SCD styles (was Illustrated SCD Book and Posters)

mlbrown

Message 21566 · 21 Jun 2000 22:15:32 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Jim wrote:

>Reeling IS SCD: Ceilidh IS SCD: RSCDS IS SCD
>Three (or more) styles, one form.

>The suggestion underlying Ian's statement that the RSCDS style is the one
true SCD faith is the
>Society's biggest problem and not only in Scotland.

Ignoring any misinterpretation of what was actually meant, we still have 3
(or more) ways of Scottish dancing, but to say that they are one form with 3
styles is a bit like saying there are five types of ball game, all one form
of football but just different styles. (Association Football or Soccer,
Rugby Union, Rugby League, American and Australian). Everything about them
is different, especially the rules.

So what is included in Scottish Country Dancing?
Do we define them as Scottish because they are done in Scotland (they are
done all over the world)
Do we define them as Scottish because they originated in Scotland (not all
of them - perhaps we should classify Reel of the 51st as German?)
Do we define them as Scottish because they are performed by Scots (and the
rest of the world).

Ceilidh dancing includes circle type dances, dances where you change
partners, dances where the only person you dance with is your partner - all
features missing from Country dances.

I'm sorry, but to the vast majority of the people who do "Scottish Country
Dancing" it actually has a very narrow definition, which approximates
usually to that described by the Society. (And for the rest of the world,
who do not do SCD, it involves dancing over swords to bagpipes!)

This started out as flippant reply, but the more I write the more I am
convinced that a belief that the Society's way of dancing is the only proper
way of performing Scottish Country Dancing , (with its concentration on
footwork, handing, posture, phrasing, covering, etc.), is not a problem in
most of the world.

However what is weird is that even among the dancers who believe that it is
the "right" way to dance, the vast majority do not actually dance that way!
With a form of dance that requires athleticism to perform correctly, and a
population of dancers where the majority of people take the activity up when
their children have left home (at best), or when they have retired (more
usual) we have an irreconcilable conflict. I would like to believe that the
efforts to take Scottish dancing into schools will bear fruit, but so far I
have failed to see any significant influx of young dancers going to dances.
So if it going to continue to be done by the physically impaired, perhaps
the ideal should be something they can manage easily? (Of course the many
young German dancers are excluded from the above remarks!) - (and the next
generation of our family, before they ring up!!!)

Malcolm & Helen Brown
Tir-Nan-Og - York (UK)

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