Dance Background

Scottish Country Dance

Scottish Country Dancing (SCD) is typically done in sets of four couples in two facing lines. Multiple sets can be placed together forming long lines of dancers, but each dancer remains within their own set for a given dance. The dances combine the elegance of the formal step and leg placement with a love of patterns that interweave the dancers. The music divides between the quick tempo of a reel or jig and the slower driving tempo of a Strathspey. More description can be found on the Strathspey Server web site from Germany and from our local San Francisco Bay Area Branch site. The tartan of my kilt can be found under the Clan Grant Society home page.

Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense,dancing. — Clive James

(or perhaps dancing is just common sense)

Scandinavian Dance

In the San Francisco Bay Area, we are fortunate to have an active community of Scandinavian dancers and musicians. This provides for multiple weekly classes, monthly parties, a teaching festival in February, and a dance and music camp in the redwoods inland from Mendocino in June. More information on these activities can be found at the Northern California Spelmanslag web site.

The dancing is mostly couple turning dances done to hauntingly beautiful music. Besides the standard flat fiddle, instruments such as the Hardanger fiddle and the Nyckelharpa employ the use of resonant or sympathetic strings, adding and amazing and unusual tonality and richness to the music.