strathspey Archive: Ceilidh Dancing versus Scottish Country Dancing

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Ceilidh Dancing versus Scottish Country Dancing

Message 29361 · Iain Boyd and Noeline O'Connor · 28 Jan 2002 21:14:43 · Top

"The vast majority of Scots believe that what Iain calls "ceilidh" IS Scottish Country
Dancing and the RSCDS inspired variation is merely that - a minority pursuit and
a small minority at that." Jim Healey

It was my understanding that for many years "Scottish Country Dancing" was a compulsory
subject in the school curriculum in Scotland. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

If this was the case, I would suggest that more Scots at one time may have come into
contact with "Scottish Country Dancing" than with "Ceilidh Dancing".

When did "the vast majority of Scots" reach the conclusion that "Ceilidh Dancing
is Scottish Country Dancing"?

Iain Boyd

Wellington
New Zealand

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Ceilidh Dancing versus Scottish Country Dancing

Message 29362 · Peter Hastings · 28 Jan 2002 21:30:29 · Top

> It was my understanding that for many years
> "Scottish Country Dancing" was a compulsory
> subject in the school curriculum in Scotland.
> (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

Your right, but the tense of your first sentence
conveys all that needs be said.

> If this was the case, I would suggest that more
> Scots at one time may have come into
> contact with "Scottish Country Dancing" than with
> "Ceilidh Dancing".

At one time they did, principally due to the fact that
the bulk of the population of Scotland resides in the
Lowlands and for many years ceilidh dancing was not an
organised activity there.

> When did "the vast majority of Scots" reach the
> conclusion that "Ceilidh Dancing
> is Scottish Country Dancing"?

When the educational authorities ceased to teach any
form of dancing at all and a generation who could not
tell that 'ceilidh dancing' and 'reeling' were not
'Scottish Country Dancing' but merely 'Scottish
country dancing'.

versus prep. against [L.]

Are you serious ?

Peter Hastings
Edinburgh
Scotland.

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Ceilidh Dancing versus Scottish Country Dancing

Message 29363 · John P. McClure · 28 Jan 2002 21:56:50 · Top

On Mon, 28 Jan 2002, Peter Hastings wrote:

> > It was my understanding that for many years
> > "Scottish Country Dancing" was a compulsory
> > subject in the school curriculum in Scotland.
> > (Please correct me if I am wrong.)
>
> Your right, but the tense of your first sentence
> conveys all that needs be said.

I wonder just what it was that was taught in the schools? Was it RSCDS
dancing as we know it, or even as it was then? Also, how was it related
to what people did at the dances in the town and village halls on a
Saturday night?

Peter McClure
Winnipeg, MB

SCD in Scottish Curriculum

Message 29364 · S.M.D.Phillips · 28 Jan 2002 22:46:41 · Top

I received all but the last two years of my education abroad, so cannot
speak of my own knowledge about what was taught as SCD in schools.
A friend who was a teacher in Scotland, and who was at school in Scotland,
says that at one time, all trainee PE teachers were required to take the
RSCDS preliminary certificate as part of their PE training, so one infers
that what was taught was SCD, RSCDS style [or whatever you want to call it].
Certainly, during the two years that I was at school in Edinburgh [1961-63],
we were taught SCD by our PE teacher, and I do not remember it as being
ceilidh dancing or reeling. Incidentally, I was first taught SCD by my
mother, a pre-war trained infant teacher who learned her SCD in the Girl
Guides , and I didn't have anything to unlearn when I started dancing with
the RSCDS
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+ Stella Phillips
+ sphillips@sol.co.uk
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SCD in Scottish Curriculum

Message 29366 · eclyde · 28 Jan 2002 23:10:41 · Top

To add to your excellent response, it must be remembered
that Jean Milligan was the head of the Physical Education Department
at Jordanhill, THE place for teacher training in Scotland.
So if you wanted to teach PE ... !

Many excellent teachers of Scottish country dancing were produced
as a result and that fact, along with the postwar emigration
of so many Scots, helped spread it throughout the world..

