Scottish country dance

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A Scottish country dance (SCD) or "reel" is a form of social dance involving groups of mixed couples of dancers tracing progressive patterns according to a predetermined choreography. Country dancing is often considered a type of folk dancing although this is not strictly true because it also has its roots in the courtly dances of the Renaissance.[citation needed]

When it first became popular around the 18th century, it filled the niche that is occupied today by ballroom dances[citation needed] such as the waltz or tango, as a fairly refined form of entertainment. Related dance forms include English country dancing and contra dancing.[citation needed] The connection to styles like ceilidh dancing, "Old Time" dancing, Irish set dancing, or square dance is more tenuous.[citation needed]

Also, Scottish country dancing should not be confused with Scottish highland dance, which (today) is closer to a sport rather than a social pastime, mainly being danced in competition and displays. There is a certain amount of cross-over in that there are Scottish country dances that include highland elements as well as highland-style performance dances which use formations otherwise seen in country dances, but other than that the styles do not really have a lot in common today.




Scottish country dances are categorised as reels (including hornpipes), jigs, and strathspeys according to the type of music to which they are danced. The first two types (also called quick-time dances) feature fast tempos, quick movements and a lively feel. The third type (strathspey) has a much slower tempo and a more formal, stately feel. There are also 9/8 jigs, minuets and waltz-time dances although they make up a very small part of the repertoire.

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