What is the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS)?
It was founded in 1923 and the names of its founding members recur as names of dances. You’re likely to hear of Miss Milligan and Mrs. Stewart of Fasnacloich.
Their aim was to ensure that the art of Scottish Country dance, much of its repertoire dating back two centuries and before, was not lost in the world of the twentieth century.
The organisation is now world-wide and Scottish Country Dancing is practised and performed in many countries, not all English-speaking or ex-British Commonwealth.
Are you all Scots?
No, some of us are Scottish-born or can lay claim to Scottish ancestry. What draws us together is a love of Scottish Country Dancing. All are welcome.
It must be expensive… do men have to wear the kilt, and women a white dress and tartan sash? What about shoes?
You get very warm doing Scottish dancing, so layers is a good idea! Men don’t have to wear kilts, but are always welcome to do so if they have one and wish to! Comfortable clothes is the best option.
When we have our Saturday night dances, then the men do almost all wear kilts, and the ladies wear either lightweight dresses or skirts and tops. The white dresses and tartan sashes you may think of for the ladies are usually reserved for festivals and demonstrations.
We wear soft soled shoes for dancing – it is difficult to dance Scottish in hard outdoor shoes anyway! Ladies usually wear ballet shoes or pumps, or jazz shoes, and the men normally wear ghillies (the soft dancing shoes with crossed laces on the instep), or jazz shoes.
The shoes need to fit well, and feel snug, especially when new as the leather gives as you wear them, and if you have spare leather flapping at the end of your toes, it can trip you up and makes dancing more difficult! The soles are usually made of leather or suede. Some types of jazz shoes have rubber soles and are sometimes worn when dancing on grass, but these aren’t really suitable for dancing on wooden floors.
There are a number of shops in Nottingham selling dancing shoes, but they are also available on the internet at very reasonable prices.
Hardings, 81 Mansfield Road, Nottm NG1 3FN
Heart and Sole, 131 Victoria Road, Netherfield NG4 2PD
What do classes cost?
Weekly class fees are £4 and £3.50 for those under 25 and over 60. All visitors pay £4 an evening. After a few weeks, we would ask new dancers to join the RSCDS. Annual membership for the RSCDS is £22 (which includes £2 branch membership) for over 25s. There is a joint membership available for 2 adults at the same address, and reduced membership fees for younger dancers. There is also a half year membership for dancers joining after January.
What happens in the summer?
During the summer months, we try to keep dancing by organising Garden dances in members’ gardens, weather permitting of course! These are very nice informal occasions, and we all take a small plate of food to share for supper after the dancing.
Are there social dances as well as classes?
We organise 5 dances throughout the year on Saturday evenings at various venues. We have a live band at two of these events, one in November and at our end of season Annual Dance in May, and this really adds to the enjoyment of dancing together with many friends from around the area. We have a Bring and Share supper, so there’s always a lovely selection of food at the interval.
Details of the dances are available on the Events page. You’ll find a flyer, and dance cribs together with a link to watch Youtube videos of the dances involved, so that you can see what’s coming up.