Sandon Scottish Country Dance Club Chelmsford

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YouTube video of "Fisherman's Reel" dance.

What is Scottish Country Dancing ?

Scottish country dancing is a modern form of the country dancing popular in England and Scotland in the 18th century. It is a sociable style of dance which usually involves sets of six to ten people of mixed sex (most of the time!) dancing to music played on the fiddle, accordion, piano, drums, etc. The dancers work together to dance a sequence of formations, which will leave them in a new order. The dance is repeated enough times to bring them back to their original starting positions, with everyone dancing from each position in turn.

What should I wear?

The most important thing is to wear something which you feel comfortable in. For the weekly Monday classes, men do not normally wear a kilt.  For the Saturday social dances men usually wear a kilt (although this is by no means compulsory!), whilst women tend to wear a dress or skirt.  For weekly classes pretty much anything goes!  Most dancers find that they prefer to wear dancing pumps or ghillies (lace-up dancing shoes), but other soft shoes will be fine until you have decided that you definitely want to take up Scottish country dancing as a hobby. Shoes must be non-marking to comply with school rules for use of the Gym. Avoid shoes with black rubber/black plastic/black polypropylene soles.

Do I need to be Scottish?

No! Although the dance style originated in the courtly dances of Scotland in the 1700's, it is now danced all over the world.

Do I need to be an experienced dancer?

No. Everyone is welcome to take part in Scottish country dancing, regardless of age or experience. Even if you have never danced before, you will be given all the help and encouragement you need by more experienced dancers. At our classes, dances are walked through as many times as necessary before we dance them to music, as the main aim is for everyone to enjoy themselves.

Do I need to come with a partner?

No. Although most dances are danced in couples, it is customary to change partners for each dance. Beginners are encouraged to choose to dance with the more experienced dancers, and vice-versa.  Many of our club members come to classes and social dances alone, so you will always be able to find someone to dance with.

How do I find out more?

To find out more about Scottish country dancing in general, please have a look at some of the websites listed on our links page.