DST - London Branch welcomes new members

RSCDS London Branch welcomes new members


RSCDS London Branch discuss welcoming new members to classes and how turning up on your own doesn’t have to be daunting…

‘Pick a Saturday afternoon in August, wander down to the bandstand near the Round Pond in Kensington Gardens and there is a good chance you will be drawn into one of RSCDS London’s annual pre-season open air dances. Open to everyone, the live music attracts people from all over the park. London branch members mix with the onlookers, tourists and Londoners alike, inviting them to dance as an engaging MC talks everyone through a series of easy dances. Conversations flourish in between dances, sharing information about opportunities to dance throughout London. Then, as the new season opens, there are two sets of beginners’ classes, in Richmond and in Chelsea.

A great advantage of Scottish country dancing, as we know, is that you don’t need to turn up with a partner, but it can still be daunting to walk into a class or a dance on your own. We try to overcome this by having welcoming faces at the door, whether our branch President, committee, or other members, and by having more experienced dancers in the beginners’ classes, supporting the teacher by making up sets, demonstrating new steps and just getting to know the new dancers in the breaks.

RSCDS London Branch welcomes new members


These volunteers are then able to introduce beginners to other dancers at branch events. In addition to our more formal New Season, Christmas and AGM dances we have much lower key ‘midterm Wednesday’ dances, held at St Columba’s Church in Pont Street, which bring all the classes together to dance to beginner friendly programmes, developed and MC’d by the class teachers.  Teachers prepare their classes in the weeks before and the more experienced dancers present are on the lookout on the night for new or less confident dancers to welcome them and make sure that they have people with whom to dance.

We’re getting back into the swing of classes and dances after our COVID enforced break and we know we need to do more to attract and retain new dancers. We have lots of ideas and we’re keen to learn from the experiences of other branches.  We have been really encouraged by the number of new dancers joining us since dancing resumed, both at our Park Wark (Chelsea) and Richmond classes.’

Thanks to London Branch for sharing; do you have any hints and tips for welcoming new members to classes? Do share them with us at

Sign up for the RSCDS eNewsletter

Sign up to:

  • Keep up to date with RSCDS events 
  • Join a worldwide community of Scottish country dance and music

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.

Find my nearest branch

  • © 2022 The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society
  • Registered Charity No. SC 016085
  • Company No. SC 480530
  • 12 Coates Crescent, Edinburgh, EH3 7AF