Reading St Andrew’s Scottish Dancing Society members have regular social and other events throughout the year.
The major events are summarised below:
In January each year, the society celebrates Burns Night on an evening near to 25 January.
We have a Social Dance evening with the traditional Burns Supper halfway through the evening with the Haggis having been piped round the hall.
In February each year, the Society organises a Ball in a large hall in Reading. It is decorated beautifully and a band is invited to come and play for the evening.
Supper is served half way through the programme, and should you not be sure whether you are able to come, maybe the delicious array of puddings will tempt you to the Ball.
The AGM is held each year on a Wednesday in March and is chaired by Robert Barthram the Minister of St Andrew’s United Reform Church and the President of the Society.
All members, no matter which class they usually attend, are encouraged to come along to join the dancing before and after the AGM. As an added incentive, there is no charge for the evening! It is likely that nominations will be required for new members of the Committee. A current Committee member or a notice on the board in the hall will provide more information.
The Ceilidh is held in April each year. It is an informal evening and an ideal opportunity for both dancers and non-dancers to enjoy a night out together. So bring along all those spouses, children, friends and work colleagues who wonder what we get up to at St Andrew’s. It is a great opportunity to show them!
The MC for the evening tailors the programme to suit the abilities of those who turn up. Interspersed between the dances will be 3 or 4 musical items for your further entertainment. In the last few years both the Elementary / Improvers class and the Demonstration team have shown us their latest skills on the dance floor.
In July, one of the Society members allows us to use their garden for a barbeque. All members and their families are invited to come and enjoy a relaxed evening of BBQ’ing and dancing on the lawn. You will need to bring something to drink and your own food to barbecue and a salad or a dessert to share. Coffee and tea are provided by the Society. Something to sit on would also be an advantage.
Summer School – St Andrew’s
Every year the RSCDS holds a Summer School at St Andrews University over a four-week period in July and August. It is open to all members of the RSCDS over the age of 16 and people come from all over the world to participate.
You can attend for either one or two weeks, living either in a University Hall of Residence or in accommodation around the town. A choice of classes is offered, so there should be one to suit everyone. The Introductory course is also open to non-members and concentrates on basic steps and simple dances.
Other classes include Intermediate, Advanced, Very Advanced and a class for Fully Certified Teachers. Whichever class you attend, they start promptly at 9.30 and by 10.45 you are certainly ready for a cup of coffee in one of St Andrews’ many coffee houses. Much refreshed, you head off to your second class of the morning, which might be more country dancing, or could be Ladies Step or Highland.
By lunchtime you are pleased to have a rest! The afternoon is yours to do what you like in – walk round the ruins of the Cathedral, visit some of the charming little fishing villages along the East Neuk of Fife or simply put your feet up.
In the evenings, social dancing is organised in one of the many University halls. On one evening, the dance is held in the Younger Hall, which has a wonderful sprung floor. It’s amazing how your feet keep dancing to the superb music, even when they keep telling you they are tired!
If you are thinking of going you will have great fun. You need to obtain an application form from the Secretary and return it with a deposit by 1st March.
Winter School – Pitlochry
Each year the RSCDS holds a Winter School, based in the Atholl Palace Hotel in Pitlochry. For six days in late February, the students attend two graded Scottish Country Dance classes every morning, optional Highland and Ceilidh classes in the afternoon and social dancing in the evening. The highlight of their stay is a dance in the spectacular Ballroom at Blair Castle, dancing to the music of one of the best dance bands in the country. More details, including application forms, are available from the Secretary. Completed forms should be submitted to RSCDS Headquarters before 30th September.