Scottish Country Dancing
The Traditional Social Dance of Scotland
Each year Scottish Country Dancing takes its place among the varied and exciting activities at the Seaside Highland Games.
Dating back to the early years of the 18th Century, Scottish Country Dancing enjoyed immense popularity as the Social or Ballroom dancing of Scotland. It wasn't until the early years of the 20th Century, however, that the music and dance of other nations, in particular American Jazz, began to threaten its popularity as Scotland's "Darling Diversion." In 1923, the Scottish
Country Dance Society was founded for the purpose of preserving and publishing what many considered to be two of Scotland¹s greatest national treasures--its Country dances and music.
Today, the Society that began with just 27 interested patrons under the leadership of Dr. Jean Milligan and Mrs. Ysobel Stewart of Fasnacloich, has grown into a worldwide organization with over 21,000 members and 166 branches worldwide. The title "Royal" was bestowed upon the Society in 1951 by King George VI. In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II, herself a Scottish Country Dancer, became a Patron of the Society.
McBride Hall is the place to be for demonstrations and workshops of Scottish Country Dancing as well as other celtic music activities. Saturdays provide demonstrations by the Los Angeles Branch Demonstration Team, directed by Roberta Gotfried as well as dance workshops for those who would like to learn to "Dance Scottish." Unlike Highland Dancing which is competitive solo dancing, country dancing is non-competitive couples dancing (similar to square dancing) and is enjoyed by dancers of all ages in a social setting.
On Sunday, McBride Hall will offer a special treat in addition to dance demonstrations by the Los Angeles Branch Demonstration Team. The morning will include the musical stylings of Rigel, a local scottish folk and dance music group, and the afternoon will offer a "mini" Highland Ball emulating the formal balls held regularly by the local Scottish Country Dance Branches. Featuring live music provided by Shauna Pickett-Gordon, Rigel and members of the Los Angeles Scotish Fiddlers, our ball-ette will offer a glimpse into the elegance and excitement of attending a Scottish Country Dancing Ball.
We hope that you will stop by McBride Hall and join us for two days of music and dancing the Scottish way!
And, if you've a mind, kick up your heels at our annual Scottish Country dance event on Saturday night. Beginners and experienced dancers will find our selection of dances both challenging and rewarding. If you would just like to see what it's all about, join us as a spectator; that works too! to obtain a copy of the dance program which includes directions to the dance venue. Each year we dance a different program of dances culled from those currently taught in local dance classes.