Members page


as well as fun, fitness, fellowship,  friendship and being part of a wonderful  world-wide “family”….

see attached booklet    2016-06-08_08-Individual Membership Brochure    

.. and Belfast Branch membership also entitles you to discounts to our events, access to qualified teachers, extra classes to support you whether as a beginner or experienced dancer  .. fun and laughter  ..and lots more !

AGM 24th May 2017  Result of elections:

Office Bearers 2017-2018:

Chairman: Aileen Patterson; Hon. Secretary: Joan Madill;  Hon Treasurer: Patrick Brunskill  (elected at 2016 AGM to serve for two years)

Elected at 2017 AGM:

Chairman-elect: Evelyn Redmond

Committee members: Helene Beattie; Kathrine Burke; Mary Campbell; Linda Harley; Jenny Moulds; Barbara Wilson

Class representatives: “A” class: Karen Hooper;  Advanced class: Jeanette Chambers;  Bloomfield class: Eileen Anderson;  Dundela class: John  Campbell;  Helens Bay class: Christine Hall;  Lisburn class: Anne Graham;  Malone class: Anne Clarke;  Whitehouse class: Vanessa Meeke.



NEW YEAR’S  HONOURS 2017      Order of the British Empire  Medallist of the Order of the British Empire

We are delighted  to report that ELMA MCCAUSLAND  has been awarded  MBE  for services to Scottish Country Dancing – 

Lisburn Class which she faithfully teaches every week, held a surprise party in  Elma’s honour on Tuesday 14th February. Many dancing friends, among them many whom she had taught,  were there to share in the celebrations.  A dance specially devised by  Lucy Mulholland on behalf of the Branch “Elma McCausland MBE” was danced for Elma and her family by a set of 8 comprising teachers and demonstration team members whom she had trained and former class representatives of Lisburn class.  The dance scroll and specially composed music by Marian Anderson to accompany the dance, also named “Elma McCausland MBE” was presented to Elma – and then everyone danced “Elma McCausland MBE”  to the tune Cecil McCausland, composed for her much-loved late husband, Cecil,  by Nan Main.  The dance and music recorded by Marian Anderson will soon be available for all dancers to enjoy. Elma cut the celebration cake then the Branch Chairman presented her with a Topaz and silver Celtic brooch as a token of our esteem. We all wish Elma a very memorable and happy day with Andrew, Fiona and Bethany when she visits “the Palace” – home of our RSCDS Royal Patron, on 24th March.

photo by Bangor Spectator

photo : copyright Spectator Newspapers, Bangor

Elma is a much respected and loved member of Belfast Branch who  has given exemplary service in a very practical way to Scottish country dancing for over 60 years. She started Scottish country dancing at the Aberdeen Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) children’s class, competing at festivals in school and Girl Guide teams.  In 1951 as a young adult as soon as eligible she joined the RSCDS  and continued dancing in demonstration teams at displays, festivals, television performances and at international level.  After passing the rigorous training she became a fully certificated Society teacher in 1956 and since then has been teaching Scottish Country Dancing at all levels in the UK and across the world and is a highly respected teacher and teacher-trainer and examiner. Her expertise and knowledge which she has shared so freely in such a delightful manner has been highly valued by all who have had the good fortune to be taught by her or dance with her.  She has given a lifetime of service to others, giving freely of her time and talents to nurture the joy and benefits of dancing. Elma, like all teachers within the Society gives of her skills and expertise for little return other than the reward of seeing others benefit from her sharing her knowledge.  In addition to teaching regular Scottish country dance classes ever since she qualified in 1956, Elma has also taught ladies step dancing, trained demonstration and festival teams, tutored certificated classes locally in Northern Ireland, overseas and at the Society’s annual summer school at St Andrews University. It was there at summer school as a young teacher  that she met her late husband, Cecil, an Ulsterman and also a talented dancer. Following their marriage they settled in Northern Ireland and both were committed to the development of a range of dance especially folk and country dancing in Northern Ireland. Having also qualified as a Primary School teacher Elma took up a teaching post in Bangor where she taught with great commitment to the children and their welfare until her retirement from school teaching. Her selfless involvement in the development and advancement of Scottish country dancing in Northern Ireland has been evident since she came to live here over 50 years ago. She has been a great ambassador for dancing and for this country as a most dedicated, talented professional, dancing at International Folk festivals and teaching at day and week-end schools at all levels from elementary to master class in Scotland, England, Ireland, Holland, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, South Africa, United States and Canada.  As a much respected dance teacher-tutor and teacher-examiner she has been responsible for the expansion of country dance teaching not only locally but internationally, particularly in Japan where Scottish country dancing is a very popular pastime and where Elma is highly revered for her teaching skills and gentle manner in achieving high standards. Her professionalism and skill in seeking and achieving the best from all with whom she engages have been consistently to the fore in both her career as a respected primary school teacher in Bangor for many years and in her much loved pastime of dance.  Elma taught classes for many years for primary schoolchildren in Belfast and an adult class in her home town of Bangor which she still teaches in addition to Branch weekly classes for adults and children in Lisburn. Giving of her time unstintingly she started up the children’s class in Lisburn running it prior to the adult class to provide opportunity for youngsters to learn and appreciate the joy of dancing as a popular out of school activity. This involves her spending several hours in preparation and travelling, all of which she does selflessly to put the needs of the classes often before her own.   Elma has been  responsible for both organising and teaching the Branch’s demonstration team since she started it forty years ago.  As well as being a wonderful mentor to all its officers and teachers, she has brought  her vast experience and wise counsel to all who seek it. Elma’s input is always given In a measured and caring manner, with the maintenance of standards and respect for the individual being paramount. 

