From March 20, most of our news revolved around how we continued to keep in touch during the Coronavirus pandemic.....
Happy New Year Mulepackers! Please stay safe especially now there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Bring on the day when we can all dance safely together again. We shot the moon last night to make sure that 2020 definitely went and we can look forward to easier times this year. xx
Christmas Zoom Party 21st December 2020
We had to hold our Christmas party over Zoom this year, but it was fun with lots of people attending, a quiz carried out in teams in breakout rooms, some dancing, a nativity play, musical performances and jokes. Well done to everyone for entering into the spirit of it with hats, jumpers etc.
We put the charity nominations in a stetson and pulled out "Wiltshire Air Ambulance" (nominated by Margaret and several others too) as our charity for 2021. Below are several film clips of the party ...
Our nativity play with a "country twist" comes with our hopes that we don't offend anyone in our having a bit of fun.
Take a look at the Cross Country magazine (file below). Mulepackers have a letter on page 12 of this PDF file.
3.8.20: Well, who would have thought that we would still be zooming in our 20th week. The good news is that the DCMS have announced that group exercise instructors and personal trainers can run outdoor group exercise classes for up to 30 people including the instructor. We have to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of transmission in line with Covid-19 secure guidance and complete risk assessments.
We are being cautious and keeping our groups much smaller than this, reducing the time together, staggering arrival and departure times, marking out wide personal spaces, booking in advance, doing all the hygiene precautions etc. etc. Below is a photo of one of our groups dancing together ... let's hope we can continue in this way until we are able to get back to normality. It certainly doesn't look like the village halls, with all the stringent measures, are going to be viable for a little while yet.
17.4.20: Here's a little clip of our Zoom Line dancing ...
28.3.20 from Mel: The Zoom classes are starting for real this Monday. Come along and join us. We have spent the week trialling it and having a laugh and dance together. See some of the feedback below ...
29.3.20 from Christine B: Thank you so much for organising the dance session on Thursday, I really enjoyed it.
28.3.20 from Judith: Thanks for taking the time and trouble to work this out. It’s a valuable service you are supplying to people especially those who are on their own. Without a doubt we all felt more cheerful by the end . It was fun to dance but weird without everyone else in the same room. I think the musical distortion was to do with everyone's individual wifi and we can live with that.
28.3.20 from Rose: Thank you so much Mel – so great to see everyone so well and cheerful despite the news. It was uplifting – thank you Mel for all you are doing keeping us moving! Keeps us away from the biscuit jar!
28.3.20 from Olwyn: I enjoyed the lesson, I had a problem with the sound but I am sure it is our end not yours.
However the teaching sections worked really well for me and I think it is an excellent way to keep us dancing. Thank for the class and this mornings help. I have never done anything like that.
28.3.20 from Marianne: You are doing a FANTASTIC job and it really helps to see everyone. Thank you so much for doing this!
28.3.20 from Joyce and Ian: Looking forward to seeing everyone again on zoom next week. Ian and I would like to try Tuesday’s class please as well as Monday’s if that’s ok.
22.3.20 from Sandy: Hi Mike and Mel, well done on the 'keep dancing' links - and just wanted to send Best Wishes to everyone at this worrying time. x
20.3.20 from Rose: We (I showed everyone!) LOVED your video with Mike & your tale about your attempt at mask making! Very funny. And the teaching vids and dancing vids are so good. I am not sure the purple ‘dance with us’ button works??
20.3.20 from Zoe: I've just had a dance along to the videos. I imagined I was in my usual Monday line with Julie, Lorraine and Helen! I hope everyone is keeping well and send my best wishes to everyone from the Monday class.
20.3.20 from Dave Witt: Hi y'all. Just like to send my best wishes to everyone in the clubs and say stay safe. Missing the company and dancing already. All the best. Dave
19.3.20 from Lorraine (Monday group): love what you have done, perfect! I shall dance tomorrow while I am at “work (home)” be perfect way to have a break from the computer. Look forward to more being added when you can.(re. your trying to make a face mask out of an A sized cup bra)... I could offer you larger cup sized bra, but my assets will probably give full head coverage, probably not what your dad wants. Keep safe and healthy and be so glad to get back to normal and it’s only been one week! Lorraine x
19.3.20 from Roger: Please pass on my best wishes to keep safe to all mulepackers in each of the 3 venues. It's a lovely idea to set up dance tutorials for us all to enjoy. I have Skype set up on my tablet for video get togethers. Come on Mulepackers lets get through this difficult period. Roger x
19.3.20: (from Mel) Hi everyone. We would normally be dancing at Laverstock right now. Definitely missing you all and the dancing. Today I am hoping to put "Backroad Nation" and "Come On and Dance" on these pages. I have added some purple buttons on the right hand side, so you can switch between these pages. I'm also looking into setting up a platform where we could have some on-line classes and see each other. Not sure my knowledge of technology is up to it yet, but I might try and drag a teenage boy off the street who might be able to advise. Mel x Send any comments to me and I can post them on this page for others to see. (Let me know if you'd like your comments to appear here ...)
18.3.20 (from Mel): I am sure we all feel a bit gloomy that we can't meet up at the moment for our regular dancing, friendship, laughs etc. To try to compensate a little, we hope to put some lessons on the website as if we were teaching in class. We will also put some of the dances on from start to finish with the music, so we can use the time to learn, recap, practise or just have a dance. See the buttons on the right of your screen to access the lessons or the dances to music. You can also get to them from the normal "pages tabs" on the left or following the 3 x horizontal lines on mobiles.
I can post comments from members on here too, but you would have to send them to me on the "Contact Us" page or via email, whatsapp or messenger. Please let me know if you don't want me to publish anything; otherwise I will use discretion. (The bar could be fairly low!).
To start us off, here's a little "Hello" from Mike and Mel:
22nd February 2020
Our social dance at Leehurst Swan School took place last night with singer, Chris James. We had 97 people attending, a really good turnout, and were again supported by friends from other clubs in the area; Netley Marsh, Two of a Kind, Western Wranglers, Legion Legshakers, ACL and Phoenix. Chris James did us proud with a mixture of old country and new, ending the night with the Trilogy. The raffle made £172 which is being donated to our 2020 charity, Riding for the Disabled at Wilton.
Many of you will know that both Mike and Mel were unwell in the build-up to the dance, so we are more grateful than ever for the help we got this time - for Fred, Silv, Janice and Pete for the setting up of the tables and the hall, Margaret, Kay and Dave for doing the door tickets and the raffle and to everyone for their offers to help with clearing up etc. We could not have done this one without you! It was a great evening - well done all!