Starting Scottish Country Dancing
Performance Of Aird Of Coigach by SCD Group Hong Kong, 2012. You don’t need to be Scottish or wear a kilt.
There are numerous videos on Youtube showing what Scottish Country Dance is like. You do not need to be Scottish or wear a kilt, nor do you need to bring a partner – more dancers are always welcome!
Scottish Country Dancing is similar to ceilidh and Barn dancing you may have done at weddings, but is more refined with specific steps and formations. (Do not confuse it with Highland dancing). Dances are first walked through in short sections, then danced to the appropriate music. Steps and formations are often practised before being incorporated into a dance routine. Jigs, Reels (fast) and Strathspeys (slow) are danced in sets of eight people or around the room. The emphasis is on having fun, friendship and exercise while dancing to great traditional Scottish music, both live and recorded.
You can either get instruction at our General Class or one of the many clubs in the area, but please ring a couple of days in advance as they may wish to adjust the programme. Some nights might have a teacher and be better for beginners. Wear light weight loose short sleeved clothing as you will get quite warm. Come with soft flat shoes or dance pumps (not high heels). You will probably want to get some special Scottish Country dancing shoes called ghillies if you decide to continue. Initially you will be invited to join in easy dances and to watch others.
Dance events can either be informal or formal. The Fleet Scottish Country Dance Society run two very popular Apprentices’ Dances a year where new dancers are encouraged to go along. Many people just go to the informal ones, but when you get a bit more experienced you may find you’d like to try dressing up to the nines and going out to a Scottish Country Dance Ball.
Dance for Health. Sit Less, Get Active. © The University of Edinburgh
What the Branch Does
Charity No. 1067776
The Berkshire/Hampshire/Surrey Border Branch is a branch of the RSCDS – the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. We were set up to complement the existing clubs in the area and provide a focal point for cooperation. We offer facilities such as graded classes, teacher training, instruction and day schools.
Membership of the BHS Branch includes membership of the RSCDS, There is no need to become a member of the Branch or the RSCDS to dance at any of the clubs in the area. However, if you find you enjoy it and want to help others do so too, joining the Branch helps support and promote Scottish Country Dancing both locally and worldwide. See more on the RSCDS site at What is the RSCDS about what the RSCDS offers to members and how the subscription helps support Scottish Country Dancing.
The Branch covers a wide area encompassing parts of Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey. This area enjoys an active programme of dancing events. The affiliated clubs in the area and the Branch organise their own events which are dovetailed to suit the local dancing calendar.
Each year the Branch runs a Day School, a Ball, a Summer Afternoon Tea Party, an Autumn Social, and a Christmas Social. The Branch runs a weekly general class on Wednesdays, a class for experienced dancers approximately every second Monday, and a Beginners class according to demand. A Children’s and Young Dancers’ Scottish Country Dancing Class is run by St John’s Scottish Country Dancing Club, one of our affiliated clubs. The Branch also helps support the training and development of the teachers and musicians who do so much to give us such enjoyment.
From the RSCDS members receive the twice yearly magazine the Scottish Country Dancer. This contains articles about the Society and its activities, the history of Scottish country dancing and news from branches around the world. Members of the BHS Branch also receive the ‘Branch News’ each quarter (no Summer edition). which gives news and views from the area and details about dances in the area and some articles on dancing topics.
Membership of the RSCDS gives you a discount on the prices of most Branch events, including the Monday and Wednesday classes. As an RSCDS member you also get a discount on RSCDS published CDs and books as well as Pillings from the RSCDS Shop.