Scottish Country Dancing is the national dance of Scotland. Unlike highland dancing it is social and noncompetitive and has been danced for centuries in cottages and castles. Scotland and France shared a strong alliance and this refined dance style was much influenced by the dancing of the French court.
In 1923 the Scottish Country Dance Society was formed in Glasgow to both preserve and promote this very enjoyable social dancing. The Society, which received Royal charter is now known as the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society RSCDS, with Her Majesty the Queen as Royal Patron. The RSCDS has 160 branches worldwide. Vancouver is one of the branches and Gleneagles is one of 300 affiliate groups.
Our General Class, taught by Alison Moen, is held on Wednesdays evening at 7:00pm at Delbrook Community Centre in North Vancouver. This class is for dancers at all levels. The class is directed at maintaining and improving each dancers awareness and level of dancing. Most of the dances taught in this class, are those which will appear on our Club’s coming dance parties or those of other clubs.
Our Challenge Class, taught by Alison Moen, is held on Tuesdays at Mickey McDougall Recreation Centre in North Vancouver. This class is for those dancers with significant experience who wish a challenge in their own personal dancing technique as well as learning new and more difficult formations and dances. Extra effort and commitment is expected.
Alison has a long history with Scottish Country Dancing - and with Gleneagles. Her mother Shirley was an avid Scottish Country dancer and started taking Alison to 'Dancing in the Park' at age 6. Alison joined the Gleneagles club in the 1970's and remembers dancing in Simon's advanced class.
Many years later, Alison and her husband Gerald began dancing with the Deep Cove class. As her daughters Erin and Gwyn got older she was able to participate in more events - including the demonstration team. Dorothy Hargreaves and Jean Dodds urged Alison to get her Teachers certificate, which she did in 2013 and 2015.
Alison is now a key member of the Vancouver Scottish Country dance community. - teaching at Deep Cove and Gleneagles, coordinating Dancing in the Park, dancing with the demonstration team, and teaching / calling at Vancouver Ceilidhs, She has found her dance activities to be a great balance to her work career as an Information Systems specialist at TimberWest Forest.
Simon first danced as a child in the UK with his parents. Following architectural training he came to Vancouver and was here for the forming of Gleneagles Club as well as the RSCDS Vancouver Branch. He has taught for well over fifty years for both groups and, as a workshops teacher, all across North America as well as many times abroad. Simon strives to share his own love and joy of dance, in each class he conducts, and to pass on some of the passion he enjoys.
Mary is originally from Stirlingshire, Scotland and was introduced to Scottish Country Dancing in high school. After leaving school, she joined the Falkirk Branch of the RSCDS and, as a member of the demonstration group, participated in International music and dance festivals in various countries in Europe. She married and moved to Edinburgh and danced with the Branch demonstration team for a few years before departing for Canada in the late 1960's.
·Since then, she has been actively involved with the Vancouver Branch . This has included teaching all levels of classes, directing the Branch demonstration group and conducting numerous teacher candidate courses for the Vancouver Branch.. Over the past 5 decades she has taught at numerous workshops and summer schools throughout Canada and the U.S. Overseas “assignments” have included Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hawaii, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and the U.K. Mary has enjoyed the opportunity to teach at the annual RSCDS Summer School at St. Andrews on many occasions, as well as the RSCDS Winter School in Pitlochry, Perthshire.
Mary Shoolbraid and Harvey Barnes - Original teachers
Our club gratefully acknowledges the contributions from the District of West Vancouver in supporting Scottish Country dancing in West Vancouver.
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