ceilidh vs SCD

Alan Paterson

Message 35400 · 4 Jun 2003 14:42:40 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Pia Walker wrote:
> This is a bit like saying that people who hasnt' taken dance classes of any
> kind - should not be seen on a dance-floor at all. And that is a bit
> unfair.

Sorry Pia, where in my message did I suggest that? Oliver was asking why
"RSCDS-trained" people dislike ceilidh. And I provided my reasons. It is
why *I* dislike it.

> People in Europe might not dance a lot of ceidlidh, because (at least in
> Denmark- probably elsewhere too) we have been taught SCD from Society
> Teachers, who have gone to St Andrews Summerschool to be taught and to take
> their exams, and they have had no real knowledge on how the 'real' scot in
> scotland dance (OK and before you all grab your keyboards, how many of you
> have been to a Scottish Wedding in Scotland with Scottish guests - who are
> not members of the RSCDS?

Yes. I have.

I could, possibly, get a wee bit upset here. What makes me (or Jim Healy,
or Ian Brockbanks, or Linda Gaul, or, ...) any less 'real' than someone who
has learnt to dance the 'folk' way?

> Scottish dancing is executed there, but of
> course the footware is not pumps - it is what you wear to a wedding - the
> uncontrolled pushing and pulling is helping others around after a few drinks
> :>) (and it happens in RSCDS classes without the drink too, so does
> Arythmic motion, and the expect an unexpected move).

Exactly. All very unpleasant things - and something I personally wish to
avoid. It's just that it is more prevalent in Ceilidh as there the entire
concept of doing it "properly" just doesn't exist.

> And with regards to how to birl properly - well I have seen plenty RSCDS
> dancers who cannot birl for tuppence.

Exactly my point. If it is not taught (and practiced) it becomes highly

> So don't blame ceilidh.

AGAIN. Since ceilidh is neither taught nor practiced (well, not a lot),
lack of control is more predominent.

> In my family
> of very Proud Scots - I'm the only one who have learned to dance prop'ly,
> and I'm the foreigner, they love to dance and I too have fun dancing with
> these uninitiated natives.

Good for you. I have no problems with you doing that. Why do you have
problems with me not doing it?

> <wee bit snipped>
> Surely it is the joy of dancing that counts

Absolutely. 200% with you.

It's just that I don't get any joy out of something more akin to all-in
wrestling than to dance.

> - the dances are all Scottish,
> it is just the dance styles that vary - my only comment ot the American


> Pia

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Alan Paterson" <xxxx.xxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.xx>
> To: <xxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx>
> Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2003 8:58 AM
> Subject: Re: ceilidh vs SCD
> > Oliver Thinius wrote:
> > >
> > > I agree to 100 percent - many SCD dancers in Germany dislike Ceilidh
> > > dance and do not want to do it. But those who have never danced
> > > Scottish are more easily to catch with Ceilidh Workshops containing
> > > one or two Set dances.
> > >
> > > But why is it so? Ceilidh is probably more traditional than the RSCDS
> > > standards of moving, and there is more to it than Gay Gordons, St.
> > > bernhard's Waltz, Dashing White Sergeant and Strip the Willow (the
> > > latter are regarded as Ceilidh by some people over here). Why have
> > > "reputated Country Dancers" got objections against Ceilidh Dance?
> >
> > - Dangerous footware
> > - Uncontrolled pushing/pulling
> > - Arhythmic motion
> > - Complete disregard for the music
> > - Requirement to continually have to expect an unexpected move
> > - Unpractised moves (how many actually "learn" how to birl properly?)
> >
> > I accept that this is painting it somewhat black and white, however, each
> > of the above features of ceilidh dance as it is today act in some way to
> > make me want to avoid it.
> >
> > Alan


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