White Rose Festival 2022 (by Neil Scott)
Platinum Jubilee Social Dance 4th June 2022 (by Neil Scott)
ASCDS Festival 2022 (by Neil Scott)
Last Social Dance of the year 2021 (by Neil Scott)
Evening Social Dancing 2021 (by Neil Scott)
It's arrived! (by Neil Scott)
What, you may ask? Well, the return of Scottish Country Dancing indoors. After a long 18 months, Monday, 16th August 2021 finally saw the long awaited return of dancing indoors at our temporary home of Grove Road Church Hall, Millhouses, Sheffield.
A review of the Not the President's Dance (by Neil Scott)
Saturday Afternoon Dances on the Lawn (by Neil Scott)
Social Dance 20 March 2021 (a review by Neil Scott)
The first day of Spring and a beautiful day to greet it. What better way to end the day than with the return of Phill Jones, playing from his home.
As usual, we were joined by dancers far and wide, from Nottingham to Edinburgh and all towns between.
The evening started off with our MC, Debbie, giving us what has become the norm, WARNINGS!!!
The programme contained a superb selection of dances ranging from Gaelforce Wind to The Spring Fling Reel (Apt for the time of year), The Kissing Bridge, Catch the Wind, and finishing with the evergreen favourite, The Highland Rambler.
Tonight we were treated not to one but TWO intervals and discussion as diverse as non-collection of garden rubbish through to planting roses.
It will seem very strange to return to live social dancing with actual partners rather than ghosts or other types of partners.
At the end of the evening, everybody thanked Phill for his excellent playing and also the tunes that accompanied the dances. And also to Debbie for organising and planning the whole evening.
Rotherham SCD Social 20 February 2021 (a review by Neil Scott)
The evening of the 20th February 2021 saw Rotherham Scottish Country Dancers, in conjunction with RSCDS Sheffield, hold its first Zoom social dance of the year. The services of Martàinn Skene had been secured, so a bonus was to be had: live music.
Normally associated with the accordion, tonight it was the turn of the keyboard and he did not disappoint.
Debbie was the MC for the evening and a splendid job she did. Her initial remarks were to welcome all the guests and to remind everybody about the hazards of dancing in a confined space and also just to dance as much or as little as they wanted.
The evening got underway with a well-known warm up dance, The Gay Gordons two-step.
Partners came in the usual guises. Due to lockdown restrictions the programme was limited as to where we could roam during the evening. Unfortunately, Timber Ridge beckoned (situated in the beautiful Shenandoah Mountains of West Virginia (USA)) and also we managed Links with St. Petersburg.
Overall we did keep within the Scottish Border, from Good Hearted Glasgow, through to the Sands of Morar, spying Wild Geese, a glance at Scotland’s Emblem (Wisp of Thistle) and looking at the Flowers of Edinburgh.
The programme concluded with a cool down dance, The Circle Waltz. All dances were, as usual, walked through which everybody was grateful for.
The evening was well attended with dancers from as far afield as Edinburgh, Southport and nearer to home, Doncaster, Chesterfield, Retford and we also had the pleasure of Chris and Julie Dewhurst.
Everyone thanked Debbie and Martàinn Skene for putting on a superb evening of music and dance, and hoped that the next Rotherham Social would be real dancing, on a real floor, with a real partner and with a catered supper!!!
Annual Dance 2020 (a review by Neil Scott)
Virtual Burns Night - 23 January 2021
Following on from the success of the Hogmanay Ceilidh, it was decided to hold a Virtual Burns Night. Our Chairman, asked for willing participants to partake with a song or verse and there was no cajoling needed. It was surprising the amount of hidden talent which came to the fore, having been hidden under a bushel for so long!!
As this was a Virtual Burns, the proceedings were modified, but nobody minded. The evening commenced with a welcome address by Debbie. It was then into the formalities.
Alison Harries gave us the Selkirk Grace. Then the Address to the Haggis undertaken by four of our members, Elisabeth, Marilyn, Neil and Douglas.
Then came some fine fiddling (of the musical kind) by the maestro herself, Debbie. Val provided us with the well known monologue, which is always associated with Stanley Holloway, Albert and the Lion which had everybody laughing.
Sheffield Swans and Cygnets, a group that had been put together since lock down began, gave us a demonstration of “The Thistle” step dance, beautifully executed and with accompaniment from David Queen.
