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strathspey@strathspey.org:44522

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  • GOSS9@telefonica.net

    GOSS9@telefonica.net March 7, 2006, 7:32 a.m. (Message 44522)

    Re: SD before the 19th century/SD cafe fear NC-Great Awakening?

    It is always amazing how a linguistic error even though admitted, 
    affects our language. This comes from the shift between the RSCDS 
    language from the original 1920´s "Country dancing as danced in 
    Scotland" and the 1940´s "Scottish Country Dancing".
    
    To repeat, again, there was no such thing as a unique dance form 
    called "SCD" until the Society was over 10 years old. It is bad history 
    to apply a modern invention backwards into history, and then be 
    surprised it did not exist. 
    
    With the exception of Highland dancing mentioned below. All of what we 
    call SCD and Ceilidh dancing were simply European forms of dancing 
    prior to the 20c, and their certainly was no dancing border between 
    England and Scotland. So Scots who originally settled the Americas, and 
    later immigrants brought with them the European dancing they knew at 
    home. Given, there were stylistic differences, but these were such that 
    they simply merged with those of  the other European communities in the 
    New World.
    
    When it came to the later origins of what we call ceilidh dancing, 
    these are primarily schottisches that spread out from Germany. A 
    popular folk dance here on Mallorca, is called the "polka" (not it is 
    obviously a schottische done to music that seems Irish and of piping 
    origin), virtually everyone knows it as a common round the "room" 
    (don´t know what word to use since the dancing here is mostly outside, 
    so perhaps a "cercaplaça")  finishing dance. We know it as "Gay 
    Gordons".
    
    The evidence of this is found in its opposites. No identifiable 
    Scottish dancing, but Gaelic survived in the Americas, as did hundreds 
    of identifiably Scottish tunes, which have become so American to 
    Americans that most of them would not even consider them Scottish. The 
    fact is that they did bring their dances, which simply merged and 
    whatever differences that might have been considered Scottish simply 
    disappeared.
    
    Highland dancing was not even standardized until the late 40´s and 
    early 50´s (the SOBHD is about 25 years younger then the RSCDS. I 
    suspect that many aspects of step dancing that are of Scottish origin 
    did come to America, but then got merged into various "pan British" 
    dance forms namely the jig and the hormpipe, which passed on to the 
    American tap dancing tradition. In this case there was a reverse 
    connection in that there are historicly identified American tunes that 
    went back to the U.K. where they are known as of American origin.
    
    This historical, or linguistic, error is common in Scotland and with 
    SC dancers because of the Society, and is not heard in EFDSS circles, 
    in that they acknowledge no border of their dancing when it comes to 
    Scotland. 
          

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