ASCDS 40th Anniversary Festival

The global pandemic prevented the ASCDS 40th Anniversary Festival (Association of Scottish Country Dance Societies) from taking place as it should have done in 2020, and then again in 2021.  So, it was a great relief that the present situation allowed it to be celebrated on 7th May 2022 at the Retford Oaks Academy.

Although numbers attending were down on previous years, the ten societies that attended from all around the East Midlands enjoyed meeting up with old friends from near and far and dancing together the twelve massed dances that we had all been practising in our own groups.  Nottingham RSCDS Branch took a team of nine dancers, together with two spectators to take part, and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  A special thank you to Tony Payne for guiding us through the dances at four special practices to ensure that we were all well prepared to enjoy the event on the day.  The spectacle of 110 dancers lined up on the dance floor, the men in kilts, the ladies in white dresses and tartan sashes ready to dance to the great music of Chris Dewhurst and his Band is very inspiring.  Dancing to live music makes such a difference – it’s very thrilling and such a joy.

Five of the Scottish Dance Societies presented a demonstration dance between some of the pairs of massed dances, and these were enjoyed by everyone, also giving the chance of a welcome five minutes’ rest for tired feet!  Our Branch demonstration team danced a solo entitled ‘The Best of the Seasons’ – a compilation of the strathspey, The Summer Meeting from Book 48, and the jig, The First Rain of Spring from Book 49 which was very well-received by the audience.

A video of the dance can be seen here

There was an evening dance later for those who had the energy left, again dancing to the wonderful music of Chris Dewhurst and his Band!

Elizabeth Gull

ASCDS 7.5.22

The branch team at the 40th ASCDS Festival – May 2022