Eric Clyde
Ottawa Branch

----- Original Message -----
From: S.M.D.Phillips <sphillips@sol.co.uk>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 4:46 PM
Subject: Re: SCD in Scottish Curriculum

> I received all but the last two years of my education abroad, so cannot
> speak of my own knowledge about what was taught as SCD in schools.
> A friend who was a teacher in Scotland, and who was at school in
Scotland,
> says that at one time, all trainee PE teachers were required to take the
> RSCDS preliminary certificate as part of their PE training, so one infers
> that what was taught was SCD, RSCDS style [or whatever you want to call
it].
> Certainly, during the two years that I was at school in Edinburgh
[1961-63],
> we were taught SCD by our PE teacher, and I do not remember it as being
> ceilidh dancing or reeling. Incidentally, I was first taught SCD by my
> mother, a pre-war trained infant teacher who learned her SCD in the Girl
> Guides , and I didn't have anything to unlearn when I started dancing with
> the RSCDS
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> + Stella Phillips
> + sphillips@sol.co.uk
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>
>

SCD in Scottish Curriculum

Message 29367 · Ian McHaffie · 28 Jan 2002 23:28:49 · Top

Another add-on thought: I understand that at one time it was proposed
that one would have to be a PE teacher to get an RSCDS teaching
certificate. It obviously never stuck ‹ but I wonder does anyone have
information about when that idea was proposed?

Ian McHaffie
mchaffie@sympatico.ca

>To add to your excellent response, it must be remembered
>that Jean Milligan was the head of the Physical Education Department
>at Jordanhill, THE place for teacher training in Scotland.
>So if you wanted to teach PE ... !
>
>Many excellent teachers of Scottish country dancing were produced
>as a result and that fact, along with the postwar emigration
>of so many Scots, helped spread it throughout the world..
>
>Eric Clyde
>Ottawa Branch
>

SCD in Scottish Curriculum

Message 29374 · res009k3 · 29 Jan 2002 01:58:24 · Top

When I was working at the School of Scottish Studies c 1978 to 1985, I had some dealing with school teachers. I seem to remember that during that period, Scottish country dancing was no longer a part of the schools curriculum and had been replaced with some sort of "movement studies" which could include "folk dancing" but with no specific reference to anything specifically Scottish.

If there is anyone out there with curriculum experience from that time to now, I would like to the accuracy of my statement above.

R Goss
[richard.n.goss@gte.net]

Ceilidh Dancing versus Scottish Country Dancing

Message 29372 · Volleyballjerry · 29 Jan 2002 01:25:20 · Top

It is only one person's recollection and experience, but we do have a regular
dancer in our group who grew up in Scotland, and, if I can hope to correctly
estimate her age, would have been in school in the fifties and sixties. She
has reported that what she did in school was essentially the same RSCDS
dancing that we do in class.

Robb Quint
Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

Ceilidh Dancing versus Scottish Country Dancing

Message 29376 · Elainerb · 29 Jan 2002 02:54:07 · Top

In a message dated 1/28/2002 3:15:38 PM Eastern Standard Time,
boyd.oconnor@zfree.co.nz writes:

> It was my understanding that for many years "Scottish Country Dancing" was a
> compulsory
> subject in the school curriculum in Scotland. (Please correct me if I am
> wrong.)
>
>
When I taught PE in high school in Scotland in the mid 70's it was mainly
Ceilidh dances that I taught . Every Christmas we had dances for each year
at high school, and we did Strip the willow (6/8 jigs) Gay gordons, St
Bernards waltz. Eightsome reel, Duke of Perth....... all ceilidh style.
I had a team of SC Dancers who competed in festivals etc, but they were the
minority.
Back in the 50's and 60's it was more Scottish Country Dancing.

more people do Ceilidh dancing in Scotland than Counrty Dancing (Society
style)

Elaine

Ceilidh Dancing versus Scottish Country Dancing

Message 29389 · Jim Healy · 29 Jan 2002 12:36:37 · Top

Iain Boyd replies to my earlier posting:

>It was my understanding that for many years "Scottish Country
>Dancing" was a compulsory subject in the school curriculum in
>Scotland. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)
You are correct but, as Elaine has noted, what was taught to the vast
majority was what you would call Ceilidh dancing/dances - Eightsome, Strip
the Willow, Dashing White Sergeant, Duke of Perth plus Military Two-step,
Gay Gordons and possibly a Scottische, all in a rumbunctious style and elbow
grip only used for turning. As Elaine notes the purpose of this teaching was
preparation for the School Dance. A few pupils were selected to dance in
Festivals and were taught a more RSCDS style for those specific dances
needed to fill the school quota of Festival slots. I know, for instance,
that the original reason I was chosen to be in the extra class was simply
that I had a kilt.

