What a beautiful few days we have had this week. The light has changed, the leaves are turning and all enriched by some glorious late summer sunshine.
Coming up this weekend, we have the London branch AGM. We can't meet in person but we hope that many of you will join us via Zoom to learn what the branch achieved during the first 6 months of the dancing season and to contribute your views as we work to plan our future.
RSCDS London AGM will be held via Zoom webinar at 3pm on Saturday 19 September. Joining instructions, links to the annual reports and accounts, plus a guide for those less accustomed to the joys of Zoom, may be found immediately below this article.
Immediately after the AGM the Zoom webinar will continue, transforming into a life enhancing programme of ceilidh items, collated and MC'd by Simon Wales. The programme features several long time supporters of London Branch and we are pleased to take this opportunity to showcase their talents. We are greatly looking forward to watching, listening and perhaps even dancing to Neil Esslemont, Ian Robertson, Amanda Esslemont, Craigellachie Band, Strathallen and Catriona Bennett. Do join us!
Elsewhere in the eUpdate we have news of a different kind of dance, courtesy of Bethan Kendrick, an update from Gerrards Cross & Chalfonts SCDCplus a jigsaw puzzle and links to the latest Dance Scottish at Home newsletter and dance classes.
As noted in previous newsletters, the RSCDS Autumn Gathering has had to be cancelled but the society AGM will also be held online, hosted from 12 Coates Crescent on Saturday 7 November at 2pm. More information available here.
Despite the ongoing changes in social distancing requirements there are hopeful signs of dance re-emerging - a garden dance here, a risk assessed dance class there. If you are lucky enough to be involved, please do let us know how you are getting on. Meanwhile, we share our own hopeful sign with the first promotional flyer for a forthcoming dance in many months. The London branch Christmas dance is scheduled for 19 December, flyer below, we hope that we can all celebrate on the Pont Street dance floor at that time.
Until then, please do keep sending your links, quizzes, favourite dance videos and memories of dancing in times past - whatever you have that you think may be of interest. Whether you have been dancing all your life or just began recently, if you're a teacher, musician, beginner, demonstration team member or simply enjoy the occasional social dance - we'd love to hear from you.
Annual General Meeting 2020
3pm, 19 September 2020, via Zoom
The RSCDS London AGM will be held via Zoom webinar at 3pm on Saturday 19 September.
Papers for the meeting, annual report and accounts, would normally be available in paper copy at the AGM. Clearly that is not feasible in a virtual meeting but the documents are all available via the RSCDS London website and via the links below.
Whilst an online AGM is very different to a physical meeting, we do hope that you will join us to hear about RSCDS London's actions to date and to add your views to plans for the future.
Joining the AGM Online: If you have been enjoying the RSCDS weekly classes on Wednesday evenings then you will be very familiar with joining Zoom webinars. However, for anyone who is unsure about what to do, we have produced a 'how to join' guide (linked here). The AGM may be accessed via this link.
Most people will join the meeting via their PC, laptop, phone, tablet however, if you prefer simply to join by phone, this is also possible.
By phone: If you do not have good wifi access but would still like to attend the meeting, you can dial in and listen to the events by phone. Simply dial one of the numbers below and enter the webinar ID when prompted.
• Phone: 0203 481 5240 or 0131 460 1196
• Webinar ID: 853 1848 8597
• International numbers available: click here for list
NB: Although you will be able to hear, please note you will not be able to speak, ask questions or vote so if you have something you’d like to say, please send in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
RSCDS London Branch Christmas Dance
We are delighted to publish details about our Christmas Dance due to be held on 19 December. It's been many months since we have been able to dance together and we have all hugely missed the fun and friendship of Scottish Country dancing. We hope the Christmas Dance will mark the launch of the resumption of our dancing, with a full programme of classes and dances following in 2021. Here is hoping!
Many thanks to Thelma-Jane Robb for designing the eye-catching flyer.
Three Short Dances by Bethan Kendrick
We thank Bethan Kendrick, London Branch member, for sharing this delightful video of three dances which she recently choreographed and performed.