Our Treasurer, Mr. Douglas Thomson, who was in fine voice and accompanied by Katrin, gave us an excellent rendition of the folk song, “Rattlin’ Roarin’ Willie”.
Our Chairman, Mr. Ian Dall, provided us with a hilarious piece about the “The Transverse Rotational Knot” which, when I first saw the title, I thought was a little known Boy Scout knot, but, no, it was about how to end up in a tangle when executing a new formation.
As we were nearing the end of the formal part of the evening our one and only delightful Janet Beddus sang, “Ye Banks and Braes” which brought a tear to many an eye.
The Toast to the Lassies, a traditional part of a Burns Evening did have a twist to it. It was a “Toast to the Non-Dancers”. A sort of thank you to partners, husbands/wives, children for their understanding while we partake in our passion.
After a short interval to enable us to refresh our glasses and the ladies to powder their noses, it was on with the jigging, initially to the sound of Richard Steele and his accordion, then recorded dance music and finishing with Richard, a delightful mix.
As usual, we were joined by invited guests from far and wide.
Thanks were given to Debbie for putting all this together and to her able assistant for the evening, Simon.
We look forward to the next Virtual Dance together, which I believe is the end of February when it is Rotherham SCD Social, and Martainn Skene will be playing live.
Thanks to everybody who joined us, for without you these virtual dances, classes, would not take place.
Hogmanay 31 December 2020 (a review by Neil Scott)
After a successful Annual Dance and weekly dance classes being held via Zoom, Debbie and Kate thought it would be good to continue the theme and hold a combined New Year’s Eve Zoom Dance or Hogmanay Ceilidh (Sheffield and Rotherham).
We were joined by dancers from Doncaster, Nottingham, Chesterfield, Southport and, of course, Finland.
Debbie gave us all a clear reminder about trip hazards, having enough space and just to do as much as we wanted.
Although the evening dance was slightly shorter than normal, this did not matter, everyone was grateful for an evening of pure enjoyment. Dancing was to the best bands around (Marian Anderson, Luke Brady, Nicol McLaren etc), pre-recorded of course, and all done from the comfort of your own home, so imbibing had to be taken carefully as we could all see what each was partaking of.
All the dances were recapped from first place and danced four times through with one exception, The Moray Rant. As usual none of the dances were difficult as both Debbie and Kate had taken into account the type of surface people would be dancing on. Partners came in different guises, ranging from an actual person, through to a blow up Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, Debbie’s usual partner, Foxy, had to take a back seat this time as she was joined by her husband.
We went from St. Andrews Fair to a Trip to Timber Ridge, Midsummer Common (on a frosty night!! I ask you), the British Grenadiers somehow got in on the act. There was a short interval when dancers could refill and refresh, following which Bill Clement (MBE) started the second half, he is always welcome. There was a variation on the well known Duchess Tree called the “Duchess Sapling” which had a modified move to cater for “at home dancing”. Shiftin’ Bobbins, a good old favourite, plus a couple more dances and finishing with The De’il Amang The Tailors.
The evening was rounded off with Janet Beddus (Our soprano with the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus) taking us through the New Year/Hogmanay Anthem “Auld Lang Syne”.
If you enjoyed the evening please consider making a donation to Rotherham Hospice as it would be greatly appreciated, especially in these difficult times when fundraising cannot take place. Donations are their only source of income - please see their website on how to make a donation.
Obituary for Dulcie Bond
February 1932 – December 2020
Dulcie started attending Sheffield Branch in 1965 when she and Paul came to live in Rotherham.
Dulcie taught the Caledonian Class for many years but also, along with Paul, gave the Sheffield Branch classes unstinting enthusiasm and dedication. After Paul retired from teaching the Advanced and Intermediate Classes in September 1997, Dulcie became our teacher. She took both classes and took great pride in getting us ready to take part in the ASCDS and White Rose Festivals. She was also President of the ASCDS.
Dulcie retired from teaching the Branch in December 2014 and the Committee asked Dulcie to become our President in the summer of 2015. After she retired she was always so interested in what was happening in the Branch and came to our Day Schools and Dances when she felt well enough.
She will always be remembered with affection and grateful thanks.
