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to the official web site of the ORLANDO BRANCH of the ROYAL SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCE SOCIETY.

The ORLANDO BRANCH of the ROYAL SCOTTISH COUNTRY DANCE SOCIETY, established in 1990, currently has seven active dance groups and two inactive dance groups. Links to all member dance groups can be found on this and other pages throughout this web site. This web site contains information relating to upcoming events and things of interest concerning the ORLANDO BRANCH as a whole and each member dance group within the Branch
What is Scottish Country Dancing?
Scottish Country Dancing is a modern form of the "country dancing" popular in England and Scotland in the 18th Centrury. It involves groups of six to ten people (most of the time) of mixed sex (most of the time) -- a "set" -- dancing to the driving strains of reels, jigs and strathspeys played on the fiddle, accordian, flute, piano, drums, etc. (no bagpipes, mostly!). The dance often combines solo figures for the "first couple" in the set with movements for all the dancers, although there is considerable variation -- there are over 7000 different dances catalogued, of which maybe 1000 or so are of lasting and non-local importance. Most of these dances derive from traditional sources such as old manuscripts and printed dance collections, but a lot have been devised in the fairly recent past, say the last fifty years or so. This fusion of the traditional and the modern as well as its ongoing evolution are part of the attraction of Scottish Country Dancing.

Think of SCD as a cross between square or contra dance (although there is no caller) and ballet; there are about a dozen basic figures which will get you through quite a number of dances, although many dances have their own quirks and specialties which make them unique and fun to dance. There is also more emphasis on "steps" than in, say, Ceilidh dancing, but the basic technique can be learned at a week-end workshop or through a couple of months' worth of practice evenings once a week. Even though there are so many dances, you don't have to learn any of them by heart if you don't want to -- the programs for balls and social evenings are usually prublished well before the event, so everybody can practice ahead of time.

SCD is a very social form of dancing, not only because you get to dance with seven or so people at once instead of just with one partner (smiles and eye contact are almost mandatory, and if you want there is a lot of opportunity for relaxed "flirting") but also because there are workshops, balls and social dances being held in places all over the world. It is nice to be able to travel and join a SCD group for a night nearly everwhere you go.