"During lockdown I have been very busy keeping up with my activities using Zoom. I love ballet, and I have watched lots of them from the opera house and on YouTube. Ballets like La Sylphide, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, Le Corsaire, Giselle and my favourite Swan Lake.
I belong to Corali Dance Company and during lockdown we made some dance films which were launched online on Friday 11th September.
The films are called Rose Garden, Moorhen and Statues, and they are about ideas from looking round Southwark Park.
I did rehearsals on Zoom, and made the choreography. Then the costume designer sent the costumes and props and we had to try them using Zoom.
On the actual filming days, we had to set up Zoom on my iPad with the producers, the dance facilitator and the costume designer, so they could watch my Dad filming.
Filming was long and tiring, but it was a good experience to do it. I hope you enjoy watching!"
We are always pleased to receive news on how different groups and branches have been keeping in touch since Lockdown and the cancellation of dances. This week's update comes from Suzanne Todd.
"Gerrards Cross and Little Chalfont groups have merged to become the Gerrards Cross & Chalfonts SCDC. While we are missing our dancing, and our dancing friends, we are enjoying monthly Zoom meetings on the first Tuesday of the month ( GX members) and the third Thursday (L Ch members). If any of our regular visitors would like to 'pop in' for a chat we'd be delighted to see you. Just let me know and we'll send a link". email@example.com
The Branch Puzzle: Falkirk Kelpies
Inspired by the images shared in a recent Dance Scottish at Home class (see 4 Sept item below) this week's puzzle features the 30-metre-high horse-head sculptures, The Kelpies, which form a gateway at the eastern entrance to the Forth and Clyde canal. Click on the image to begin the jigsaw puzzle.
RSCDS Dance Scottish at Home.
Dance Scottish at Home continues to bring us a wonderful range of music, dance, history and news from all parts of the Scottish Country dance world. The short version this week provided another opportunity to listen to a podcast from early in lockdown as well as the usual link to the most recent class. The previous week's edition included some fascinating snippets of Scottish history, all of which occurred in the first week of September at some point in the last 200 years or so. These included the last gas lights, the first women doctors and the opening of the Forth Road bridge.
The weekly class
This week’s RSCDS online class was taken by Yoshiki Oyama, from Funabashi City, east of Tokyo. Although the time difference meant that it had to be a recorded class, the wealth of detail in Yoshiki's plans allowed Angela Young to answer many questions on his behalf. Yoshiki, joined by his wife Kaoru as dancing partner and music manager, took the class through an invigorating march warm up, waltz stretches, strathspey technique and the 2 couple Knot. One of the great joys of the online classes has been the opportunity to be learn a dance directly from the person who devised it - and this class was no exception as we danced “Triple Happiness” from RSCDS Book 52 devised by none other than Yoshiki Oyama.
You can catch up on both the class and the chat here.
The previous week came from Falkirk, where Margie Stevenson, aided by husband George, shared photos of local landmarks, the Falkirk Kelpies before a lively warm-up, stretches and foot positions. Then it was on to linking steps – working through anticipating moves and preparing to change from setting to skip change and then to slip step. All of this was in preparation for the jig from Miss Milligan’s Miscellany “Kiss Under The Stairs” to the tune “The Emslie Twins” composed by Nan Main. You can watch the class here
Thanks yet again to all the people who work so hard to make these classes available to us.
This week's class will be on Wednesday evening at 7pm, lead by a mystery teacher and accessible via this link . We look forward to seeing you there!
To revisit any of the classes so far simply click on the relevant image or name below.
We will continue to include links from Dance Scottish at Home but, if you'd like your own personal copy simply visit www.rscds.org, scroll to the bottom of the homepage and complete your details in the ‘Sign up for the RSCDS eNewsletter’ section. It’s quick and easy! There is also a DSAH webpage where you can access previous issues of the Dance Scottish At Home eNewsletter and view all of the Zoom online classes to date – visit www.rscds.org/get-involved/dance-scottish-home.