What is Scottish Country Dancing?

    In Scotland, the country dance probably began to be danced in the early eighteenth century. The first Scottish collection of dances published that has survived was that of John Bowie, published in Perth in 1789. Several dances danced today date from the 17and 18 hundreds, for example: Monymusk, Cadgers in the Cannongate and the Moudiewort. Traditionally we dance reels and jigs similar to those of folk dancing in the rest of Europe. Strathspeys however, are only danced in Scottish Country Dancing.

    Scottish Country Dancing is a form of social dancing danced by a group of couples, nowadays usually consisting of four couples, positioned adjacent to each other in two parallel lines, the men facing the ladies. We use five basic steps which when learned well ease the execution of the dances. The Country dance was and is danced progressively in longwise sets. It is composed of formations which are arranged in different sequences for each dance. Having mastered the basic formations, a country dancer should be able to participate happily and easily wherever there is country dancing worldwide. There are at least 31 basic formations with several additional modifications. New dances are written continuously, many of which are written in the traditional form using traditional formations with occasional newly devised formations that fit the SCD tradition. These may become popular and admitted into the general repertoire of dances.

    The Nashville Hamilton SCD is an affiliate of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. The Society has several objectives one of which is to promote and encourage formation of Branches and Affiliates, providing education or instruction in the practice of Scottish Country Dances. We are part of a worldwide organization consisting of at least 167 branches, and 459 affiliates. The RSCDS celebrated our 75th anniversary in 1998.