dancers at both the Friday evening dance to the music of James Coutts and his Scottish Dance Band and the Saturday evening Ball with music provided by the Nicol McLaren Scottish Dance Band. Those with rather less energy could opt for the Nice ‘N’ Easy Dance. Two classes were available; in addition, there were demonstrations by the children’s team from the Dunfermline Branch and the Youth Demonstration Team.

Claire and Marion were delighted to meet other Branch members over the weekend, not least Julie Harrison, still a Leeds member though living in Perthshire.  

This annual event in Perth has now been re-named The Autumn Gathering, to encourage more members to attend as a social, dancing event and not just the delegates and teachers heading for the AGM and business meetings.  Why not think about a wee winter break next year? 
 

 Or you could still consider 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
  • Scottish Dancing Holiday - Late February - Fancy a week in Spain or Portugal for some dancing and winter sunshine?  (Further details)
     
  • Geneva Workshop led by Sophie Marchand, music from Philippe Kocian, and Spring Dance Saturday 28th March 2020 with Muriel Johnstone and Ian Robertson.  (Further Information)
     
  • Helensburgh and District Branch 2020 Weekend School - 3rd to 5th April 2020 (Further Information and Application Form)

Spring Fling 2020

Registration is now open Spring Fling (and Fringe) 2020  for St Petersburg (1st to 3rd May 2020) and will open for Toronto (15th to 17th May) in mid-October. This annual, international, weekend event for younger folk (12-35 year-olds), and older dancers, and families with younger children, boasts a wonderful combination of dance classes, social dancing and international friendships.  

Visit St Petersburg


And/or Toronto

The first Spring Fling outside Europe


I hope to see you all soon, at class, the Tea Dance, the Christmas Dance with the Club, the Hogmanay Dance, or all four. 

Best Wishes 
Evelyn
Copyright © 2019 Leeds Branch RSCDS, All rights reserved.


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