We are a group who meet for social dancing approximately twice monthly on Saturday evenings from September to May, at 7.30pm in Crookham War Memorial Hall, Sandy Lane, Church Crookham, GU52 8LD.
It is similar to but not the same as Square dancing , English Country dancing and Ceilidh dancing. There are Reels and Jigs which are faster and Strathspeys which are slower. The Strathspey is unique to SCD and is slow and elegant. It is not highland or sword dancing with complicated steps. There are only five steps, but dances are made up from different formations, many of them being similar to English Country dancing.
It is very sociable; we dance in sets of (usually) eight people, during one dance you dance with most people in the set. You don’t need to come with a partner as everyone is encouraged to dance with a new partner for each dance. We try to help each other.
It’s fun; if we go wrong we have a good laugh together!
It keeps you fit; it’s energetic: although reels and jigs last for under five minutes, in some dances you are moving for much of that time - but you can decide when you want a rest. There is a brief break between each dance and an interval for tea and coffee halfway through the evening.
It’s challenging; unlike square dancing, we don’t generally have a caller so you have to remember (or try to remember) the sequence of the formations. However we do have someone leading each sessions and we walk the dances through without music first, so that we know what is coming. The dances are formed of patterns (known as “formations”), these are figures which recur in many dances: that helps to remember the dance as most dances have between four and six formations (e.g. set & cross, down the middle & up, rights & lefts, reels of three, circle).
The music is wonderful; lively tunes for Reels and Jigs and slower tunes and airs for Strathspeys. We dance to CDs for social evenings but live music is usual at dances and balls.
It’s worldwide; when you go abroad on holiday, pack your shoes, you may well find a local group to join.
There are lots of opportunities to dance locally and in the UK. There are teaching classes, other social dancing groups, informal dances and more formal balls where everyone dresses up! There also weekend schools and even holidays devoted to Scottish Country dancing if you get the bug.
Soft shoes; ladies tend to wear Ballet pumps and men soft Ghillies (which can be bought locally), but any pair of light soft comfortable shoes is fine.
Women often prefer to wear full skirts and some men have kilts but neither is essential and anything goes. Just remember you can get quite warm even in the winter so aim for something casual, loose and comfortable.
Our Start of Season Party evening is on Saturday 12 September, 7.30 to 10.30pm at Crookham War Memorial Hall. As it’s a party evening, we all bring a plate of finger food to share for the supper interval. The cost is £4 for non-members.
We welcome visitors, new dancers and those with a little or a lot of experience. Come and try!
For more information contact Shirley Ferguson on 01276 501952 or email