SCD styles (was Illustrated SCD Book and Posters)

Ian Brockbank

Message 21583 · 22 Jun 2000 13:06:58 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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> A ceidlidh is a scottish/gaellic word which means social
> gathering as far as
> I know - it is a style unique to Scotland - now-a-days, it is used for
> dancing, but it used to be, and still is in some places, a
> gathering of
> people who would entertain themselves by doing various acts
> for which they
> had talent. So you would sing, dance, play musical
> instrument. Therefore
> the word might be wrong, but the dancing is still Scottish -
> you can dance
> Gay Gordons with RSCDS steps, and a lot of the other walking
> dances too I
> bet - it is just that in confined space, you shuffle, rather
> than dance out.

You can dance Playford with RSCDS steps (as is proved annually at the
Inter-Varsity Folk Dance Festival, where folk dancers from all over
Britain get together at a university for a weekend of dance), but I
definitely wouldn't call that Scottish Country Dancing, or even
Scottish Dancing.

I agree ceilidh (by its current definition) is Scottish Dancing. I
don't agree it is Scottish Country Dancing. Reeling is more of a grey
area, but I find it useful to make the distinction, and make the
definition of the term "SCD" narrower, to include only that branch of
Scottish Dancing which has evolved under (or despite) the direction of
the RSCDS. There are stylistic and cultural differences which for me
make it useful to have the two labels. I do not want to call it RSCDS
dancing, because of the many non-RSCDS groups (at least in Scotland)
that dance this form of dance, and because the RSCDS is just one of the
organisations (albeit a very significant one) which have played a part
in the evolution of this style of dancing out of the dancing in Scotland
a century ago. I consider Reeling to be parallel evolution from the
same root (and maybe the two will merge again, maybe not, but they are
currently different).

So just as common usage has redefined "ceilidh" to exclude the
performance parts, I feel common usage has redefined "Scottish Country
Dancing" to refer to the style of Scottish Dancing with set dances,
athletic technique (at least in ideal), terminology as used by the
RSCDS and social conventions which say you mix and mingle and dance
with whoever happens to be in your set.

That's not to say it's better or worse than any other. Just different,
so it deserves its own label.

Or what label would you use?

Ian

PS Jim: I wasn't offended. I just remembered your predilection for
argy-bargy.
--
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