Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Scots Corner - Scottish Country Dancing

Have you ever danced to accordion and fiddle music? Have you ever collapsed on the floor after a really good reel and wondered why you had not gone into training before hand?
Would you believe SCD was taught as part of P.E. when I was in high school. We had dances at the end of each school year and our teachers nagged us into perfection. They took groups of reluctant "we don't want to hold hands with each other" students and honed them into respectable, fun loving dancers. Eye contact was still a blushing issue but at least the rest of the bodies looked good attired in kilts or dresses.

(photo - Inspiration Holidays)

I did have a problem with the whole process in that I was one of the taller, lankier, girls which meant ........ I learned the men's part because we were usually short of boys. So I had to learn everything backwards first and right ways second ...... no wonder I get confused :) (Gay Gordons being the worst.)
My favorite tune to dance to was The Lewis Bridal Song. Ironically I have a cousin Mairi and she played this at her wedding.
Here's a rather elderly but fun version of the dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCptMS8IZvA&feature=related played by the legendary Jimmy Shand Band.

(photo - Highland Wedding Musicians)

The adult version of the school dance is a Ceilidh. In other words, same dances but you can get boozy too :) I'm a purist - I can trip over my tootsies in style without the addition of alcohol. I have witnessed gentleman manage to dance their way through without spilling a drop from their beer mugs. Now that's definitely a talent !!!

(photo - Thornhill Country Dancers )

So here's a fun site that goes through the basic steps and then shows you a number of the different reels. http://hubpages.com/hub/Scottish-Country-Dance
For whatever reason The Dashing White Sergeant and The Military Two-step are the ones most typically danced and merrily botched up at parties and weddings :) Tons of fun and great ice-breakers. Lots of "twirling and whirling." If you really want to tax your brain learn the Eightsome Reel in short order.

(photo - Dance Scottish Week 2008, London edition.)

In preparation for Dance Scottish Week 2010 - 17th-25th September - RSCDS is running a photography competition. All you have to do is photograph country dancers jigging away in front of a recognizable landmark, monument or country symbol and submit your entires by June 30th. http://www.rscds.org/events/dance-scottish-week.html


KQ Sue said...

Do you ever come up to Grandfather Mountain for their highland festival in July? If so, stop by Clan Scott's tent, I would love to meet a fellow blogger.

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games website is: www.gmhg.org

Marie said...

Oh, I signed my kids up for Scottish Country Dancing when they were younger. All five of them. I thought they would make a fine bunch and it would be a wonderful tribute to their Scottish heritage. Unfortunately they did not like it one bit. So much for the dreams of a mother! xxoo