Loralee Hyde: Fun and friendship down south

After two years of covid restrictions, many New Zealanders are making the most of the opportunity to explore special areas around our own country before making the big leap to travelling overseas again.

As Scottish Country Dancers, we are always made welcome at other clubs across New Zealand on our travels – it’s a great chance to catch-up with old friends and make new. For the experiences some Johnsonville members have enjoyed in the past, see Rod and Kristin dancing in Hawke’s Bay and Pat Reesby in Whangarei

During a tour around the south of the South Island at the beginning of April, I was fortunate to stay in Dunedin on a Monday night, which is when Ceilidh Club dances at St Johns Church Hall in Roslyn.

It was wonderful to catch-up and dance with Xiaowen Yu, one of the tutors at the club. Formerly from Wellington, she is now living in Dunedin and working at the University of Otago with funding from the Neurological Foundation

This was the first time the club had gathered to dance since February. A rotation of people take the dancing at Ceilidh Club. On this evening Janet Favel, a former President of the New Zealand RSCDS Branch, and Anne Watkins, a club member, shared teaching the programme of relatively well-known and easier dances including Maxwell’s Rant, The Minister on the Loch and The Mad Hatter, a dance devised by Wellingtonian Iain Boyd.

Dancing at Ceilidh Club: Janet Favel is at the left and Xiaowen second from the right. Photo: Loralee Hyde

With the Omicron covid variant doing the rounds, I hadn’t danced since the Wellington 2021 Hogmanay. This was a lovely relaxing evening of fun and friendship…and helpful for recovering some of my mental fitness for dancing!

Thanks so much to Ceilidh Club for your welcome and for the opportunity to get to know you.

Xiaowen and Loralee

Next time you’re travelling to a different part of New Zealand, take a look at the NZ Branch club directory to see what club is dancing near you and pack your shoes! As Xiaowen says: “It’s lovely to slot right in wherever you go”.

Loralee Hyde
21 April 2022

Print Friendly, PDF & Email