Global Youth Week

What is Global Youth Week?

Global Youth Week (GYW) began in 2015 with the idea of including dancers from all over the world in a week of dance to celebrate and promote youth initiatives. It has since grown to become an annual event celebrated by many dancers and dance groups, who are encouraged to hold youth-oriented events focused on promoting Scottish country dance.

The Youth Services Committee encourages everyone interested in Scottish country dancing under the age of 35 to participate in some form of event to celebrate Global Youth Week.

10th - 17th October 2020

Like all dance events in 2020, Global Youth Week was a little different than usual and happened virtually. Dancers showcased young talent via social media and came up with great video projects. We also hosted the Virtual Festival and received some very creative and imaginative entries.

So get the popcorn ready and travel around the world as you view the fantastic Virtual Festival 2020 entries. We asked Branches for creative interpretations of the theme "A Scottish Celebration", as well as solutions to physical distancing rules, and wow, they have come up with some lovely surprises.


Global Youth Week took place 10 - 17 October 2020.

Global Youth Week is worldwide and wherever there is a group of young people under the age of 35 dancing! Anyone can participate so get on those dancing shoes and have some fun.

Each year the RSCDS offers £500 Development Fund grants each to the three best proposals from Branches or Affiliated Groups regarding how you are going to further develop engagement of young people over the coming year.

The RSCDS has been in existence for nearly 100 years and we would like it to continue to develop its membership and activities for at least another 100 years and to grow its membership! To achieve this one of the important things we need to do, among others, is to attract and engage more young people. We need young people learning to dance, to play music, to become teachers, to contribute ideas, to be on committees and be involved in planning activities. We need to ensure we evolve and develop to meet their aspirations and interests while ensuring we also cater strongly for those who have been dancing and playing music for many years. 

The aim of giving out these grants to Branches or Groups is therefore to encourage but also help facilitate them to attract young people to classes, events, membership of the Society, to get involved in Branch or Group committees or planning and to become local teachers. It is up to the Branch or Group to choose which particular aspect(s) they might want to focus on and which age groups in particular they want to attract. 

 Please find more details about how to apply for a Youth Development Award:


- Name and short profile of the affiliated Group/Branch (how many dancers, how often do you meet, etc.)

- A description of the project in roughly 200 words

- A short description of the long-term benefit of the project

- A rough schedule of your project

- A rough budget (indicating possible other sponsors and a possible long-term development plan of the financial input (if there is one))


- How much does the initiative support young dancers, musicians or teachers (young meaning up to 35 years)?

- How far is the initiative a long-term investment into the young local dance community (or, if the project doesn't aim at a local scene - into the young dancers' community)?

Please send all these details by email to Coates Crescent Finance Manager, Sandra Parish at

Previous Global Youth Week events

Congratulations to Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles Branch for winning Global Youth Week 2019 with a series of photographs from their St Andrews Day Ceilidh in Galashiels.  Head over to Facebook to view the winning pics.

Dance groups were encouraged to apply for three youth development grants for projects to enable young people to experience SCD in their area. Branches, Groups and individual dancers sent in pictures of their activities to be placed in to an online competition on Facebook. 

Springy Reelers
RSCDS in Jamaica
Global Youth Week in Scotland
What can you do to inspire young people to dance?

Take part in the GYW Facebook competition by organising an event in your area that is geared towards young people; take loads of photos and video; then submit it to our official Facebook page for your chance to win a half page feature in our bi-annual magazine!.

Devise a Youth Project that encourages young people to have fun, become fit, and gain a knowledge and understanding of Scottish country dancing and submit your proposal for a chance at one of three youth development grants.

Promotional materials

Use our Global Youth Week branded materials to help us shout about it!  Contact us to request a flyer, logo or social header image to use when advertising your GYW specific event.

Success stories

In the past the RSCDS has awarded grants to a schools’ project in the Scottish Borders, a teachers’ course in Glasgow and sustainable workshop weekend in Germany. We encourage you to submit your proposal!

Submitted by Joana Stausberg:

'The Young Dancers' Workshop was planned as an event “for young people from young people”, so we, young dancers of the local group in Münster, were organising the weekend course for dancers between the age of 12 and 35 years. 

There were two courses, held by also young teachers. The general class was open for intermediate and higher levels. Parallel to general class, there was a beginner's course, aimed for new dancers and dancers with some experience in Scottish Country Dancing. 

Saturday started for both courses with morning classes, followed by having lunch time to socialise. In the afternoon the next sessions of classes were held. The day was finished with a Social Dance in the evening, open for all ages, with a mixed programme, also inviting the beginners' to have their first contact with dancing outside a class setting together with more experienced dancers. On Sunday, there were classes in the morning again for all of those, who were still able to dance. 

