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Scottish Country Dancing and the RSCDS

Did you know that the Nanaimo Scottish Country Dancing Club is an affiliate member of the Royal Scottish Country Dancing Society (RSCDS)?

Although Scottish Country Dancing (SCD) has been around for hundreds of years there was no formal documentation of the dances, or uniformity about the steps.

Country Dancing was popular in England in the17th Century and certainly popular in Scotland in the 18th Century. Grand Assembly Halls were built to accommodate the gentry, who danced in all of the main cities. In Scotland reels became popular and were danced by all levels of society, in local halls and churches.

Scotland also developed its own musical rhythm, the strathspey, in the middle of the 18th Century. Times and fashions changed and other dance forms replaced the Country Dances in England and Europe, however Scotland hung on to the dancing traditions. The Scottish Regiments helped keep the tradition alive by dancing some of the old traditional dances like “Cadgers in the Cannongate” and “The Duchess of Atholl’s Slipper”.

By the early 1920’s two ladies decided to form the RSCDS – Miss Jean Milligan and Mrs. Isobel Stewart. They gathered manuscripts and formalized the formations, which were frequently danced. The RSCDS has grown into a worldwide organization with a much wider scope now than when they started in 1923. Both ladies are now dead but the work they started still carries on and has grown into a resource for all dancers worldwide as well as a source of new dances and music.

You can join the RSCDS as an individual member or join a Branch of the RSCDS – our closest branch is Vancouver