Meeting reports

Read the reports of our meetings with valuable tips and techniques from discussions as far back as 2010

ISTD Dances republished by RSCDS
Judy Valvona, March 2022                                                         

ISTD dance books.PNG

The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing published 5 books of dances 1971 to 1990s devised by their members for the annual McConachie Sword competition and including either a new formation or a variation on an existing formation.  These have now been republished in two volumes by the RSCDS.

Warm-ups and Cool-downs
Lynda Hughes, March 2022                                                      

Cool down trio.JPG

Lynda Hughes, Physiotherapist and Scottish Country Dance teacher, took us through exercises and simple dances to warm up joints and muscle groups to help protect dancers from injury

First Aid, October 2021

IMG_4030_edited.jpg

A full day First Aid Course for potential injuries at dance sessions, including resuscitation, use of defibrillators and injury response.

Mighty Mantras
Peter Knight, September 2021

Three 278 JFP_6895 - Copy.jpg

Mantras help in the demonstration and learning of formations, these mantras are so good they have been handed down teacher-to-teacher and now you can have them too.

The role of the MC
Colin Duncan, September 2021            

agm13132_edited.jpg

An interesting presentation of the role of the MC including the sins to avoid and a detailed to-do checklist of actions.

Digital music for Scottish country dancing ... part 1
Peter Loveland, virtual meeting, March 2021

Sound system.png

Part 1.  How digital music works and some of the different options of storage and playback systems you can use to bring modern music solutions to your Scottish country dancing classes.

Digital music for Scottish country dancing ... part 2
Peter Loveland et al, virtual meeting, March 2021

Sound system.png

Part 2.  Presenters gave their experience of different methods of using digital music at classes and for social dancing.

Dancing now and in the future
virtual meeting, September 2020     

Girl in a mask.jpg

Engaging with your dancers during lockdown.  Four presenters recounted how they thought SCD would work for enthusiastic dancers in a socially distanced environment.

Workshop postponed due to Covid restrictions, March 2020

Empty-Hall.jpg

Workshop postponed - rescheduled for Sept 2021

How to do it and how to teach it
Anne Taylor, September 2019

23 edited.jpg

Anne shared some of her knowledge gained through many years of teaching both adults and children and discussed the standards of dance needed in the new Dancing Achievement Awards (DAA).

Music and SCD
Muriel Johnstone and Ian Robertson, March 2019

Music%20made%20visible_edited.jpg

Dancing is music made visible. Making the most of music in your dance classes and working with musicians. Techniques to get the best from sound equipment.

Inclusive dancing
Malcolm Brown, September 2018

Wheelchair_edited.jpg

Teaching dancers with various abilities, thoughts on adapting the use of space, music and formations to the dancers' best advantge.

Innovation with simplicity, Derek Haynes' dances
Maureen Haynes, March 2018

820e0aaa-4705-42ef-9db7-4d26410a8d0d.JPG

Derek Haynes' dances' key attribute is that they are basically simple but with innovative variations, creating exciting new formations.

The ways people learn ... plus ... Highland steps
Rosemary Harvey ... Mervyn Short, September 2017

Class.jpg

Sharing knowledge to raise awareness and reflective thoughts when reviewing the teaching experience.  Followed by highland steps, starting with the more familiar and advancing to technical steps.

Controlled abandon
Helen Russell, March 2017

Scottish dance.jpg

Keeping it social with good phrasing, elegance and musicality.

serTA 10th Anniversary weekend .. Pat Houghton, Anne Carter, Jane Rose, Marilyn Watson, Judith & Ian Muir, September 2016

IMG_4126C.JPG

The interface between the dancer, the teacher and the musician. Integrating music and teaching, and what the musicians and teachers can expect from each other.

The chicken and the egg
Judith and Ian Muir, September 2016

IMG_4126C.JPG

The interface between the dancer, the teacher and the musician. Integrating music and teaching, and what the musicians and teachers can expect from each other.