The Young Dancers Workshop was not only a “new thing” in Germany, it also was a new experience for us as organising team. With input from our local teacher and a helping hand within the Central Germany Branch, we tried to build an event, which was appealing for young Scottish Country dancers. Of course, the weekend shouldn't be too expensive, so that the young dancers, a lot of them students, were able to come. The Development Grant Award made it possible to have low course fees and live music during the course and the evening event, especially as it was hard to estimate how many people actually would join the weekend. 

Altogether, there have been around 35 young dancers from all over Germany. The weekend even was joined by two young dancers from Oxford and London area. In the end, we are happy to say that this weekend was a success and, by what we have heard, was enjoyed by everyone."

Submitted by Muriel Bone, Chairman of the Glasgow Branch:

"Glasgow Branch was delighted to receive one of the three Youth Development Grants. The £250 grant was used to run a training course for Units 2 & 3 and present a sizeable group of young candidates for these examinations. An achievement for Scottish Country Dancing in Scotland!

Over the past year, our Branch has been working on joint projects with Alba SCD Club and Glasgow University Scottish Country Dance Club (GUSCDC). We are engaging with these young people and now have a joint weekly class – the Glasgow JVA (Joint Venture Advanced).  

In October 2016, a group of 12 young dancers passed Unit 1. We met to discuss how to take things further and confirmed that they were keen to complete their RSCDS teaching qualification. Many of them already have excellent experience with their clubs of teaching both young adults and children. Two of the young Unit 3 candidates attended the Spring Fling in Bonn last April and came back with even more enthusiasm! 

So - by providing the opportunity for RSCDS teacher training, Glasgow Branch feels we are contributing to the future of our dancing.

Even if these new teachers move away from Glasgow, or Scotland, another RSCDS Branch or local club could benefit from their skills and enthusiasm.

The grant from the Youth Committee was used to run evening and weekend training sessions for Units 2 & 3. The examinations were held over one weekend in June. This was very intense but suited most of the young people who were about to start summer work placements or travel overseas.

The Branch contributed funds as well, but the grant of £250 was vital to keep costs down for the young candidates. Most of them are in their early 20s and many are undergraduates, post-graduates or just starting off into employment. Considerable planning and financial outlay is required by the organising Branch, both to hire halls and make payments to the tutor and musician.

Our tutor for the Units is Alasdair Brown who has worked very hard since the start of this project. He has built a good rapport and successfully guided the group. Organising the training sessions and Unit examinations has required a large input of time and effort by Branch Committee members as well. We are also very fortunate to have many willing volunteer dancers who came along to be taught by the Unit 3 candidates. 

It was all very worthwhile! We presented eleven young candidates for Unit 2 & twelve for Unit 3. With a 91% pass rate in both Units, there is now an enthusiastic group of Part 1 qualified young teachers. Several have now started out on Unit 4 with mentors in place. Alasdair Brown led a discussion evening for potential mentors and our established teachers found this very interesting.  

We are encouraging young dancers to attend our monthly dances and help out with the teaching of primary school pupils for the Schools Festivals. We are involving some of the Part 1 qualified teachers in the teaching of the regular Branch classes – where a young fresh face is much appreciated!  

I am proud that Glasgow Branch is working with Alba & GUSCDC on this teacher training project and pleased with what we have achieved. I am grateful to the Youth Services Committee and assure you that the grant was put to very good use."

"We have already started on the projects, and the active schools and our Branch have had a few meetings to get the Hawick Primary schools and also the Galashiels primary schools organised for the St Andrew's Day Ceilidhs.

The Galashiels St Andrews Day takes place 23rd November where we have roughly 200 children. On the 24th November we have the Hawick St Andrew's Day Ceilidh. with the same amount of children. Transport is expensive as we bus some of the school children to their venues. We have booked Roddy Johnston  musician for both ceilidhs. Snacks for the children will also come from the grant but on saying that we are in touch with the Community Champion both in Hawick and Galashiels supermarkets and they also help us out with snacks. 

At the moment we have had a meeting with the Hawick dance teachers who will go into each of the schools for a six week block. We have our programme made out. This will all happen week beginning 16th October. Exactly the same thing happens in Galashiels. We are just waiting on times and days from the schools so that the dance teachers know what they are doing.

This year because of the grant we wanted Kelso Broomlands PS to be involved; this school is 18 miles from me and we don't have the same contact as we did in the other schools."  

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

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