Annual Dance 2019: We’ve already danced half the programme!

8 August 

We’ve made a very successful start on learning the dances on the programme for our shared Annual Dance on Saturday night 24 August.

Rod taught four of the dances last week at Club, and six or seven this week. That’s more than half the programme already done at least once!

We look forward to welcoming all to our dance on 24 August.

From Rod Downey, Tutor: It’s for everyone

Jeanette (tutor of Capital City Club) and I have put a lot of thought into constructing a programme that is accessible to all – both new and more experienced dancers!

I’m also making sure we’re familiar with formations in the dances like the espagnole and the all round poussette.

There are a few dances on the programme that are more challenging.

Dances marked with ** are generally unsuitable for new dancers – it’s better to watch.

Dances marked with * indicate you need to find a “clever” partner if you’re not too sure about the dance.

Download the programme here

You don’t have to know all the dances

The more familiar you are with the dances, the more relaxed you will feel on the night, and the easier it will be to follow any leads your partner or your set may give.

Come along to our Club nights at Johnsonville or Capital City as often as possible, watch the dances on YouTube if you’re a visual learner, read the instructions if that’s more helpful.

If there’s a particular dance you’d like to know more about, search for it at

Most dances have instructions and videos. To see dances done well, look out for videos that are Good or Demonstration Quality.

The image is of us dancing Midsummer Common at our Annual Dance in 2018. Watch a Demonstration Quality video of Midsummer Common here

We will walk many of the dances on the night

The more dancing you do, the better you’ll get at dancing “from a briefing”. Our new dancers are already recognising the names of formations well enough to dance more straightforward dances from a briefing – it’s a great skill, which comes over time.

To make the programme enjoyable for everyone, more difficult dances will be walked for the top couple on the night. If you’re not that couple, you will still get to see the dance walked as you listen to the instructions.

In the image, Rod is dancing City of Belfast. This is one of the more difficult dances we will walk on the night. It was on our July Tartan Night programme and we’ve practiced its espagnole formation many a time at Club.

Organising the dance with Capital City Club at Ngaio Town Hall

Ngaio Town Hall is an excellent venue. Be part of the team decorating the hall, or helping with supper. The more the merrier, and with the bonus of getting to know your fellow dancers better as we prepare for the big night.

We’ll be calling for Annual Dance volunteers soon. Sign up for the time that suits you.

From Kristin Downey, President: It’s a team effort – we all support each other

Everyone makes mistakes, no matter how long they’ve been dancing. The sign of an experienced dancer is knowing how to recover from their mistakes. I have made mistakes at every dance I’ve been to lately (apologies to my partners). We rely on each other as backstops in those moments where we’ve suddenly lost the plot.

If you do make a mistake, there’ll be someone in your set who’ll be happy to help you out. As Rod says, it’s a team sport, and that’s where the team spirit kicks in. If everyone who’d ever made a mistake left the dance floor, there’d be no-one left dancing!

It’s meant to be fun – and it is!
Just keep on smiling. As American poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote, “Laugh and the world laughs with you“.

If you have any queries about our Annual Dance, please email me

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