>If this was the case, I would suggest that more Scots at one
>time may have come into contact with "Scottish Country Dancing"
>than with "Ceilidh Dancing".
So, no. The fact that you choose to define SCD as being solely RSCDS style
regrettably does not make it so.

Jim Healy
Perth, Scotland

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SCD in Scottish Curriculum

Message 29385 · Martin.Sheffield · 29 Jan 2002 10:09:44 · Top

Although I think it is sad that there is no longer any dancing in schools,
I am not sure that, when it was taught, it was very popular part of the
time-table.
I have spent most of my life abroad, and whenever I have come across expats
and mentioned country dancing, the reaction has always been: "Oh, yes, did
that at school; never again, thank you!"

Whether it be Scottish or otherwise, it's certainbly a pity that no dancing
should appear on the curriculum; I am amazed et the lack of grace and
bodily cooordination of many teenage--twenty-somethings. The girls are just
as angular and awkward as the boys. Surely a few serious dancing classes
-- or old-fashioned non-competitive PT -- would have taught them something
of posture, balance and rhythm.
(I know, I shouldn't generalize about any group, but in all my years of
SCD, I can remember only one yong person that immediately knew how to hold
herself with grace and poise.)

Martin
in Grenoble, France
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/scots.in.france/index.htm

SCD in Scottish Curriculum

Message 29407 · Priscilla M. Burrage · 29 Jan 2002 20:18:27 · Top

On Tue, 29 Jan 2002, Martin S wrote:

> Although I think it is sad that there is no longer any dancing in schools,
> I am not sure that, when it was taught, it was very popular part of the
> time-table.
> I have spent most of my life abroad, and whenever I have come across expats
> and mentioned country dancing, the reaction has always been: "Oh, yes, did
> that at school; never again, thank you!"

Many years ago, I had a man in my class who had immigrated to the US after
WW2. He joined us when we went to Montreal to attend a class by Miss Jean
Milligan. After a lesson in pas de Basque he confessed that he'd had her
in school when he was twelve years old. "She hasn't changed much; " he
said, "I didn't like then either."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
(pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

SCD in Scottish Curriculum

Message 29434 · Jodie Hebert · 31 Jan 2002 16:07:20 · Top

Hi Priscilla - great anecdote! But how many of us remember our elementary
school gym teacher fondly? Music teacher, librarian, ballet teacher - yes,
gym teacher - no. And once a scunner, always a scunner. So maybe SCD
should not be part of Phys Ed but taught in computer or math class (analyze
the patterns and combinations) or music appreciation (rhythm, phrasing) or
just on its own as an extra-curricular activity.
Cheers, Jodie

Date sent: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 14:18:25 -0500 (EST)
From: "Priscilla M. Burrage" <pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Subject: Re: SCD in Scottish Curriculum

> Many years ago, I had a man in my class who had immigrated to the US after
> WW2. He joined us when we went to Montreal to attend a class by Miss Jean
> Milligan. After a lesson in pas de Basque he confessed that he'd had her
> in school when he was twelve years old. "She hasn't changed much; " he
> said, "I didn't like then either."
>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Priscilla Burrage Vermont US
> (pburrage@zoo.uvm.edu)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Johanne Parker Hebert
Humanities & Social Sciences Library
McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 1Y1
Tel: 514-398-4782 FAX: 514-398-7184

SCD in Scottish Curriculum

Message 29424 · Richard & Fiona Turnbull · 30 Jan 2002 23:14:43 · Top

Dancing is still on the curriculum in both Scotland and England. Within the
"Expressive Arts" section children have to be taught Movement, Expression,
Co-ordination and Creativity etc. The form of dance is not stipulated except
that some national dance should be included. It is up to the teacher,
school or Local Ed.Authority to decide how to give children these skills. We
must persuade them that SCD is the ideal
vehicle for learning these basics and for teaching them co-operation and
social skills..

