Info – SCD and us

Enjoy dancing?  Love Music? Never tried Scottish country dancing before?  Is it for me?

You don’t have to be a Scot to appreciate and take part in Scottish country dancing.   It is an activity that appeals to many people of all nationalities around the world.  It can be enjoyed by all,  regardless of age or ability.  Whether or not you have danced much before, with a little effort and lots of enthusiasm you can enjoy the fun and rewards of learning something new. The thrill of dancing to traditional Scottish music is really exciting!

What is Scottish Country Dancing?

Well first of all it is not Highland dancing  which is danced solo and often associated with Highland Games. Country dancing is a sociable group activity.  It is danced in “sets”  with partners – but you don’t need to come with  one as the whole ethos is about dancing with each other and moving around the group of friends you make through this wonderfully sociable activity. The dance steps and movements  create interesting patterns and can be slow and  elegant or very lively,  often telling  a story or depicting a scene.  Research has shown it to have many excellent health benefits such as reducing stress, increasing energy, helping coordination and that it is a really good cardiovascular work out, while also increasing flexibility, suppleness and strengthening bones.    As well as this added bonus of  helping increase your fitness levels, possibly one of the most worthwhile benefits is that it lifts your spirits and gives that “feel good” factor which all Scottish country dancers enjoy.

Should I try it?

You are likely to become “hooked” and find lots of new friends while experiencing all these other benefits for your own well being and enjoyment at the same time!  The focus is on it being a fun activity. Why not give it a try!

Do I need any special clothing? 

No need to buy anything specially  to wear for country dancing.  Flat, flexible shoes, however,  are best and safest to wear. If you want (once you have decided that this is all we say it is and definitely for you),  you can purchase special country dance shoes or ballet pumps which allow the foot to bend and move easily as you learn and master the steps.  Ladies usually wear fairly light  clothing as it can get quite warm dancing  (summer dresses/skirts can at last get used more than just in our limited summers in the UK!).  Men often do wear a kilt if they possess one, especially  at  more  formal events,  but many also dance in their normal casual wear when at classes.

How much does it cost?

Belfast Branch classes  cost £48 per year, plus a one-off annual subscription of £27 to cover Branch and RSCDS membership and our insurance,  no matter how many classes you join.  When you look at what this includes – excellent teaching and lively music, plus all the social and health benefits  – it is great value for money  – and it is a really enjoyable way to keep fit and exercise with friends!   

Come along and try then if you like it take out annual membership and enjoy all the benefits of fun, friendship and fitness. 

For the annual cost of membership and classes see here fees 2018-19.

Where can I get started?  –  for information about our regular classes  in Belfast, Helens Bay, Lisburn and  Newtownabbey see our Classes page

Where else can I  find out more about Scottish Country Dancing? 

Belfast Branch is part of the RSCDS which was founded in 1923 to promote the enjoyment of Scottish Country Dancing and preserve this great dancing tradition with an approach that is inclusive and embraces all.   You can find out lots more from their website where you will also find links to branches across the world.

A few facts about Belfast Branch: over 70 years of Scottish Country Dancing in Northern Ireland

In the 1940s, the Belfast Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS)  was founded to promote Scottish country dancing throughout the city and beyond. This tradition continues and the branch now has grown into one of the largest in the RSCDS.

In 2006 we celebrated our 60th Anniversary with a Grand 60th Anniversary Ball in Belfast City Hall where the dance “The City of Belfast,” devised by one of our members, Lucy Mulholland, was first performed to its own beautiful music written specially for it and played by Marian Anderson and her Band.

Lucy Mulholland

Lucy Mulholland

Lucy’s dance was selected as the best dance devised from among several dances submitted by our members. The winning logo for the 60th Anniversary was  designed by Sheena Loane. It features on the special 60th Anniversary Book of dances and accompanying CD with music by Marian Anderson. Since then “The City of Belfast” has become so popular it is danced all over the world and has been published by the RSCDS in the 2014 publication of its official dances. This is indeed an honour as only a small number are selected  by the RSCDS after a rigorous  process. We are proud of it and of Lucy, a past Chairman of our Branch.



To contact RSCDS Belfast about individual classes, or any other enquiry, please  email the Branch Secretary:  who will put you in touch with the relevant person.

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