A toe-tapping return to Scottish Country Dancing

At this time of year, many of us are thinking about starting new activities or perhaps returning to things we enjoyed as youngsters.

In January 2021, Khandallah resident Anne Holmstead saw Johnsonville Scottish Country Dance Club’s ads for beginners’ classes, bringing back memories of all the fun she’d had dancing as a teenager in the 1970s.

Anne recalls her first taste of Scottish Country Dancing as a teenager.

“My Mum sent myself, sister and brother to Saturday morning Children’s Classes in our local Blenheim community hall when I was about 13-years-old.”

“She said we stomped along rather than walking and thought it would help us to be lighter on our feet.”

“She was right.”

Anne (right) in 1970, presenting a thank you gift to her Marlborough Children’s Classes instructor in 1970.  Photo: Picture Corner, Blenheim 

And so, in February 2021, Anne was one of 30 beginners who gathered at Khandallah Town Hall on Monday nights to give Scottish Country Dancing a go.

The enthusiasm of tutor Rod Downey, and the support of Johnsonville Scottish Country Dance Club’s more experienced dancers, made her return to the dance floor as much fun as it had been all those years ago.

“My toes started tapping the moment I heard Scottish tunes, and although it is hard work dancing again after 40 years break, I love the exercise as well as the music.”

Anne stayed on to dance at weekly club nights, and “got fitter and my leg muscles stronger as the season continued.”

Club president Kristin Downey says it’s a thrill to see Anne back.

“It’s fantastic to see the pleasure people get as they re-engage with something they learnt as a child, and find the knowledge and body-memory returning.”

“Anne is no exception, with a big smile on her face whenever you see her on the dance floor.’

Anne at the left dancing with Maggie Boag at the Johnsonville April Tartan Night in Khandallah Town Hall in 2021

If you’d like to try Scottish Country Dancing, for the first time or as a returnee like Anne, come along to Beginners’ Classes at Khandallah Town Hall on Mondays 14, 21 and 28 February. No partner required.

Doors open at 7.15pm, $5/class (cash only), Wear flat shoes with soft soles, dress in layers for exercise, and BYO water bottle. Vaccine Pass and ID required.

See more information here or contact Robert 021 163-9649, or Kristin/Rod 04 478-4948

Published in the Independent Herald Thursday February 10, 2022

Read the article in the Independent Herald

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