New World Scottish Dancers

 

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The Grace and Elegance of Scottish Dancing in the 20th Century

 

In the San Francisco Bay Area, Scottish dancing as an organized activity began in 1946, when Margaret Lamont, originally from Glasgow, invited ten exhibition folk dancing friends to form a club, "The Reel and Strathspey Club." The club's purpose was to represent Scottish interests at folk dance festivals.

When the Lamonts visited Scotland in 1948, one reason for the visit being to acquire as much information as they could from the Scottish Country Dance Society, they participated in a class at St. Andrews which, as they put it, was "embarrassingly advanced." They also watched a performance of Mrs. Florence Lesslie's exhibition team at Holyrood Castle in Edinburgh. What they saw became the platonic ideal for the best of what we see today in Scottish country dancing as performed in the ballroom: "men in full highland dress, women in flowing ... evening gowns with a splash of plaid at their shoulders ... the very epitome of gracious gallantry and graceful beauty, capturing the romantic feel of the past ..."


Bridget Sousa, Clara Ackerman.
Photograph taken by Lori Howard at Pleasanton, 2003.

Bridget Sousa & Charles Clear in Irene Fidler's
step dance "The Thistle" danced as a twasome

Photograph taken by Lori Howard at Pleasanton, 2003.
The introduction of young people to Scottish Country Dancing is a vital function of the San Francisco Branch of the RSCDS. Greg Reznick & Zuriah Meacham in the reel "Summer Serendipity"
Photograph taken by Lori Howard at Monterey Games, 2003.