This year on 11 May we celebrated the international nature of the Scottish Country Dancing community, and the international diversity of our club membership.
As always it was a lot of fun with our biggest attendance yet of 36 members and their eight guests enjoying good food, good company and a fun programme of dances.
Johnsonville Club has many home-grown Kiwis of course, but they are joined by dancers with links to Australia, Austria, Canada, China, England, Fiji, Holland, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, and (a surprise on the night) Zambia.
Marking up a map of the world helped us know a bit more about each other, and it was interesting to find that some dancers started their Scottish Country Dancing lives in places like Canada, Malaysia and Singapore.
Our standard venue of St John’s Church hall was full of good cheer, helped along by Allison K’s famous mulled wine! The hall was also full of colour, decorated with tartan tablecloths and rugs, a multitude of international flags and banners, and tea-towels from round the world.
Club members dug deep to bring along their international memorabilia, whether they could attend on the night or not. Thanks everyone – especially Wendy for her huge collection of flags.
International dress added to the atmosphere. Some outfits were easily identifiable others gave the most subtle of hints – tiny wooden clogs or shamrock socks.
There were outfits from Austria, Bangladesh, China, France, Holland, India, and Japan, and others with tones of Africa and South East Asia, colours of Australia, or shades of the ‘Old Country’. And of course, there was plenty of tartan proudly worn.
Our tutor Rod searched out themed dances, reflecting our countries of origin. Starting with Scotland, we moved on to There are no Kangaroos in Austria, Tokyo Flyer, A Trip to Holland, The British Grenadiers, Kiwi Black Magic, and The Coleraine Rant.
With no dances to be found for Singapore or Malaysia, he devised The Durian Rant for our South East Asian members. Thanks Rod for giving us a night of dancing fun we could all enjoy.
Final thanks to Allison K for all the work she put in as co-organiser and kitchen supervisor, to Loralee for her work setting up the online registration form, to photographer John P and to all those who helped on the night.
From Kristin Downey. Originally published in Harbour City Happenings Volume 22 No. 2 June 2019