Annual Dance 2020 (a review by Neil Scott)
This year has seen a number of firsts in the Branch. First physically distanced outdoor class. First Zoom Monday night dance class and Saturday saw our first Zoom Annual Dance. One consolation with having the Annual Dance via Zoom was that we did not have to worry about the weather which, as we all know, can be unpredictable at this time of year. We could partake in our own home and imbibe in as much or as little liquid refreshment, whether it be water or gin!! and nibbles as we wanted.
We had the wonderful accordion playing of Phill Jones who was live for us from the comfort of his own home in Low Valleyfield near Culross.
We kicked off at 7.30 p.m. with all participants eager to get on the dance floor. Members had invited partners to join and they included, Foxy, the well-known partner of Debbie Crossley, and several had brought their ghost partners.
Also a number of invited guests from as far away as Finland and Southport. It was interesting to see that nearly everyone danced from first place for each dance!!!
The programme was slightly shorter than usual and a couple of the dances had been modified to accommodate for the lack of partners and most were danced four times through. We started with the Gay Gordons Two-Step, moving on to the textile mills for Shiftin’ Bobbins; a trip to see the Flowers of Edinburgh; squeezing in a trip to Belfast along the way and to end the first half the Royal Scots got involved.
A short interval to enable dancers to refuel with whatever and then we were off to The Sands of Morar, where we espied The Wild Geese. A visit to Monymusk in North East Scotland to go on a Highland Ramble(r). A recording was made of Highland Rambler which would be sent to Dulcie (this being one of her favourites), who unfortunately was not able to attend due to illness.
The cool down was a seasonal offering of carols played excellently by Phill.
The evening proved a great success and thanks was given to our MC for the evening, Debbie, and Kate, both of whom had done a brilliant job of organising this and producing a programme which was easy and very enjoyable. Also to Phill for his excellent playing.
Hopefully, next year, the pandemic will be over and we shall be able to partake in a REAL, not a virtual, annual dance. So we look forward to seeing everyone then if not before.
The second Premiere - November 2020 (by our social correspondent Neil Scott)
Well, a week has gone by and it was time for another dose of Zoom Scottish Dancing, this time with Kate. Once again the audience were eager to start. This week partners were in abundance, obviously word had got around (Debbie’s Foxy, Margaret and her bear and several others). Unfortunately, they did not partake for the whole evening and soon disappeared. Was this through fatigue or did they prefer to watch?
Kate did not disappoint the class with a varied repertoire of Strathspeys, Jigs and Reels and a very nice cool down waltz. None of the dances were complicated and fitted a Zoom Class very well. The dancers were left breathless and with a warm glow.
At the end of the session thanks were given to Kate for a very enjoyable class and that it had been very enjoyable and we could not wait for our next instalment. What delights will be in store for us? If you want to know, come and join us. Remember, you do not have to partake in the whole evening, just do as much as you feel able to. Come and join with your friends, who would love to see you.
If you are joining us for the first time or even if not, can we just remind you to ensure that the space where you are dancing is clear of any obstacles, sharp corners, wires and anything else which may be a trip hazard.
The Premiere - October 2020 (a review by our social correspondent Neil Scott)
Monday, 26th October 2020, saw the premiere of the long awaited "Return to Monday Night Dancing", but this was not your normal Monday night dancing. No, technology had come to the fore, it was via Zoom. The audience came with trepidation not knowing what to expect.
Following the success of our open air Scottish Country Dancing earlier in the year, but having to be halted due to the reintroduction of the "no more than six" rule, Kate and Debbie were determined to get something up and running. So the idea of a Zoom dance class was born with the committee's approval. It would enable all those who wished to join in a chance to catch up with fellow dancers they had not seen for a while, both before and after the class.
The start time was the normal Monday night 7.30 p.m. and there was our teacher, Debbie, beaming from ear to ear, welcoming everyone to the first of what will hopefully be a regular Zoom class during these strange times and until we can get back to something like normal. Debbie walked us through the dances and any formations which were thought to be unusual e.g. "The Helix" in Hana, and then we danced them four times through. She was ably assisted by her furry dance partners who, I am reliably informed, were cream-crackered at the end. Most of us only had ghosts, although there were a few exceptions, (those with actual partners, lucky them). But, hey, that did not matter, everybody was just glad to be dancing.
The time flew by and before we knew it Debbie was announcing that our time was up. The comments from those who attended were of delight and how much they had enjoyed it and can't wait for next time. The next one in a week's time is going to be taken by Kate and I am sure it will be just as enjoyable and a delightful hour-and-a-bit.
