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
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.