Scottish Country Dancing is fundamentally a social activity and a dance is a team effort, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t think about your own dancing and try to make it as good as you can!
The RSCDS offers lots of ways to help you become a better dancer, many with some type of formal recognition, such as a certificate or badge, and we encourage you to read more on the many different ways you can be become accredited below.
You may prefer to share your love of dancing by demonstrating to non-dancers how satisfying it is or by competing against other dancers. A number of Branches and other groups have demonstration teams, which probably perform at events for local organisations and charities. Many demonstration teams take part in festivals of dance at home and abroad. A few of these festivals are competitive, with demonstration teams of all ages striving to show that their dancing skill or choreographic imagination is the best in the Scottish dancing world.
If you are tempted to undertake any of these activities, but are deterred by the cost, do not despair, but consult the scholarship pages; the RSCDS might be able to offer you some financial assistance.
Events such as Summer School, Winter School and Spring Fling held by the RSCDS and day and weekend schools organised by Branches and other groups provide opportunities to attend classes taught by expert dancers who will focus on ways to improve everyone’s performance and understanding of steps, formations and other aspects of dancing. Occasionally these include personal critique sessions where you can have individual feedback on your own performance.
Although many of these events are designed mainly for adults, some encourage children to attend, including one week at each year’s RSCDS Summer School. There are also dedicated RSCDS initiatives for children, so you can improve your dancing at any age.
The Primary Schools Accreditation Scheme offers school children the opportunity to learn to dance, with each pupil who is involved gaining badges.
For those children who become really enthusiastic, the Medal Tests enable you to get accreditation for your personal skills, at six levels, Introductory up to Grade 5, so that you can prove that you are getting better.
Medal tests provide young dancers with a popular way to measure and demonstrate their dancing prowess as they progress in proficiency. They will receive a certificate for each level that they pass, along with a badge for the Introductory Award and medals for the five grades. On being awarded their first medal, they will receive a plaque in which to house and display their medal collection as they build it up, showcasing their achievements.
Once you reach the age of 12, you can start taking the adult skills’ tests too – the DAA (Dancing Achievement Awards), with three proficiency levels; Intermediate, Advanced and Very Advanced. You can take DAA courses and assessments during some of the weeks at RSCDS Summer School, but increasingly these are being offered by Branches in many parts of the world.
Satisfied that you are getting better at Scottish Country Dancing and thinking of sharing your skills with others? If you are 12 or over, you might be interested in taking the Youth Leadership Award, helping the younger children in your group and undertaking a variety of dance-related activities; and if you are over 16, you could even start learning to teach Scottish dancing.