Working with young people

The RSCDS is committed to working with young people to help them carry on the tradition of Scottish Country Dancing, while at the same time getting active and having fun. We have resources available for members, Branches/Groups and school teachers, and can assist in helping get your idea off the ground and the youth on the dance floor.

What do we have that can help?

We have two sets of resources that will set you on your way and help you learn to 'Dance Scottish'. These are perfect for the beginner and are important resources for teachers, which are available for purchase in the online shop.

Jigs & Reels

The Jigs & Reels education pack is a progressive programme of Scottish Country Dances to assist teachers of children and young people, produced by the RSCDS.

Dance Trad

A follow-on education dance resource pack to Jigs & Reels developed to ensure that all ages of young people are catered for, from nursery to the end of secondary school.


The Primary School Accreditation Programme is an exciting initiative for primary schools to learn Scottish Country Dances at three different levels while earning badges.


By taking the Youth Leadership Award, teenagers will develop additional skills useful to them in general life, as well as within the Scottish Dance community.

How can my Branch get involved with young people?

We want to help your Branch think of ways to get more young people involved in Scottish Country Dancing and promote sharing ideas between Branches. 

Your Branch could link with primary or secondary schools, universities, youth groups and related dance organisations in your area and offer to deliver an activity or help with a project a teacher is looking to develop. Here are some potential themes or hooks to get you started!

Does the school curriculum include elements on global citizenship, cultural or musical exchange or investigating pupils’ cultural heritage? Is a youth group focusing on a specific part of the world, or exploring heritage? A teacher might welcome help injecting some live cultural exchange into a lesson! This could include exchanging learning a Scottish dance and one from a local dance tradition; researching or investigating cultural links with Scotland, particularly where Burns Night is a reference point.

There is an international Robert Burns International Federation which might have local Branches in your area who could also help. Might there be children in the school with some Scottish cultural heritage that could be explored and the dance could be an element of this heritage experience and research? 

Some schools like to set up a link with a school in a different country to enhance their pupil’s knowledge and interest in the wider world. Maybe you could link with a school in Scotland using dance or cultural traditions as a linking theme? 

You might want to focus on the fitness and health elements; maybe you could work with a teacher to get pupils to choreograph a fitness and exercise sequence using SCD formations or footwork and do this exercise to SCD music, adapting the idea of Zumba. Alternatively you could teach a number of dances and get pupils to measure their heart rate before and after dancing!

Youth obesity, eating disorders and body image are often of concern. Focus on the tangible benefits of SCD in relation to health and fitness. You could offer to help the young people to choreograph a fitness and exercise sequence using SCD formations, Zumba style! Or, set up some workshops and deliver a short programme of dances with a view to them being performed at an upcoming event or concert.

Your local schools might be looking for activities to do to help them fundraise or support a local good cause; you could teach them a Scottish Country Dance and help them do a sponsored dance marathon to see how long a group of dancers could keep going or organise as many pupils as you can to get together to dance at one time (SCD might just be one of a number of dance forms used).

You might help set up a dance competition to see who can dance the best, with a small entry fee. Or you could help them run a Ceilidh to raise money and invite their families to participate!

Your Branch could be celebrating a milestone anniversary this year and will be holding a large event; the perfect time for holding a youth oriented activity. A youth demonstration; free classes for young people; or even a family day, there are many ways your Branch could get involved!

Is there a historic anniversary or festival happening in your country during 2019; and particularly during September? Might it have some link with Scotland, with dance, youth or fitness and health? Explore some options and get in touch with the Youth Services Committee to see how we can link up with your event.

This scheme is available in most countries in the world, and one of the elements of the award is ‘skills’ and another is ‘physical recreation’ – young people are encouraged to learn a skill and get fit and SCD could be the perfect combination!

Find your local D of E contact at and see what opportunities there are in your local area. 

Part of a uniformed organisation? We can help!

The RSCDS has a long history with uniformed organisations where we provide help and expertise to Guiding and Scouting around the world.

The RSCDS promotes Scottish Dancing and provides the resources to deliver Ceilidh and Scottish Country Dancing to people of all ages. If you are just a beginner and would like to get some of the basic steps and techniques down we can help!

Steps & techniques


What’s a Ceilidh?

A Ceilidh is a social gathering of people that usually includes traditional Scottish Country Dances. Quite often there are people who have never done Ceilidh dances, some who know a little, and those who have danced since they were at school.

Ceilidhs are fun and exciting and are embedded in Scottish culture. From weddings to social gatherings, there is almost always a Ceilidh happening every weekend!


Uniformed organisations normally have a dance badge in their repertoire, and often the requirements are exploring a style of dance and performing it. For example, our Ceilidh resource page can help your group achieve its goals by giving you the tools to successfully organise and run a Ceilidh.

If your badge is to find out information on Scottish or Ceilidh Dancing and perform a dance, prepare a scrap book or draw pictures, we can help!

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Join an RSCDS Branch & receive member benefits

There are 159 RSCDS Branches and over 300 Affiliated Groups in more than 50 countries around the world, located on all continents (except Antarctica).

They organise and run classes, dances and other social events in their own areas and are committed to helping develop Scottish Dance and Music for future generations.

We encourage you to try Scottish Country Dancing for yourself to see just how much fun it can be, so please come along and learn how to 'Dance Scottish'. 

Wherever you are in the world there is most likely Scottish Country Dancing.

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