Capital City’s Birthday Night 2022

A great night, despite Covid challenges!

Capital City (formerly Island Bay) club has a long tradition of a celebratory Birthday Night dance, held this year on Thursday 26 May at the club’s home venue of Newtown School Hall.

Tutor Jeanette Watson designed an appealing programme combining old favourites, two more recent dances by local Wellington devisers, and one less well-known dance with a bit more challenge.

Unfortunately, Jeanette ended up isolating at home on the night of the dance, and club members Margaret Cantwell and Rod Downey stepped in, briefing the dances in her place.

The programme began with Newtown McDonald’s (think arches and fries, rather than clans), devised by Capital City club member Peter Beaumont for Elaine Lethbridge and the Newtown Juniors. Peter too was isolating at home, but everyone enjoyed those arches – they bring a sense of fun for dancers of any age.

Images below: Dancers enjoying Newtown McDonald’s, having plenty of fun dancing the arches!

The programme also included The Amateur Epidemiologist by Linden club member Andrew Oliver (who was in attendance), one of the dances in The Wellington 60th Anniversary Collection.

Andrew wrote the dance during the 2020 covid-19 lockdown period, depicting some of the changes covid brought to our lives. His dance finishes with a celebratory birl at the lifting of lockdown – very fitting for a birthday night celebration.

The celebration was made even better by a return to shared supper for the club. After many weeks waiting for the hall kitchen refurbishment to be complete, Capital City was pleased to once again be able to offer a hot drink and supper treats to members and visitors.

As with Tawa’s Hall Warming dance, Capital City attracted quite a few visitors. Amongst them were lots of Johnsonville members, with more than a set of our club’s dancers on the floor.

A number of Johnsonville dancers took to the floor to tackle the arches in Newtown McDonald’s!

Some of our members dance at Capital City regularly, others were drawn by the programme, the music, and the opportunity to check out the hall – which will be the venue for the combined Johnsonville-Capital City Annual Dance in August.

Lovely music from Natasha McFarlane, Lynne Scott, Sharlene Penman and Sam Berkahn. Photo: Pat Reesby

The four-piece band added to the excitement of the night, bringing the hall to life. Club President John Jowett thanked well-known musicians Lynne Scott and Sharlene Penman, as well as new additions Natasha McFarlane and Sam Berkahn, for their lovely music. Two fiddles, keyboard and double bass made for a fine night’s dancing.

President: Kristin Downey

Kristin Downey
2 June 2022

Images of Newtown McDonald’s extracted by Loralee Hyde from a video taken by Pat Reesby

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