Scottish country dancing (SCD) is the main form of Scottish social dancing. It unites the footwork of early French ballet with the figures and sociability of Gaelic, English, and French country dancing. SCD is performed in couples, most frequently in sets of four couples arranged in lines of women facing men, but also in square or other-shaped sets. Dances are either in quick time (reels and jigs) or in the statelier, idiomatically-Scottish strathspey time, and consist of dancing various patterns (“figures”) across the floor.
The Chicago Branch sponsors a weekly SCD class in the greater Chicago area; there is also Scottish Country Dancing with the Evanston Scottish Country Dancers. Anyone with an interest in all things Scottish and/or dancing is welcome to attend the general classes. You do not need to bring a partner and no prior dancing experience is necessary. Wear soft-soled shoes and come have a good time. Note that due to covid concerns we now require proof of vaccination and that you sign a liability waiver prior to your first time dancing and that you wear a mask during dancing (so long as the indoor mask requirement is in place in Illinois).
The Chicago Branch partners with the Madison and Milwaukee groups to sponsor a weekend workshop each year in early June. This is a fun event with a Friday night Welcome Dance, classes most of the day Saturday, a Banquet and formal Ball Saturday night followed by a ceilidh, and classes Sunday morning. Each year in January, the Branch has its New Year’s Ball and Tea Dance and throughout the year there are also social dances and open houses. Check the Special Events page for details of upcoming events.
Meet your Chicago Branch 2019-2020 Committee of Management
Charles Coulon, Chair
Sue McKinnell, Treasurer
Toni Robinson, Secretary
The Chicago Branch has a Facebook page. Check it out!
- Silk and Thistle Class
- Turn and Spurn Blog
- Historic Scottish country dance group (or contact Tim)
- Facebook Page
- Evanston Scottish Country Dancers
- Illinois St. Andrews Society
- Madison Scottish Country Dancers (Madison, WI)
- Milwaukee Scottish Country Dancers (Milwaukee, WI)
- RSCDS-Central Iowa
- RSCDS Twin Cities Branch (Minneapolis, MN)
- Highland Mist Scottish Country Dancers (St. Louis, MO)
- Cincinnati Branch RSCDS
- O’er the Border (band)
- Tim Macdonald & Jeremy Ward (band)
- The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society
- Teachers Association (Canada)
- The Strathspey Server
- Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary
- Grand Chain Scottish Dance Website (Highland and SCD)
- The Inter-city Scot
- RSCDS New York Branch
- RSCDS Stirling