There has been a whole lot of talk of late about the "quality" of dancing in our Scottish Country Dance classes. It is being said that it has declined and there are people out there now who are looking for answers so we may correct this "problem". I believe that most dancers try to do their very best, so what is it that separates an OK dancer from a good dancer.
Things that have a big impact on how well we dance are age, health, confidence and enjoyment, therefore, the younger we are, in most cases, the better we dance. As we age and have to deal with things like: bad knees, painful hips, and various other health problems we wonder what we can do to make it look like we are still dancing at our very best. We can't turn back the clock, but we can use some strategies that might help!
Correct phrasing (getting to where you should be in the allotted number of bars) is one of the most important aspects of Scottish Country Dancing. Remembering that each step you take uses 1 bar of music means that over the course of an evening a lot of effort must be spent concen- trating on where you are going or on what's going to happen next. We can't do Scottish Country Dancing without thinking, a lot.
It has been drummed into us for years and still holds true that closing each step in 3rd position with a nice turnout makes you look like a well- trained, experienced dancer. Another really great thing you can do that will make your feet look like those of a real dancer is to point your toes. As Bonnie Bellinghausen says in her article: Neat Feet Part 4, "Pointed toes are part of Scottish Country Dancing technique and we should not forget it! What a difference it makes when watching dancers who point their toes."She admits that this is a little more difficult for some men, but well worth the effort of adopting the habit.
Good posture - standing tall, head held high, shoulders back and with a smile on your face makes you appear years younger and adds grace and elegance to your dancing.
Now, if you can all incorporate these 3 points into your dancing and also remember where you're going during the dance, we will have a great class of "quality" dancers!