Here are some memories we wish to share of  our 70th Anniversary Year 2016 We wish to thank the Ulster-Scots Agency for providing us with some  financial support  to help us celebrate 70 years of Scottish Country dancing as part of the world wide Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. during the year we held several events to mark the occasion – see our events page and finished off the year in style with our 70th ANNIVERSARY GALA WEEKEND    2/3 December 2016 – here are  some  highlights in case you missed it or just wish to re-live the excitement! Scottish Country dance enthusiasts came from A’ the Airts and Pairts …. and a wonderful time was enjoyed by one and all!!!

Newtownards Queens Hall  was alive to the sound of Marian Anderson’s Scottish Dance Band on 2nd December when more than 170 dancers joined in a Grand March led by The Chairman of the RSCDS , Helen Russell and the Branch Chairman, Aileen Patterson, to take the floor for the first dance of the Anniversary Ball.  Even dancers who had flown in from America to Dublin only that morning  managed to last the pace right through to the end of the evening – and beyond – and declared it “just magic” — well done Jack and Jamie! Marian’s music can keep even the weariest  dancer still managing to reel round the room!  Others had also flown in from the Netherlands, from all over the UK right from Inverness and Skye to the south of England, and the west country and of course from all over Ireland to dance the night away!  It was indeed a great start to the weekend and Belfast Branch felt very honoured to have such great support and participation of friends in its 70th anniversary celebrations.    During the evening   a celebration cake was cut by Moira Fletcher, who has been dancing in the Branch since she came along as a teenager with her parents when it first began,  and the Hon President, Elizabeth Cameron, MBE.    The Branch was also delighted to receive a message from our Royal Patron, Her Majesty, The Queen.     Congratulatory Letter from Her Majesty The Queen

