An Afternoon of Historical RSCDS Dances

An Afternoon of Historical RSCDS Dances


Around 40 dancers gathered in Wellington, New Zealand on 27th April to try out a selection of historical dances not commonly danced nowadays from RSCDS Books 1-5 (all pre-1930).

RSCDS Wellington Region President Rod Downey selected and taught the dances, choosing at least one dance from each book, and featuring a variety of formations. To add an authentic feel of the times the dances were devised, over half the tunes musicians Lynne Scott (fiddle) and Sam Berkahn (cello/keyboard) played were composed by famous fiddler/composers of the 18th century.

When welcoming us to the afternoon, Rod mentioned dances from Books 1-5 are “quite vigorous”, with “some tricky formations”. This proved to be so for the 10 dances on the programme—The Triumph and Rory O'More (Book 1), The Princess Royal and The Haymakers (Book 2), Lady Macintosh’s Rant (Book 3), Light and Airy, Haughs o' Cromdale and The Merry Dancers (Book 4) and Duke of Hamilton’s Reel and Dumbarton Drums (Book 5).

Thanks so much to Rod for researching dances from so back in our Scottish Country Dancing history and his teaching, to our musicians for the research into authentic music and arranging the lovely sets of tunes, and to all others who helped make this afternoon of historical RSCDS dances such a special occasion.

See more about the dances, music, formations and photos at

An Afternoon of Historical RSCDS Dances

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