Scottish Country Dancing

Scottish Country dance is a form of social dance involving groups of couples of dancers tracing progressive patterns according to a predetermined choreography. Country dancing is sometimes mistaken for a type of folk dancing, but it is actually the ballroom dance form of Scotland, as its original base of dancers was from the more educated and wealthy classes of the Renaissance. Scottish country dancing (a social form of dance with two or more couples of dancers) should not be confused with Scottish highland dance (a solo form of dance). There is a certain amount of cross-over, in that there are Scottish country dances that include highland elements as well as highland-style performance dances which use formations otherwise seen in country dances, but these are relatively few when the two dance forms are considered each as a whole.

The dances are set to music - Jigs, Reels and Strathspeys - that come from the gaelic tradition of highland Scotland. Traditionally a figure (pattern) corresponds to an eight bar phrase of music. It is suitable for men, women and children of all ages in teams of 3, 4 or 5 couples arranged in either 2 lines (men facing ladies) or in a square, working together to dance a sequence of formations. This leaves the dancers in a new order, and the dance is repeated enough times to bring them back to their starting positions, with everyone dancing each position in turn.