Young people and attittudes. was Illustrated SCD Book and Posters

Bryan McAlister

Message 21611 · 23 Jun 2000 03:28:06 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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In article <x8.768xx38.268377xx@xxx.xxx>, Xxxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx writes
>The other problem is that the young people who already do a form of
>Scottish dancing, i.e., Highland, turn up their noses at SCD.
I think however that the statement above is the relevant issue at least
so far as Scotland is concerned. If I were to describe RSCDS, which I
take part in and enjoy, I would say that Miss Milligan had taken
traditional Scottish dancing (which I dont think was quite as moribund
as is made out) and gym mistressised it. This process happened to fit
in with the social patterns of that period and thus was born an
institution and a style of dancing.
There is nothing particularly wrong in that, arguably there were lots of
benefits in that the RSCDS style has spread around the world as a formal
dancing style in a way that, for example, Austrian lederhosened bottom
spanking has not.

In Scotland there has been a big upsurge in interest in ceilidh dancing
among young people and more recently this has started to go further in
that it is possible to learn country dances and do them in a ceilidh
context without all the formality of the Branch with their RSCDS "gym
mistresses". I think that this is exceedingly healthy in that arguably
some of the balance is swinging back toward a more informal scenario.
The RSCDS must at all costs avoid the trap of telling them they're doing
it wrong.

Putting it in perspective, while there were always dancing masters
touring around villages and fermtouns it was likely that there has
always been outlets for formal and informal Scottish Country Dancing.
It can only be a good thing that in recent times our youth take the
opportunity to do Broon's Reel rather then having to do The Duke of
Perth all the time. Remember the night of the Scottish Parliament
referendum? It was Step Dancing of the type we used to think of as Cape
Breton Style that got on the telly.

So where is this all taking us - in Scotland there is a young generation
who are discovering traditional dancing and doing it in their own way.
If there is a problem in all this it is that the various dance
communities perceive themselves to be exclusive or possessing of the
true faith and thus offend against the spirit of Dancing which is
basically all about having fun, getting sweaty and indulging in pleasant
rhythmical activity preferably with the opposite sex. Flirting - leave
it to the lechers...


Bryan McAlister B Arch RIBA ARIAS
Web page www.bryanmac.demon.co.uk
Mobile phone 07801 793849
Please note new FAX number - UK 0870 052 7625 International 44 870 052 7625

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