Sharing the fun of dancing in the community

Johnsonville Club members are often out and about in the community—sharing the fun and friendship of Scottish Country Dancing. In the past, this has included taking part in demonstrations as part of groups who danced in at retirement homes or in schools, or through current members participating in a variety of community events.

The first photos I took of members’ participation in the community was in 1998 when a group of new dancers from that year, including Kristin and Rod Downey’s children, Carlton and Alex, danced in a demonstration at the Newlands Baptist Church.

Carlton dancing with Joan and Tamara, with Rod and musician Peter Elmes at the back left corner. Photo: Loralee Hyde
Adeline, Alex, Mabel and Margaret dancing at the front of the set. Photo: Loralee Hyde

More recently, our archive of historical photos taken by various members, brings back memories of those who used to dance with us at Johnsonville, as well as providing a record of those who dance with us now.

When former club member Pat Reesby’s grandchildren were at Ngaio School, a group of dancers from various clubs enjoyed showing the joy of dancing to the students, with some of them joining in!

Pat Reesby, Elizabeth Ngan and Désirée Patterson from Johnsonville Club danced with children at Ngaio School in 2014. Photo supplied by Pat.
Johnsonville members who took part in a demonstration at Ngaio School in 2016 included Désirée Patterson and Elizabeth Ngan in the centre and Pat Reesby at the right. Photo supplied by Pat.

World Rugby Sevens Parades

When the World Rugby Sevens teams used to play in Wellington, the associated street parades provided a wonderful opportunity for dancers from around the Wellington Region to support the Scottish team and join in the fun of these popular parades.

In the Johnsonville Club newsletter on 12 February 2014, Secretary Pat Reesby wrote:

“Jean Denne, John Munro, Désirée Patterson and I all took part in the Sevens parade last Wednesday. We led the Scottish team, and John Patterson took a photo of us with them (see photo below).

“Others in the photo are Elaine Lethbridge and Mary and Duncan Macdonald. Iain Boyd is holding the RSCDS Wellington Region banner on the left, and Allan Forsyth (from the Association of Scots Societies) the one on the right.”

The group of Region dancers supporting the Scottish team in 2014. Photo: John Patterson
Désirée Patterson and former Club Secretary John Munro just behind the drummer in the 2014 World Rugby Sevens parade. Photo: 111 Emergency

In 2015, members of Johnsonville, Tawa, Kelburn, and Island Bay Clubs took part in the parade.

The 2015 Sevens parade with Todd Foster carrying the flag of Scotland, with Kristin behind the wee chap. Photo: Loralee Hyde
At the right: Kristin, Deborah Shuker and Rowena. Photo: Loralee Hyde
Johnsonville members in the group of Region dancers in 2015 who paraded in support of the Scottish team,  included Désirée Patterson, Jennifer Timmings, Deborah Shuker, Kristin Downey, Jean Denne and Todd Foster. Photo: John Patterson

Through our Johnsonville Club website, we now have easy access to details about our more recent participation in community events.

Fun at Newlands Marae: 2015

The club took part in Neighbours’ Day 2015 at the Newlands Marae, Ngā Hau e Whā o Paparārangi, sharing the experience of dancing with audience members.

Johnsonville dancers in tartan added to the colour of Neighbours Day 2015, and encouraged audience members to join in in some fun, easy dances. Photo: Pat Reesby

See more about Neighbours’ Day 2015

A visit to Karori Brownies: 2018

A further community event involving children was a visit to Karori Brownies in 2018. It all came about when the Brownie leader spotted a Johnsonville Club Beginners’ Poster in a shop window in Karori and got in touch with us.

Rod teaching The Kingston Flyer to the Brownies. Photo: Pat Reesby

Find out more about our visit to Karori Brownies

Pipes in the Park: 2021

Held in brilliant Wellington weather at Waitangi Park in 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.

Scottish Country Dancing at Pipes in the Park 2021 with Johnsonville member and tutor Jeanette Watson at the left. Photo: Maddy Schafer

Let’s look forward to more fun and laughter of dancing at community events in the future!

Loralee Hyde
27 October 2021

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