What is Scottish Country Dancing?

Scottish Country Dancing is the social dancing of Scotland. It belongs to the family of dance forms which include English Country Dancing, Irish Ceilidh dancing, New England Contra dancing, American Square dancing, as well as traditional Newfoundland dancing. Modern Scottish Country Dancing is characterised by its unique formations and its attention to footwork.

Many of our dances are done to jigs and reel tunes.  Some of our dances use the strathspey, a slower tempo with a distinctive rhythm that is unique to Scottish music.

Scottish Country Dancing is NOT solo dancing.  We don’t use swords – that’s Highland Dancing!

In Scottish Country Dancing, dancers stand in two parallel lines, each facing a partner, in sets of four or five couples. Each couple performs a series of figures often with the help of the other couples in the set.  The dances are progressive; when the first couple completes a turn of the dance, they finish one place down and can start again. The dance continues until all couples in a set have danced from the top position.  

For a more detailed description, read “What Is Scottish Country Dancing, Anyway?” by Anselm Lingnau.