Saturday 3rd December was another memorable evening right though to the last dance, starting with  the arrival into the Titanic Centre to the skirl of pipes, the reception in the Britannic suite, the Grand March piped in and led by the Branch chairman with the Lord Mayor and other distinguished guests round the balconies and down the magnificent Grand Staircase  to the five star dining in the Titanic suite.   Distinguished guests included The Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor, Alderman Brian Kingston, Mrs Helen Russell, Chairman of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and her husband, Ian; Mr John Wilkinson, Past Chairman of the RSCDS and his wife, Ruby.  Mr Ian Crozier, Chief Executive of the Ulster Scots Agency,  accompanied by his wife, Elaine. The Lord Mayor  welcomed guests from across the globe to the City and the Chairman of the Branch, Aileen Patterson,  was presented with an Anniversary Certificate from the RSCDS by the Chairman of the Society, Helen Russell, who also spoke to the guests and said how much pleasure it gave her to be present at these two occasions of the Ball and the Gala Evening. Congratulations from RSCDS During the latter part of dinner a video compiled by Patrick Brunskill of Branch memories and reflections was shown and guests particularly enjoyed some of the lighter moments such as recordings of ceilidh items performed by branch members at St Andrews summer school. Following the dinner the Lord Mayor was presented with the first copy of the Platinum Anniversary Book of Dances specially devised and published by the Branch, together with a CD of the music to accompany them, arranged and recorded by Marian Anderson and her world-wide renowned Scottish Country Dance band,  present on both nights to play for the dancing.  The devisers were also presented with copies of the Book and CD, as was David Oswald, another well-known Scottish band leader who specially wrote music for one of the dances to mark the occasion and  came with his wife to join in the celebrations. During the evening guests were entertained by a local soloist, John McQuiston, who delighted the visitors with songs from several musicals and a special request rendition of “Caledonia” . Several dances from the new book were danced for the guests by local groups of dancers and accompanied by Marian Anderson and her band, specially augmented by a local fiddle player, Diane McCullough, for the evening. There was then an opportunity for dancers to enjoy dancing to the live music in the magnificent surroundings of the Titanic suite and the atmosphere was palpable as it concluded with a wonderful round the entire room “Auld Lang Syne”. pipers    grand-staircase-march    grand-march-3     2-marian-anderson-dance-band-at-titanic SEE MORE ON OUR PHOTO PAGE Layout 1  BOOK OF DANCES WITH ACCOMPANYING CD BY MARIAN ANDERSON NOW AVAILABLE!







Unapproved Minutes of 2017 AGM Belfast Branch

-17 Chairman’s letter 07-16

Comm Members_Fees 2016-17 final

Unapproved Minutes of 70th AGM Belfast Branch



CHAIRMAN:  Aileen Patterson

HON. SECRETARY:  Joan Madill

HON. TREASURER: Patrick Brunskill


“A” CLASS/KNOCKBREDA:  Eileen Anderson

DUNDELA:  Carol Campbell

HELENS BAY:  Sadie Reid

LISBURN:  Anne Graham

MALONE:  Anne Clarke


ELECTED MEMBERS:  Ronnie Barnes; Jenny Moulds; Lucy Mulholland; Lyn Rankin; Evelyn Redmond; Barbara Wilson


Key decisions:

Thanks were expressed to outgoing committee for their hard work and in leaving matters all well in hand for the remainder of the year’s activities.  New members were welcomed and the following appointments made:

Ticket Secretary:  Barbara Wilson

Demonstrations Secretary: Lyn Rankin

Youth Convenor/Safeguarding Officer: Lucy Mulholland

Delegate to Coordinating Committee: Ronnie Barnes

Sub committee lead persons:   Events – Evelyn Redmond ;   Publications – Lucy Mulholland ;   Branch History project – Patrick Brunskill

Belfast Branch is permitted to send 4 voting delegates to the RSCDS AGM based on  our  membership  numbers.

AGM delegates for 2016 to RSCDS AGM 5th November 2016: Aileen Patterson (Chair); Joan Madill (Hon Secretary); John Campbell (immediate past Secretary); Linda Harley (immediate past treasurer).

Classes will resume in September in same venues as last year and with the same teachers. More information on Classes page regarding dates will be published after 6th July when all hall bookings etc. have been confirmed.


Latest correspondence to members

AGM 25th May 2016 –

2016 05 25 Notice of Meeting Belfast Branch AGM 2016

2015 05 27 Minutes Belfast Branch AGM

2016.05.03 Chairmans letter to members re AGM

2015-16 Chairman’s report AMP


03.2016 Chairman’s Letter to Class Representatives

03.2016 Chairman’s letter to Members: Save the Dates

_Fees 2015 -2016

Chairman’s letter 2015


You can download a copy of the Branch Constitution as amended at 2015 AGM here. NB Amendments to the Constitution may only be made at a General meeting.  Branch constitution 2011.updated signed 2015.05.27

You may also download our Safeguarding policy and procedures for working with young and vulnerable people here. This document contains all the reporting forms and guidance notes to be followed.

  Belfast Branch RSCDS Safeguarding Policy and Procedures 28 Feb. 2015

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