I have just returned from a conference in London organised by the "Exercise
and Dance Initiative" of the Central Council of Physical Recreation(CCPR)
The title was "More Dance in
Schools" Among the many styles of dance represented were EFDSS and RSCDS.
. While this conference was for England it is pleasing that RSCDS
was invited to participate. I also gave one of the presentations in a
section named "Extending the Breadth"

There is a big effort underway by many different interest groups to increase
the amount and variety of dancing available in schools.

At the Glasgow Primary school where the "dance Scottish" video was filmed
there is full recognition of the value of dance. The boys have to learn to
dance before
they can be considered for the School football team as the teacher
understands that it teaches them co-ordination, balance and flexibility.
Fife had 12,500 children dancing in their Festival in
November and the children were eager to dance as much as possible.
So all is not lost. Hopefully the message in school dancing lessons nowadays
is that dancing is FUN and that SCD is one of the ways to encourage young
people to dance.

Fiona

-----
From: "Martin S" <martin.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>

> Although I think it is sad that there is no longer any dancing in schools,
>
; I am amazed et the lack of grace and
> bodily co-ordination of many teenage--twenty-something's. The girls are
just
> as angular and awkward as the boys. Surely a few serious dancing classes
> -- or old-fashioned non-competitive PT -- would have taught them something
> of posture, balance and rhythm.

SCD in Scottish Curriculum

Message 29427 · Pia Walker · 31 Jan 2002 09:25:51 · Top

Way to go Fiona

Pia
----- Original Message -----
From: Richard & Fiona Turnbull <Bedrule@teaminfocus.co.uk>
To: <strathspey@strathspey.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2002 10:13 PM
Subject: Re: SCD in Scottish Curriculum

>
> Dancing is still on the curriculum in both Scotland and England. Within
the
> "Expressive Arts" section children have to be taught Movement, Expression,
> Co-ordination and Creativity etc. The form of dance is not stipulated
except
> that some national dance should be included. It is up to the teacher,
> school or Local Ed.Authority to decide how to give children these skills.
We
> must persuade them that SCD is the ideal
> vehicle for learning these basics and for teaching them co-operation and
> social skills..
>
> I have just returned from a conference in London organised by the
"Exercise
> and Dance Initiative" of the Central Council of Physical Recreation(CCPR)
> The title was "More Dance in
> Schools" Among the many styles of dance represented were EFDSS and RSCDS.
> . While this conference was for England it is pleasing that RSCDS
> was invited to participate. I also gave one of the presentations in a
> section named "Extending the Breadth"
>
> There is a big effort underway by many different interest groups to
increase
> the amount and variety of dancing available in schools.
>
> At the Glasgow Primary school where the "dance Scottish" video was filmed
> there is full recognition of the value of dance. The boys have to learn to
> dance before
> they can be considered for the School football team as the teacher
> understands that it teaches them co-ordination, balance and flexibility.
> Fife had 12,500 children dancing in their Festival in
> November and the children were eager to dance as much as possible.
> So all is not lost. Hopefully the message in school dancing lessons
nowadays
> is that dancing is FUN and that SCD is one of the ways to encourage young
> people to dance.
>
> Fiona
>
> -----
> From: "Martin S" <martin.sheffield@wanadoo.fr>
>
> > Although I think it is sad that there is no longer any dancing in
schools,
> >
> ; I am amazed et the lack of grace and
> > bodily co-ordination of many teenage--twenty-something's. The girls are
> just
> > as angular and awkward as the boys. Surely a few serious dancing
classes
> > -- or old-fashioned non-competitive PT -- would have taught them
something
> > of posture, balance and rhythm.
>
>
>
>

Schools

Message 29370 · Stella F · 29 Jan 2002 00:04:34 · Top

Iain,
The schools I attended in Scotland (and I'm an "oldie") taught Ceilidh
dancing and called it Scottish Country Dancing. It was part of our P.E.
class. We did RSCDS Country Dancing when I was a Girl Guide and even entered
competitions, but no-one ever mentioned there was such a thing as a Royal
Scottish Country Dance Society. Even today at home, many people assume SCD
is Ceilidh and my home is only 55 miles from Edinburgh!! We never really "
reached the conclusion" that Ceilidh was Scottish, it just always has been.
We know that both are Scottish and I love to do both and I agree with Jim,
RSCDS really is a minority in most parts of Scotland.
Stella
Richmond, VA (via Gourock)

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