About Scottish Country Dancing
No longer confined to Scotland, Scottish Country Dancing is popular the world over for its blend of traditional culture with the leisure pursuits that people enjoy today. Although there are thousands of dances, most of them are made up of just a few basic figures which means that they can generally be learned quickly and easily, with the emphasis on Scottish Country Dancing as a social pastime. This allows anyone, young and old, to enjoy an evening out to the accompaniment of the stirring reels and more gentle strathspeys which have come down through the generations.
Here is some to get your feet tapping
How do I start?
Just come along to one of the Clubs throughout New Zealand (there are over ninety) where newcomers are always welcome.
Come on your own or with friends and family, but you will probably find yourself dancing with someone else most of the time – that is a great way to learn. You don’t need any special clothes either – you certainly do not have to wear a kilt!. Anything comfortable will do, but flat shoes with a soft sole are recommended.
What happens at a class?
Classes often begin with a brief warm-up and a few easier dances to loosen up and get the feel of the music. Some time may also be spent on practicing the steps which are unique to Scottish dancing but, to begin with, you may just be encouraged to move in time to the music.
Most classes are ‘mixed ability’ for people ranging from newcomers to the very experienced. At some point in the evening, you may be invited to stay and watch as members enjoy some of the more difficult dances.
What else do we do?
Well, many people are happy just to come to the weekly classes for a social night out with friends, cheered by lively music and with the added benefit of some gentle exercise. Others, perhaps a majority, also enjoy the evening functions which take place throughout the year. These may be informal Saturday night dances or more formal balls where there is a chance to get dressed up. Not to mention day schools, weekend schools and even Scottish dancing holidays.