A week of dancing in Highland Perthshire
Winter School is our most prestigious annual event. Taking place over five days in the town of Pitlochry, we welcome around 150 dancers from the UK, continental Europe, North America and Australasia. The highlight of Winter School is a formal Ball that takes place in the majestic setting of Blair Atholl Castle.
Important updates for Winter School 2021
We hope to hold Winter School as planned in 2021 - more information will be provided in October 2020. Keep an eye on this page for further information.
The RSCDS Winter School is one of our premier events. Attendees stay in the Atholl Palace Hotel, a four-star Victorian accommodation that is the epitome of comfort.
Classes are held at different venues around the town of Pitlochry, a gorgeous village nestled at the edge of the highlands. All venues are accessible by foot and/or car, and some are located in Atholl Palace. With classes held every morning and optional classes or sessions in the afternoon, there is the potential for a full day of dancing; that is, if your feet are up for it!
The staff and musicians for Winter School 2021 are listed below:
Afternoon sessions for 2021 are to be confirmed.
Please read the information on classes, which helps you choose the class best suited for your level of skill. *Note that the below class descriptions are from Winter School 2020 and may not necessarily apply to the 2021 event*
This class will continue to develop steps and formations. It will focus on all aspects of technique: footwork, handing, phrasing, transitions and teamwork. Some dances from the evening programmes will be taught.
This class will continue to develop steps and work on more advanced formations, handing, phrasing, transitions and teamwork. More challenging dances will be taught in this class.
This class will only take place if there is sufficient demand. This class is for those who dance at a high standard of technique and expertise but prefer a class that is less intense. A high level of stamina will not be expected in this class.
This class is for dancers who dance at a very high standard with correct rhythm, foot positions and extension in steps and can sustain the energy level for the whole course. All formations in The Manual should be known and danced with precision, good handing and phrasing.
Winter School fees
The price structure for 2020 is shown below. *Note that the below prices will likely differ for the 2021 event*
The School is open only to dancers attending on a residential basis. Most of the accommodation in the hotel is in twin/double rooms or family rooms.
*Note that these T&Cs relate to Winter School 2020 and may differ for the 2021 event*
The RSCDS is under no liability whatsoever in respect of any personal loss or injury which you may sustain and you agree to conform with any regulations which may be made. You are strongly advised to take out suitable insurance cover.
If you withdraw before 30th November 2019, you will be entitled to a refund of your fees, less an administration charge of £70.00. If you withdraw after that date, you will not be entitled to a refund.
The School is open to RSCDS members over the age of 16, on a residential basis only. Not yet a member? Join here!
Booking should be completed as soon as possible and before 1st November. Late applications may be considered if space is available.
Photography & filming
Please note that filming/photography is taking place during Winter School for promotional and archival purposes. The photographs and recordings made may appear on our website, social media platforms or other publications. If you would prefer not to be photographed or filmed then please inform the Communications & Marketing Officer (Debbie.Morris@rscds.org) or photographer on the day.
Please note, when you are completing the booking form, that most of the accommodation offered in the hotel is based on shared accommodation with either twin beds or double bed. Please indicate with whom you wish to share. If you do not do so the hotel will allocate you to a room.
There is a very limited number of single occupancy rooms. These are allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis.
The fee structure for Winter School 2020 is shown above. Fees include, dinner, bed and breakfast. Lunch may be purchased in the hotel if wished. Fees for dancers also include all tuition, tea/coffee served during class breaks, social dances, transfer (by bus) and ticket for the Blair Castle Ball.
*Note that these details relate to Winter School 2020 and may differ for the 2021 event*
Classes offered will depend on demand. There will be classes on four mornings from 9.30am - 10.45am and 11.15am - 12.30pm. There will be optional activities on some afternoons.
There will be social dancing on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings from 8.15pm. On Wednesday evening there will be a 21st birthday ceilidh. On Thursday there will be a ball in Blair Castle from 8.30pm - 11.00pm, the cost of this is included in the fee. Please bring formal dress if possible.
Detailed information booklets will be provided upon receipt of your fee.
The shop will be open on dates and at times to be confirmed. Because of space, our shop stock will be limited and we will only be able to fill branch orders if the order is received at the RSCDS office in advance. Other Branch orders will be forwarded to the RSCDS office for completion.
Your room will be available from 3.00pm on Sunday.
Guests should aim to arrive in time to attend the wine reception at 5.15pm before the evening dinner. Guests should vacate their rooms after breakfast on the final morning and return their keys to the hotel desk.
Location & venues
The venues for Winter School are located in both Atholl Palace and around the town of Pitlochry. After breakfast at Atholl Palace there is more than enough time to get to your class, get ready and start dancing as venues are located centrally in town as well as in the hotel.
For more information on the Atholl Palace Hotel, please visit their website: https://www.athollpalace.com