In the Celtic tradition, from Galicia to Great Britain, passing through Bretagne to Ireland, dance is the living essence of people in a country. In this course, we focus on learning and practicing traditional Scottish dances, a cultural heritage which currently stretches over five continents.
Characteristics of Scottish Country dances
Scottish Country Dancing is of a highly social nature. Normally, the dancers are organised in groups comprising four couples in two parallel lines; the men facing the women. One characteristic of the traditional line dance is its progressive nature: the couple at the top dances down through the lines until they reach the bottom of the set, followed by the other couples each in turn. Other formations have also become part of the repertoire: there are square dances; sets of couples circling the dance floor in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions, triangular patterns, etc.
The dances consist of sets structured in different sequences. New dances are constantly being written that vary considerable in complexity and in rhythm. At the moment, there are approximately 10.000 dances.
Traditional Scottish Dancing is a social affair, danced for personal pleasure and enjoyment. There are, however, many groups that perform publicly and compete for the title of best dancers.
A more informal way of enjoying the dances is to participate in a “Ceilidh” or Scottish party, where besides singing and reciting poetry, people join in simple dances which need no previous knowledge.
Benefits of the activity
Scottish Country Dancing is a social activity that provides healthy exercise as one learns the secrets of its technique and musical rhythms. It is appropriate for all age groups and encourages teamwork.
Without any doubt, Scottish Country Dancing is a very enjoyable and interesting way of keeping in shape!
Fiona P. Peterkin