Keep teenagers dancing
Marilyn Watson, September 2016

IMG_4128C%2520Blue%2520Bonnets_edited_ed

Making it fun, group enthusiasm and growing confidence for younger people in Scottish country dancing.

Teaching technique by stealth
Graham Donald, March 2016

IMG_2918_edited_edited.jpg

Helping to improve dancers' technique by demonstration, looking at posture, core strength, hands and feet.

Putting on a display
Paul Plummer, September 2015

IMG_0893.JPG

Smile, eye contact and engagement between the dancers with good posture, good covering and being at the right place at the right time. Knowing the chosen dances well helps too!

Rediscovering old dances
Jimmie Hill, March 2015

IMG_8890C_edited.jpg

There are no rights or wrongs, we don't know exactly how old dances were performed or old instructions interpreted. We attempt to marry the dance with contemporary music and dance manuals.

Getting the best out of your dancers
Sue Porter, September  2014

IMG_7344_edited.jpg

Up front is good class preparation, a positive manner, enthusiasm and humour, and appropriate dress.  Consider the music, the venue and the dancers in your class.

Scottish country dancing and the internet
Anselm Lignau, March  2014

IMG_5190.JPG

Scottish country dancing resources on the internet, how to set up your own website and publish infromation on it.  Once you have a site, keep it up to date, there is nothing worse than an out of date site.

The role of an MC
Andrew Kellet, September  2013

Andrew%20Kellett%20photo_edited.jpg

Prepare and think about how to present dances, consider the likely standard of dancing, plan the timings and leave time for encores. Do work closely with the musicians and understand the sound system

Preparing a dance programme for dancers and musicians
Ian Muir, September  2013

IMG_4126C.JPG

Exploring what makes a good dance programme, the contribution of music to enjoyment, variety and atmosphere. Also the dark side, what makes a nightmare programme.

Teaching SCD and dancing techniques
Paul Plummer, March  2013

IMG_0889.JPG

Teaching techniques including using your voice. listening to yourself, keeping the mood lively, all based on planning ahead, flexiblity of approach and keeping dancers engaged.

The age gap
Ken Martlew, November  2012

Musician_dsc0038 edited.jpg

Working with dancers of various ages, the benefits of dancing for health and not making too many high technique demands of dancers, perhaps learning later in life, there for the fun of it.

Easy when you know how!
Mervyn Short, September  2012

Class.jpg

Awkward sections of dances and how to dance them well. Easy when you know how!

Vocal exercises ... and ... dancing challenges
Kathy Salt and Mervyn Short, September  2012

24th-August-2012-to-30th-September-2012-

How to care for teachers' voices with vocal exercises, water, honey and blackcurrant, not caffeine and alcohol. Breathe correctly and project the voice. 

Subtle motivations
Ann Smyth, March 2012

24th-August-2012-to-30th-September-2012-

Ways of motivating dancers with fun, praise, fair sharing of the action, achievable targets during classes; all will enthuse dancers.

Music for Scottish country dancing
Robert MacKay, September 2011

Books.jpg

A musician's view on Scottish dance music, how the musician can help the dancer and the partnership between the teacher and the musician.

Teaching children and young people
Marilyn Watson, September 2011

RSCDS Summer School 2018 PRINT058.jpg

Lot of know-how on teaching after-school clubs, private classes and teenagers with a review of some challenges and ways to get the class logistics and motivation right.

Ceilidhs, weddings and taster sessions
Wendy Mumford, September 2010

Ceilidh.jpg

At ceilidhs and weddings remember you are probably working with many non-dancers, don't teach footwork, just make it fun.  with good demonstrations and call the dance right through.

Come and try Scottish country dancing
Wendy Mumford, September 2010

Ceilidh-dancing.jpg

serTA members tried out Wendy Mumford's very practical demonstration of how to teach dances and manage ceilidhs.

Planning a technique class
Dave Hall, April 2010

IMG_8563.JPG

Encourage dancers to listen to the music, use helpful counting, develop teamwork and correct phrasing.  The challenges of foot positions, posture, body weight and alignment.