Pipes in the Park: A Scottish Country Dancing Connection

Held in brilliant Wellington weather at Waitangi Park on Saturday 27 February, Pipes in the Park was a day of piping, highland dancing, Irish dancing, clan and food stalls – and of course some Scottish Country Dancing.

It’s always nice to see Scottish Country Dancing on display, helping add colour to the day and raising our profile. The Scottish Country Dancing demonstration was organised by Elaine Lethbridge (Tawa dancer and teacher of Newtown Juniors), at the request of Pipes in the Park.

Elaine’s volunteers came from Capital City, Kelburn/Lower Hutt, Linden and Tawa, and included dual Capital City/Johnsonville member and tutor Jeanette Watson.

Johnsonville dancer Deborah Shuker was one of a number of Scottish Country Dancing spectators and shared her thoughts and photos for us to enjoy – see her story below.

Member of many years Laurence Black, and partner and past member Maddy Schafer were also there soaking up the Scottish atmosphere. Despite not dancing with us for quite a few years now, Maddy thoughtfully provided us with this photo.

Scottish Country Dancing with Johnsonville member and tutor Jeanette Watson at the right Photo: Maddy Schafer

Kristin Downey

Deborah Shuker: A feast of things Scottish

At Waitangi Park on a beautiful hot sunny day there was a feast of things Scottish – stalls about clans and kilts, plus crafts, and food (which wasn’t noticeably Scottish).

The earlier items were dancing – Highland dancing by groups from beginners to very experienced and massed groups. Then the Irish dancers the same mixture of abilities but more dances, and different costuming.

The Scottish Country Dancing set danced on the grass as the stage was a bit small for safety. Dancing on grass is difficult but they did a great exhibition, some of which would only be fully appreciated by those who know about timing and covering.

Dancing on the grass in brilliant sunshine. Photo: Deborah Shuker

Having tutors from three clubs in the group leant lots of expertise, and all those kilts gave lots of colour. There were six dances altogether, and I recognised one as Shiftin’ Bobbins, which we often do at club. 1

Recruiting new dancers! Photo: Deborah Shuker

We finished the day watching two Pipe Bands perform, and then headed home for a much-needed cold drink!

Deborah Shuker
11 March 2021

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  1. * Elaine Lethbridge advises that other dances done were The Silver Grey, The Hunting Horn, The BarmkinMinister on the Loch, and Pelorus Jack – all done four times through, except strathspeys which were three times through. A mighty fine effort.[]