I frequently get asked for sources of information for Scottish Dancing, and I
tend to recommend the same set of books. So here are books I think you may
find useful references for Scottish Dance, together with short descriptions
for each. I also have links so you can buy them from Amazon.co.uk - if you
buy them this way, Amazon will pay me commission on each book bought, which
will help offset my costs in running this web site.
See also the books on and of Scottish dress (eg kilts, and
tartan), Scottish Humour, Scottish
Scottish Children's books and the computer books I have
found useful in my work.
Collins Pocket Reference: Scottish Country Dancing
The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society
This book covers the basics very well, and also has a large collection of
both ceilidh and country dances. If you want a book to pick up the basics,
this is the book for you.
Highland Dancing: Textbook of the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing
Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing
This is the textbook of the SOBHD. It contains
Basic Positions, Basic Movements and Basic Steps, followed by descriptions of the following dances:
The Highland Fling, The Sword Dance (Gillie Chalium), Seann Truibhas, Strathspey, Highland Reel,
Basic Reel Steps and Reel of Tulloch or "Hullachan".
Traditional Dancing in Scotland
Joan and Tom Flett
Tom and Joan spent years touring Scotland to find out how dancing was done
"within living memory" - which, given they started in the 50s, stretches back
to the 1890s. It covers how dancing worked, with the "dancies" or dancing
masters touring their areas, teaching for a term, holding an end-of-term
ball and then moving on. It also describes some dances, and has specific
chapters on dancing in Shetland and Orkney. A very good history of Scottish
Dance around the turn of the century.
Traditional Step-dancing in Scotland
Joan and Tom Flett
Scottish Cultural Press, 1996
This is the step-dance equivalent of Traditional Dancing in
. As well as several chapters of history, it has descriptions of
a goodly collection of dances, written from watching performances on their
travels. Again, a valuable reference.
Scottish Country Dancing
The darling diversion
Evelyn M. Hood
A history of Scottish Dancing up to "the present day". Seems fairly thorough,
though the final chapter reads like a deification of Miss Milligan.
reprint: Teachers' Assoc of Canada, 1984. This book discusses highland and
country dances; it is short and very readable.
Roll Back the Carpet
Hugh and Alison Foss
A series of essays about devising Scottish Country Dances, by one of the great
dance devisors of the 20th century. An interesting read for those interesting
in writing dances.
Listen to your pain
"Listen to Your Pain" is written by a sports
medicine doctor from New York. It details injuries, how to diagnose,
treatments and exercises.
Return to the Scottish Dance in Edinburgh home page.
Except where otherwise indicated, all content on this site (including text, images, dance descriptions and any
other original work) is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.
This page is maintained by Ian Brockbank