Scottish Country Dancing


Scottish Country Dancing

What is Scottish Country Dancing?

Three Pillars of Support for You and Your Club 

  • Your club is in the Auckland Region
  • which is part of the New Zealand Branch
  • which is part of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS)

These three pillars support your club.


What is Scottish Country Dancing?

The People’s Dancing of Scotland Social dancing suitable for all ages

Scottish country dancing has spread around the world from Scotland. It is danced in groups of 6 or 8 people. It differs from highland dancing, which is for individuals.

Who dances?

Children and teens love it!
Working adults love it!
Seniors love it!
Interesting people from all walks of life, people with a wide range of dancing ability all enjoy Scottish country dancing

Why do they dance?

Fun! Fitness! Friendship!
Great toe-tapping music
Enjoyable physical exercise
Keeps the mind alert
No partner needed
No special clothes needed – just a pair of soft shoes

Why “country” dancing?

In Scottish Country Dancing the word “country” refers to contra or dancing in sets of couples in lines.

In practice the dances can be danced in long sets (with dancers in parallel lines opposite each other), square sets or in sets around the room.

A country dance has a number of formations which are arranged in different sequences for each dance. Most dances are progressive, which means that the sequence is danced and the dancer finishes in a different place in the set and then repeats the dance from the new position.

Do I have to wear a kilt?

No special clothes needed – just a pair of soft shoes. Some people do wear kilts and tartan to some events. It is usually optional – unless very formal. So there will be an opportunity to wear your kilt- if you want to. But certainly not essential – particularly for weekly dancing at club.

Do I need to attend with a partner?


Scottish Country Dancing is social dancing. Clubs, classes and social events are arranged so that dancers can go along on their own, with a spouse or partner or with a group of friends.

How do I learnt to dance?

Come along and try it! New dancers are welcome.

In February and March many clubs have open nights for new dancers.

In addition to teaching at clubs, there are region-wide and nationwide classes. Classes and tuition are available for dancers of all levels from beginner to experienced.

Like most activities, there is an initial learning curve. Events for new dancers will ease you into it.

Can I start dancing any time of the year?

Yes – but you may feel as though you are being “thrown in the deep end” a little. Everyone is different and picks up Scottish country dancing at different rates. The pace that you pick up dancing will depend on so many things.

Just come along and try it!

How do I progress through the levels?

Read our document on progressing through the levels.

Who joins the RSCDS/ NZ Branch?

Every dancer is encouraged to join, as all dancers benefit from the work of these organisations.

What do I get for joining the RSCDS/NZ Branch?

There are direct benefits such as:  newsletters, region and club directories, ability to attend classes and courses, weekend schools, reduced rate at Region functions, visiting teachers etc


the direct and indirect support provided to clubs and to dancing as a whole.

A network of dancing nationally and internationally – which means we can visit other clubs and their dancers can visit us.

How does the RSCDS / NZ Branch support my club?

Without RSCDS and NZ Branch, your club would not be able to provide your weekly dancing as at present.

The RSCDS provides music, dances, teacher support and infrastructure that also enables others to distribute music and dances.  Without the Society it would be hard to locate dances to dance and music and bands to dance to.

Your club would dance in isolation, without the Auckland Region, NZ Branch and RSCDS and the network that these groups provide.  Your club would not be able to hold tartan nights or a club dance.  Whilst you may not attend classes and Region or Branch events, others in your club may and they come back to club with new ideas and dances.

Through the Branch and the Region, clubs are kept up to date with news and other information.  The Branch also provides insurance cover for clubs for accidental damage to venues.