The only thing missing was the tea and biscuits, but it did seem that most had their own refreshments.
Those who did not join us for the first one, I can assure you that you will have a very enjoyable evening. The important thing to remember is that you need only do as much as you want. There is no compunction on you to do everything.
So, remember from now on Monday night is Zoom Dance Class Night.
We dipped our toes: Scottish Country Dancing Covid-19 style, August 2020
(A review by our social correspondent Neil Scott)
Obituary for Marion Pearson (November 1936 – May 2020)
Marion, a Life Member of the Society, started dancing in Manchester and was an enthusiastic and supportive member of Sheffield Branch from the mid 1980s.
In 1990 she was the driving force in restarting the Sheffield Day School, which she helped to run, and she eventually took over the entire organisation of the whole day which ran very successfully under her leadership. She was also a very generous host to the numerous teachers and musicians who stayed with her.
She served on the Branch Committee regularly. Marion was also the Secretary of the ASCDS for many years and supported many dances in the region and beyond.
Marion was awarded the Society’s Branch Award for outstanding service in 2018 which she richly deserved.
She will be sadly missed by many friends from all over the country and abroad but will always be remembered with affection and grateful thanks.
Social Dance, 7th March 2020 (a review by our social correspondent Neil Scott)
Wow!!! What else could one say.
The monthly Saturday night social dance was here and what a treat awaited us dancers, dancing to the live sounds of the young accordionist Màrtainn Skene, who had previously played for us at one of our Day Schools.
The evening took place at the Coal Aston Village Hall, not our usual venue of St. John's on Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, but it was a change that paid dividends on this occasion. The evening was well attended with visitors from Derby and Chesterfield. It was our usual bring and share supper and we were not disappointed with the array of food on offer. Hardly any leftovers!!
The evening programme commenced with Pelorus Jack through to Cranberry Tart and finishing with the evergreen favourite "The Highland Rambler".
Nice & Easy Dance, 1 February 2020 (a review by Neil Scott)
Well, it was that time of year when we hold our annual 'NICE AND EASY Dance', when all the dances are walked through and are ones that have been taught in class over the previous months.
Normally, as with most of our socials, it is good old iTunes that provides us with the music, but not this year- we were delighted to have real live music in the form of Blinkbonny (Debbie Crossley and David Page). They were very good and brought in dancers from far and wide. We had some from Doncaster, Retford and of course Sheffield, including some of our new members which we were delighted to see.
The bring and share supper was sight to behold. A wonderful selection of savoury and sweet dishes, which everyone enjoyed.
The dances ranged from the Gay Gordons Two Step, to Midsummer Common, to Langholm Fair, with a little Joie de Vivre thrown in for good measure, finishing with the good old Highland Rambler.
An excellent night was enjoyed by all. So make a note in your diaries for the next Nice and Easy dance, in 12 months time.
Annual Dance 2019: a review by Neil Scott
Another very good evening of dancing, with music supplied by Robert Whitehead.
Dore Masonic Hall was the place to be on Saturday as it resounded to the music of Robert Whitehead. Why? It was the Annual Dance of the RSCDS Sheffield. It is an evening that most people have eagerly waited for, having been in their diaries for nigh on 12 months.
The evening kicked off with the appropriate “Autumn Leaves” and continued with an excellent choice of dances ranging from the well-known Shiftin’ Bobbins, to Mrs. MacPherson of Inveran, The Bonnie Lass O’Bon Accord and finishing with a good old “Highland Ramble-r”.
During the evening there was an excellent buffet meal and even enough for seconds, if you were so inclined, and, of course, the raffle draw which had some very nice prizes.
The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was done by two class acts, Debbie and Kate, who did a splendid job of recapping the dances and even the odd walk through for those less familiar dances.
All in all a very pleasant evening and one for diarising for next year.
Arran, November 2019
Arran, an island off the West coast of Scotland, has a thriving group of Scottish Country Dancers. I met up with them again this year and it was great to see everyone. They meet on a Tuesday night at Brodick Church Hall, so if you plan to go to Arran be sure to look them up.
Dayschool 2019: a review by Neil Scott
The day dawned wet, overcast and chilly and the last thing on one’s mind was the RSCDS Day School. The thought was “Let’s turn over and stay in bed”. No, it was booked and it is always a very interesting day.
