I've heard that psychologists have studied how young children's exposure to
chess, music, computers etc. has affected their long term intellectual
growth and school performance. I understand music is very significant -
more than computers. This makes sense to me: growing minds learn to
create patterns from repeating sounds.
Have any studies been done on the effects of learning Scottish Country
Dancing at a young age?
Obviously it must improve some gross motor skills and give students the
benefits of exposure to music with patterns (in contrast to much modern
I also wonder what other skills are stimulated by SCD:
- mathematical ability: symmetry, translations as a dance cycles through
the 4 couples in a set 3 at a time (and reflections through the origin in
"Crossing the Line")
- memorization under stress
- sense of timing to fill all the bars of a phrase; listening skills
- problem solving (how to help someone with the least disruption)
- group skills
- social skills (a problem with many high achieving science students I've
- resistance to peer pressure skills (a teenager in a kilt?)
A thread a while ago talked of the number of Scottish Dancers with high
technical/intellectual abilities: scientists, mathematicians etc. Were
these attracted to SCD as an adult or did youthful jigs and reels help the
development of these other abilities?
This information would be particularly useful to a school considering
including SCD as part of their program. Think of the wonderful dancers
we will have in the future if SCD gets back into the schools.
Ron Macnaughton "There are two kinds of light ...The glow that
Bolton Ontario illumines,and the glare that obscures."