Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Scottish Country Dancing?

It is social dancing. It’s a wonderful way to have fun, make new friends and keep fit.

2. What form do the dances take?

Generally we dance in sets of four couples. We dance quick time dances – jigs and reels – and also strathspeys which have a slower tempo. Steps used in these dances are taught at our weekly club nights.

3. Is it the same type of dancing as at a Ceilidh?

They are very similar but dances at a ceilidh are much easier. Scottish Country Dancing is a bit more complicated but all the steps and patterns are taught in class with ample opportunity to practice.

4. Do I need to come with a partner?

There is no need to come with a partner, everyone dances with everyone else during the evening; that is part of the fun.

5. If I bring a partner will I be able to dance with him/her?

It is better to dance with a more experienced dancer initially so that they can help to guide you through the dance.

6. Do I have to wear a kilt?

No. Wear something that is comfortable to dance in at class. The men that have kilts wear them for the more formal dances that we hold 3 times a year. There are now plenty of tartans available which aren’t linked to Scots or Scotland.

7. What type of footwear is best?

For beginners, any type of flat soft shoe or trainer is fine. When you decide to buy more appropriate footwear we can advise you. These can be bought through the club, online or at a shop that sells dancewear. The women wear ballet pumps and the men wear ghillies which are similar to a ballet pump but with a long lace that ties around the ankle. Whilst it is much easier to dance in them they are not essential.

8. Who teaches the class?

We have a fully qualified and very experienced teacher who teaches the class fortnightly. Alternate weeks are taught by experienced dancers in the club.

9. Is it necessary to be able to dance the steps well?

No. Competence with the steps can come gradually over time or not at all. The important thing is to be able to move in time with the music and to enjoy dancing.

10. Is there a class for beginners?

The weekly class is mixed ability but, if there is demand, extra classes can be run for beginners.

11. Can I just turn up to a class?

Yes but it’s helpful if the teacher knows that you are coming so that she/he can adjust the choices of dances to suit a beginner.

12. I’m looking for a fun way to exercise. Will Scottish Country dancing help?

Scottish Country Dancing offers exercise for the brain as well as the body, plus lots of social interaction. While many styles of dance offer a fun way to improve physical fitness, Scottish Country Dance has to be near the top of the list when it comes to combining aerobic exercise with mental challenge.

13. Do I need to be Scottish?

There are a few Scots in our club but the vast majority of our members and indeed those who attend other groups in Yorkshire are not Scottish.

14. Where does the word Saltire come from?

The Saltire is the national flag of Scotland – a white Saltire, or St Andrew’s cross, on a blue background.