It was 12 months since our last Day School, hard to believe, and this year we had a new venue, Coal Aston Village Hall. The Committee were worried about moving the venue from Hope Valley College, where we had been for a number of years, to this new one.
They need not have worried, it was huge success. After an initial slow start of applications, they came flooding in and expectations were exceeded.
The venue was more inviting, albeit smaller, with the added bonus of excellent facilities. Committee members were there early ready to assist with setting up and laying out tables, chairs, and everything else that was needed to make it a successful day.
Following registration, and the welcoming cup of tea or coffee, the Day School got underway. This year the teacher was Deb Lees, who many knew from her teaching and playing at Summer Schools. Her teaching of the dances and formations was superb, leaving us wondering what she had in store for us next.
The morning seemed to fly by, and soon it was lunchtime. Lunch was excellent, provided by external caterers and consisted of the usual buffet type food (meats, salads, quiches and sweets), enough to satisfy everyone.
The afternoon began and Deb moved us up a gear with slightly more complicated but, nevertheless, interesting dances.
Following the day school, the evening dance took place and the musicians were The Braes of Wansbeck (normally a four-piece band, but unfortunately one of the members of the group was unable to come as she had been in hospital, but this did not spoil the enjoyment of their playing).
We had two MCs who did an excellent job of recapping/walking through the dances.
At the interval, there was the raffle draw and cake and tea or coffee.
The evening finished at 9.30 p.m. as we had to be out of the hall by ten, but after a day of hard thinking, this was a welcome relief to most.
The day certainly turned out to be a success and we are hoping to book this venue again next year when the teacher will be Jim Stott and the musician Màrtainn Skene.
President's Dance, 29 June 2019
What a day!! Instead of the rain and coolness of the previous few days, Saturday turned out to be a scorcher, the hottest day of the year so far. It was the day of the President's Dance, an annual event on the RSCDS Sheffield calendar, so perfect weather for a wonderful evening.
The music was provided, as usual, by the inimitable Ian Slater, who got us all jigging and reeling.
The programme saw us at EH3 7AF (RSCDS HQ), the Swiss Lassie and Wicked Willy turned up, there was a bit of Joie De Vivre, a visit by Major Ian Stewart and the Countess of Dunmore, and ending with the Irish Rover.
The interval supper was the usual "bring and share" with a wonderful array of dishes, ranging from quiches and salads to trifles and cakes.
The event was very well attended and enjoyed by all and thanks was given to those members who had organised the whole evening. The highlight of the evening was the attendance of the President, Mrs. Dulcie Bond.
The programme was devised by The President with the assistance of the Vice President.
Have a look at our Gallery page for some photos of the evening.
President's Dance, 30 June 2018
Annual Ball, 2 December 2017
At the Annual Ball of the Sheffield Branch on Saturday 2nd December 2017, a Branch Award was made to Marion Pearson for her contribution over the years to the Sheffield Branch.
Marion has always been a very enthusiastic member and continues to show great initiative for furthering its success. In particular the Branch wished to show their appreciation for the work she has carried out in revising and promoting the Sheffield Day School which is held each year in October at Hope Valley College, Hope, Derbyshire, and brings dancers from far and wide, also excellent teachers and musicians.
In the evening there is a social dance which again Marion organises. In addition, she also hosts the teacher and musician for the weekend. It is a task which some members would find daunting but not Marion. She has tackled it with much enthusiasm and all her hard work has paid off. We hope that she will continue for many years to come.
Obituary for Paul Bond, October 1928 – March 2016
Paul started dancing in Carlisle but moved to Sheffield in 1966. He became a Life Member of the Society in 1966.
He obtained his full Teaching Certificate at St Andrews in 1967. From then on he taught the Branch Advanced Class and ran the Demonstration Team until he retired from teaching in 1996.
A former Chairman of the Sheffield Branch, he was also President of the ASCDS. He invented crib cards and with the encouragement of Derek Haynes sent packs of them all over the world – with grateful thanks of all dancers who appreciated their help.
He became the first Life President of Sheffield Branch when he retired from teaching and continued his great support of the Branch, producing crib sheets, notices, programmes etc. along with many other tasks.
He was presented with the Society’s Joint Branch Award, along with his wife Dulcie in 2006.
He was the mainstay of Sheffield Branch for so long and will be remembered with grateful thanks and affection by members and well as by friends from all over the country.