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WHAT IS SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCING?

The following are excerpts from the Wikipedia Website: https://en.wikepedia.org/wiki/Scottish_country_dance

" A Scottish Country Dance (SCD) is a form of social dance involving groups of couples of dancers tracing progressive patterns...Country dancing is sometimes mistaken for a type of folk dancing, but it is actually the ballroom dance form of Scotland..."

"Scottish Country dancing (a form of dance with two or more couples of dancers) should not be confused with Scottish Highland dance (a form of solo dance)..."

" Scottish country dances are categorized as reels (including hornpipes), jigs, and strathspeys according to the type of music to which they are danced. The first two types( also called quick-time dances) feature fast tempos, quick movements and a lively feel. The third type (strathspey) has a much slower tempo and a more tempered, stately feel..."

"Scottish country dancing is generally danced in organized formations referred to as "sets". Sets consist of three or more couples, usually four but sometimes as many as eight. A couple is formed of two dancers referred to as the "man" and the "lady", however due to the much larger number of women dancing SCD compared to men, women often dance "as the man" (normally the more experienced woman will dance as the man)..."

"Principally SCD is a social dance. Interaction with a partner and the other dancers (e.g. smiling, verbal cues, giving hands, encouragement) is an essential part of SCD. SCD is very much a team effort..."

A MODERN HISTORY OF SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCING

The following are excerpts from the Wikipedia Website: https://en.wikepedia.org/wiki/Scottish_country_dance

" During the early 20th century, SCD still has a part in social entertainment especially in rural Scotland, even though the number of dances within the active repertoire was quite small. Scottish country dancing was in danger of dying out when, in 1923, the Scottish Country Dance Society (SCDS) was founded in Glasgow with the goal of preserving " country dances as danced in Scotland " (this was only recently changed to read "Scottish country dances"). The SCDS began to collect and publish the remaining dances as well as reconstruct (or reinterpret) from old sources dances that were no longer being danced. In the process, the dances and technique, which might differ considerably depending on where in Scotland a dance was collected, were strictly standardized, which, from the point of view of preservation, was an unhelpful thing to do but which paved the way for universal "compatibility" among dancers from (eventually) all over the world. The efforts of the SCDS became quite popular, and its influence on the training of physical education teachers meant that most Scottish children learn at least a minimum of SCD during school. The society achieved Royal Patronage in 1947 and became known as the RSCDS (Royal Scottish Country Dance Society)...."

" Fairly soon after the inception of the SCDS people started inventing new dances in the spirit of the older ones but also introducing new figures not part of the collected canon. Today there are over 11,000 dances catalogued, of which fewer than 1,000 can be considered "traditional". Many dances are only known regionally, though the most popular in a "traditional" vein are published by the RSCDS..."

" Modern SCD has evolved considerably from the early 18th century, with the constant devising of new dances, new concepts, informal variations and entirely new ideas appearing. As a pursuit, Scottish country dancing is no longer confined to Scotland. Active communities can be found throughout the world- in the rest of Britain, continental Europe, Canada and the US as well as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and with occasional groups in places as diverse as Russia, South Africa, Argentina and Hong Kong..."

" Scottish country dancing is now recognized as a valuable activity for maintaining health and fitness. Researchers at the University of Strathclyde in August 2010 made a study of seventy women between the ages of 60 and 85; half were Scottish country dancers and the remainder participated in other physical activities such as swimming, walking, gold and keep fit classes. The women were assessed on their strength, stamina, flexibility and balance. They all compared favourably with average fitness levels of women in their age range, but the Scottish country dancers were shown to have more agility, stronger legs and to be able to walk more briskly than people who took part in other forms of exercise...." 

" In Scotland, SCD is very common at both urban and rural ceilidh events. These are often more informal events and the dancing is unrefined- also being aimed at beginners or at least thise with very limited skills- and is restricted primarily to a very small set of well known dances (particularly in urban settings). In these situations, there hardly are other traditionally 'Scottish' or Gaelic features being the music and dance. These events are more likely to be energetic and noisy with the dance included purely for the purposes of the fun of those attending..."