Why attend Region Classes? Three new dancers share their thoughts

This year the Wellington Region offered classes at many levels, including a Basics Class for newer dancers. And in July Maureen Robson taught an afternoon Reels Class.

Amongst the many Johnsonville dancers who attended classes, three have shared their thoughts. Find out what Andrea Boult, Andrea Buxton and Elizabeth Judge have to say about their class experiences.

Basics Class

From Andrea Boult

“In between the concentrating and the laughs, we all had a wonderful time learning…”

Andrea dancing Collie Law with fellow Johnsonville Club member Andrew Macbeth at the Johnsonville Annual Dance 2019

Between May – July the Wellington Region ran a Basics Class for beginners consisting of six fortnightly sessions.

Melva Waite was our ever so patient and enthusiastic teacher. Catherine McCutcheon and Robert and Brenda Vale very kindly helped on the nights too.

Each night we focused on three or four formations/steps which we repeated over and over. For a newbie like me this reinforced what I had been learning at my Johnsonville Club.

Melva encouraged us to be constantly thinking ahead as to what position we were in and what was the next move in each dance. This was the hardest part as we could not rely on our more experienced partners like we do on our club nights.

In between the concentrating and the laughs, we all had a wonderful time learning and appreciated all the efforts that Melva had put into these classes.She surprised us at the last class with live music! What a treat to finish on.

Like all Scottish Country Dancing gatherings, we made some new friends and are looking forward to seeing them in the future on the dance floor.

From Elizabeth Judge

“Besides the dancing I really enjoyed connecting with other dancers from around Wellington”

Elizabeth (in the centre) enjoying dancing Good Hearted Glasgow

At our first lesson Melva gave us an overview of Scottish Country Dancing in New Zealand. Throughout the lessons Melva who is passionate about Scottish Country Dancing, imparted to us the importance of etiquette, precision and enthusiasm when dancing.

When teaching us a dance with new formations, we would go over and over it until absolutely everyone had mastered it without a mistake, something we appreciate can only happen in a smaller group with people all at the same level.

My time at the Basics Class has helped me understand the steps and formations better when I come to do them at our club nights. Our last week saw a couple come along to play live music and Melva treated us to a little gift for trying so hard.

Besides the dancing I really enjoyed connecting with other dancers from around Wellington. We met up again at the Reels Class held in Tawa and no doubt will see each other at the New Dancers’ Celebration later in the year. Also these classes have shown me that there is a great network of Scottish Country dancers in Wellington.

I would thoroughly recommend attending these classes if you are just starting out on the journey of Scottish Country Dancing.

Reels Class

From Andrea Buxton

“… we had so much fun doing reels, reels and more reels”

Andrea at the rear dancing Collie Law with Moira, John and Helen from Johnsonville Club

There was a Reels Class held recently in Tawa. I went along as there was no question I needed help!

Once there, I sat in the carpark wondering how on earth we could be spending two and a half hours doing the same thing and wouldn’t that be a long afternoon …

I couldn’t believe the time went so fast and we had so much fun doing reels, reels and more reels.

Hats off to the tutor for her patience! Met some lovely people all the way from Waikanae. Had an absolute blast!

Having fun with the skills and knowledge gained

These three dancers were also part of a fourteen strong contingent of first and second year dancers at this year’s Johnsonville and Capital City Joint Annual Dance on 24 August. With skills, knowledge and the help of friends old and new, how could they not have a wonderful dancing experience?

Keep your eyes open next year and you could be enjoying classes on offer round the Region, having fun, learning more and making new friends.

From Kristin Downey, President Johnsonville Scottish Country Dance Club

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