New Dancers’ Celebration 2020

Emerging dancers take to the floor

The excited chatter and laughter of the crowd walking up to the Paraparaumu Memorial Hall on Saturday 10 October told the story; after months of Covid-19 restrictions, it was time for Scottish Country dancers to take to the floor!

Maura, Rod, Kristin and Lizzie dancing Roxburgh Castle with Kair looking on

One of the biggest events on the Region calendar, the New Dancers’ Celebration is a special event for those who have started dancing in the past two years, with more experienced dancers coming along as support.

Waikanae Club, the host this year, went through tribulations to put on this dance. First of all, Covid-19 Alert Levels chopped and changed over the past few months, and then the plumbing system at the original venue failed just two weeks prior to the dance.

Even with such short notice, the club managed to find a new venue and the dance went off without a hitch. As we are at Covid-19 Level 1, some preventative measures applied – there was a QR code to scan at the door (or a register to sign) and plenty of hand sanitisers. Well done Waikanae for your great organisation!

Piper Nicole Trewavas welcomed us with the rousing sound of bagpipes as we strolled into the hall. The loud buzz of conversation showed our delight in catching up friends from around the Region who we might not have danced with for some time.

Sandra and Liz enjoying Roxburgh Castle with Andrew and his partner looking on

MC Romaine Butterfield explained why blue butterflies decorated the hall. Butterflies emerge from chrysalides, as were the new dancers emerging to take to the floor. Together with the more experienced who were emerging from Covid-19 restrictions.

New dancers had special name badges featuring blue butterflies which made it easier for the experienced to recognise them and make sure they had partners throughout the evening.

Dancing Fair Enough: Elizabeth J and Rod in the top set at the left, Sandy in the set behind; Mary (facing away), Lizzie and Charles in the top set in the middle, Bruce in the set behind; Maggie in the second set at the right

With a programme appropriate for new dancers and with each dance walked through once, fourteen sets filled the hall to dance to toe-tapping music from Aileen Logie, Hilary Ferral and Jason Morris. Popular dances included The Birks of Invermay, Mrs MacLeod and The De’il Amang the Tailors.

MC Romaine Butterfield with Jason Morris, Aileen Logie and Hilary Ferral playing Come What May

Johnsonville Club had a great contingent at the celebration, with ten first and second year dancers supported by fourteen of our experienced dancers, plus Hilary in the band.

It was an evening of dancing to savour after having such limited opportunities this year to take part in an activity we love.

See more photos of this fun-filled evening here

Loralee Hyde
14 October 2020

On a personal note, in April I shared my research about my Scottish connections and how I found out I connect to Clan MacMillan through my great-grandmother Jane’s maiden name of Lennie. This New Dancers’ Celebration was the first time in my 46 years of dancing I could wear a family tartan – my new MacMillan Hunting Ancient tartan sash!

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