A meeting of interested teachers was held in January 2006 when it was decided to create an organisation specifically for teachers of Scottish Country Dancing in the South East of England. The acronym SERTA was agreed (South East Region Teachers Association) along with the following aims:
create a database of all those teaching (Scottish dance) classes in the region, whether qualified or not, also those wishing to qualify as teachers
circulate those on the list with any relevant information
hold teachers’ workshops
develop support of structures for new teachers
act as a point of reference for all those teaching in the region
maintain a loose structure under the auspices of the South East Branches.
We held our first workshop in September 2006 and since then we have met regularly twice a year at various locations close to the M25. Our workshops generally attract between 24 and 32 people, mainly but not exclusively from SE England. Reports of the workshops were distributed to those on the mailing list and published in the RSCDS London Branch publication The Reel and by some other SE branches. Each workshop has finished with an open session for anyone to raise topics for discussion. A list of our workshops, together with reports are held in our Library.
Since that first meeting in 2006 until 2016, workshops were organised by Rachel Wilton (London Branch) and Mervyn Short (Berks/Hants/Surrey Borders Branch) with Mike Johnson (London Branch) organising communication with members. Jane Rose joined the organising group from 2014.
A website setup by Meryl Thomson included our workshop reports and other useful information. Other items of interest were also circulated to SCD teachers, such as details of day and weekend schools and clubs’ requests for teachers.
When originally set up, SERTA came under the umbrella of the SE Branches Co-ordinating Committee.
Whilst SERTA declined the RSCDS official invitation to join in 2008, RSCDS Chairman Alex Grey later decreed that all Teachers Associations were affiliated and currently details of our Association can be found on the RSCDS Teachers Organisations web page.
In 2016 we celebrated 10 years of success with a fabulous weekend in Bournemouth (report also in our Library).
After that weekend, the original organisers stepped down. A Constitution was drawn up and a new bank account opened so that members can pay electronically for workshops etc. We no longer come under the auspices of the SE Branches Co-ordinating Committee. A SERTA committee was elected at the March 2018 workshop and a membership system approved.
The first elected committee was:
Jane Rose Chairman
Marie Montague Secretary
Alex Harvey Treasurer
Sheena Henderson was co-opted to the first committee later that year.
During 2019 SERTA took over and organised Teachers training in the South East Region from the SE Branches. Unfortunately, this course was halted mid-term by the Covid19 pandemic. During 2020, the committee started holding meetings virtually and also agreed to update the website and here we are: