Dance Scottish

Adelaide, South Australia

There are shortcuts to happiness, and one of them is DANCING

Monday 31/12/2018

St Theodores's Church Hall, Toorak Gardens

See events for details


  • PO Box 508, North Adelaide, SOUTH AUSTRALIA 5006


Scottish country dance is social dancing for all ages and all levels of fitness.
  • Fun for all ages
  • Exercises your body and mind
  • Provides friendship
  • Great music
  • No partner needed.
It is usually danced in groups of two, three or four couples, facing each other in lines or squares.

It has its roots in the Highland Reels of Scotland and the 17th century dances of Europe. Together with its English counterpart, Scottish country dance has helped to spawn ceilidh dancing, contra and square dancing.

It is a dance for the ballroom, dance hall, village square or local inn. It has been popular amongst gentry, royalty and the common folk for well over 200 years.

In Adelaide we dance Scottish in schools and church halls, clubs and pubs, as well as each other’s back yards and lounge rooms.

There are well over 15,000 documented Scottish country dances and the list is constantly growing.  Many of these are listed and detailed in the Strathspey Server Dance Database.

The first Branch in Australia - Adelaide 
On 29 June 1952 Mr W J Rattray wrote to the RSCDS Secretary in Scotland proposing the formation of a properly consitituted RSCDS Branch in Adelaide. The Branch was duly approved by the RSCDS Executive Council on 30 July 1952, and confirmed by letter dated 5 August 1952 from the then Secretary, Miss Muriel F Hadden. Adelaide was the first RSCDS Branch within Australia, holding its first meeting on 7 August 1952. in Woodville RSL Hall.
Key people in forming the Adelaide Branch were

Mr W J Rattray.
Mr K and Mrs M Goldie. Mr Goldie was elected as initial President of the Branch. Mrs Goldie was the initial Branch teacher.
Mr and Mrs Dickson
Mrs S Rattray, who was elected as inital Secretary of the Branch.
Mr John Rattray                                                                              

 Mr and Mrs Goldie


Adelaide Branch

Tuesdays 8.00 pm - 9.30 pm Spicer Uniting Church, 44A Fourth Ave, St Peters Class now in Summer recess. Recommence Tues 5 Feb 2019

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Adelaide Social Club

Thursdays 7.30 pm - 9.30 pm. St Theodore’s Anglican Church Hall, Prescott Terrace, Toorak Gardens Last class Thur 13/12/18. Recommence Thurs 17/1/19

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Adelaide Social Club

Saturdays 7.30 pm - 10.30 pm St Theodore’s Anglican Church Hall, Prescott Terrace, Toorak Gardens Last class Sat 15/12/18. Recommence Sat 12/1/19.

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Mondays 8.00 pm - 10.00 pm Rose Park Scout Hall, Hewitt Ave, Rose Park Last class Mon 10/12/2018. Recommence Mon 04/02/2019.

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Wednesdays 8.00 pm - 10.00 pm Rose Park Scout Hall, Hewitt Ave, Rose Park Class now in recess. Recommence Wed 13/2/2019.

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Fridays 7.30 pm - 9.30 pm St Margaret’s Church Hall, cnr Port and Woodville Roads, Woodville Class now in summer recess. Recommence Fri 1/2/2019.

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Reelers and Ceilidh Class

Thursdays 8.00 pm - 10.00 pm Spicer Uniting Church, 44A Fourth Ave, St Peters Ceilidh dancing fortnightly and on the alternate week is Steps and Formations class. Contact teachers to confirm. Last class Thurs 20/12/2018. Recommence mid-Jan 2019.

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Collinswood Dancers

Wednesdays 9.30am - 11.30am The Druids Hall, Cassie St, Collinswood Last class Wed 12/12/2018. Recommence Wed 6/2/2019.

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Fleurieu Scottish Dancers

Mondays 4.00 pm - 6.00 pm, during school terms. Church of Christ Hall, Porter St, Goolwa Class now in recess. Recommence Mon 14/01/2019.

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Friday Night Spicer

Fridays 7.30 pm - 9.30 pm. 7:30 - 8:00 pm steps and formations for new dancers. Spicer Uniting Church, 44A, Fourth Ave, St Peters. Last class Fri 21/12/2018. Bring plate of supper to share. Recommence Fri 11/01/2019.

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Gilles Plains

Wednesdays 10.00 am - 12.00 noon Gilles Plains Scout Hall, Wandana Rd, Gilles Plains Last class Wed 12/12/2018. Recommence Feb 2019.

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Hebridean Dancers

Wednesdays 12:30 - 2:00 pm Westbourne Park Uniting Church,27 Sussex Terrace, Hawthorne SA 5062 Last class Wed 19/12/2019. Recommence late Jan 2019.

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Victor Harbor Scottish Country Dance Group

Mondays 1.30 pm - 3.30 pm Victor Harbor Senior Citizens Club “Carrackalinga House”, cnr Torrens St and Hill St, Victor Harbor Last class Mon 17/12/2018. Recommence Mon 14/01/2019.

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  • $6
  • 31/12/2018 20:30 - 01/01/2019 00:05
  • St Theodore's Church Hall, 46 Prescott Terrace Toorak Gardens

Hosted by Adelaide SCD & Social Club. Popular dances, all called and/or walked. All very welcome, please bring a small plate of supper to see in the New Year. Cost $6 at the door.

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  • $1000
  • 22/03/2019 00:00 - 31/03/2019 00:01
  • Tasmania, Australia

The fourth Dance Tassie tour will be held in March 2019. This is a preliminary notice so you can keep the dates free. Bob McInnes (fiddle) and Jane Ellis (piano) will again enliven our dancing. Full details for the itinerary and costs are still being finalised, but the cost for all accommodation, mini-bus transport, musicians, dance nights and some meals will be under $1000 per person.

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  • 07/07/2019 14:00 - 14/07/2019 00:00
  • University College, University of Melbourne, College Crescent, PARKVILLE VIC

The Melbourne & District Branch extends a warm invitation to all dancers to meet at University College, University of Melbourne, College Crescent, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria for a fun filled week of Scottish Country Dancing with great teachers and musicians.

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  • $5.00
  • 30/11/2018 19:30 - 30/11/2018 21:30
  • St Margaret's Church Hall, cnr Port Road and Woodville Road, WOODVILLE

Celebrate St Andrew's night with the Bydand Class, enjoying a program of tartan and placename Scottish Dances. Please bring supper to share afterwards. $5 at the door.

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  • 20/11/2018 20:00
  • Spicer Uniting Church Hall, Fourth Avenue ST PETERS

All members are asked to attend and have your say. If you are a member, please consider joining the Committee in 2019.

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  • $5.00
  • 10/11/2018 19:30
  • Saint Theodore's Anglican Church Hall, Prescott Terrace, Toorak Gardens

$5 at door. Please bring some supper to share.

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  • $5.00
  • 29/09/2018 19:00 - 29/09/2018 22:00
  • Carrackalinga House, Hill Street Victor Harbor

Victor Harbor Senior Citizens invite you to a Scottish Ceilidh Night. $5.00, under 12s free. Tickets must be PRE-PURCHASED through Chris on 0405 900 255 or Colleen 0408 841 921. BYO drinks and supper to share.

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  • $8.00
  • 25/09/2018 20:00
  • Spicer Uniting Church Hall, 44a Fourth Avenue, ST PETERS

Come and meet the Chair of the Society, Helen Russell, and enjoy an evening of her teaching. General class open to all dancers. $8 members. $10 non-members.

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  • $35
  • 08/09/2018 19:30 - 08/09/2018 23:30
  • Estonian Hall, 200 Jeffcott Street, North Adelaide

The gala event of the year for Adelaide Scottish Country Dancers. Live music by Iain Mckenzie & Emma Nixon - Black Bear Duo Light supper included. Drinks available at the bar. Tickets available now from the Secretary or through your dance teacher. $35 RSCDS Members. $45 non-members. $20 U16 / Spectators.

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  • $12
  • 21/07/2018 13:30 - 21/07/2018 16:30
  • Willunga Show Hall, Main Road, Willunga

Stay on after the morning class, or join us in the afternoon for a social amongst the almond blossom at Willunga. $10 RSCDS Members, $12 non-Members.

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  • $12
  • 21/07/2018 10:00 - 21/07/2018 12:30
  • Willunga Show Hall, Main Road, Willunga

Debbie Roxburgh from New Zealand is coming to us to take this Day School after teaching at the Australian Winter School. Come and enjoy a fabulous day amongst the almond blossom at Willunga. $10 RSCDS Members, $12 non-Members

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  • $10
  • 18/05/2018 19:30
  • St Margaret's Anglican Church Woodville

Remember your Gloves. Ladies: Give your tiaras, diamonds and pearls an airing. Headscarves for Balmoral celebrations optional. Gentlemen: Polish your medals and shine your shoes. Refreshments: Please bring a plate of supper to share at the Reception to follow, and a bottle if you wish.

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  • $12
  • 14/04/2018 13:30
  • Spicer Uniting Church Hall, Fourth Avenue, St Peters

Stay on after the morning class, or come and join in for the afternoon social. $10 Members ($15 whole day) $12 Non-Members ($18 whole day)

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  • $12
  • 14/04/2018 10:00
  • Spicer Uniting Church Hall, Fourth Avenue, St Peters

Day school in the morning 10 am - 12:30 pm Bring your own lunch. Members $10 Non-Members $12

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  • 03/02/2018 13:30 - 03/02/2018 16:00
  • St Margaret’s Anglican Church Hall, Woodville.

Bring a plate of supper to share.

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  • $10
  • 25/11/2017 19:30
  • St Theodore's Anglican Church Hall, Prescott Terrace, TOORAK GARDENS

Come and join the Adelaide Scottish Country Dance and Social Club celebrate St Andrew's Day.

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Do I have to be an experienced dancer to dance Scottish?

No.  People of all ages, backgrounds, fitness and experience enjoy Scottish Country Dance.  If you have danced before, you may find it quicker to pick up the steps and movements, but it is an easy social form of dancing for everyone.

Do I have to sign up for a series of classes?

No.  You can attend classes whenever you like.  Attendance is casual, however, as with all things, the more often you do it, the quicker you will remember things and improve.

Do I need special shoes to dance Scottish?

No doubt back in the 1800s people wore their day or work boots or shoes to dance.

These days, you can wear comfortable sneakers or soft soled shoes.

If you do want to get proper dance shoes, consider getting some Scottish Country Dancing pumps or ghillies.  Some people wear soft leather ballet shoes, or jazz shoes.

There are several local and overseas suppliers.  Talk with your teacher about shoes if you are not sure.

Do I need to wear a kilt or special clothing to dance Scottish?


Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable that you can move in.

Many men wear trousers to regular classes but choose to wear a kilt to special occasions, ceilidhs and socials.

Women can wear trousers or skirts or dresses, depending on what they feel most comfortable in.

Most dancers wear some layers so as they warm up they can stay comfortable, and they also bring water with them to drink.

How much does it cost to dance Scottish?

Class costs vary from teacher to teacher, so you should check with them.

Usually, a class only costs a few dollars, probably the price of a coffee or a glass of wine.   A very frugal way to get fit and to have a good time with friends.

Do I have to stick with one teacher?

You can dance as often as you would like, depending on when you are available and when a suitable class is offered.

If you wish, you might want to dance several times a week, with different teachers, at different locations.

Do I have to bring a dancing partner along to dance Scottish?

No, but by all means, if you have a friend or friends who would also like to do Scottish Country Dance, feel free to bring them along.  Even if they don't wish to dance, they are welcome to sit and enjoy the music and watch the action.

If not, you are most welcome to come along on your own and you will find plenty of others to dance with you.

Do I have to join the RSCDS Adelaide Branch?

No, you can come along to classes and do Scottish Country Dance without being a member.

However, there are many benefits to being a member of the Adelaide Branch. Talk it over with your teacher if you are thinking about joining us.

Can I dance Scottish all year round?

Most classes take a break during the summer holiday season, usually from mid-December to mid-January.  How long each class takes a break varies, so check with your teacher.

Many venues are air-conditioned so the heat or cold does not greatly impact on dancers.  Check with your teacher about whether their venue is air-conditioned.

What kind of music do we dance Scottish to?

Scottish country dances include 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 elegant style.

The tunes are played on the fiddle, accordion, flute, piano, drums, etc. (no bagpipes, mostly!). For an idea of the music we dance to, check out the Scottish Tunes page.


We love being part of South Australia's rich multicultural tapestry and sharing our Scottish heritage with everyone. We are available to dance Scottish for performances, demonstrations and 'come and try' sessions

Community Events

We are only too happy to support Adelaide and surrounding community events by providing demonstrations of Scottish Country Dance at fairs, fetes, and celebrations.

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Supporting Scottish Events

We regularly participate in and entertain at local Scottish events, such as Robert Burns functions, St Andrew's Day, Tartan Day, and Highland Gatherings.

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Social Entertainment

Want to have fun at your private function? Needing to entertain your nursing home or retirement village residents? We can get their toes tapping for a fun program of Scottish dance, watching, and also having a try with us.

Benefits of Scottish dancing - Fitness, Fun, Friends

FITNESS It is well established that participation in adequate amounts of regular physical activity can improve health and reduce the risk of premature death by helping to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight; lower blood cholesterol; reduce blood pressure in people who already have hypertension (high blood pressure); improve self-esteem and reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, depression; build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints; and keep older adults physically strong and better able to move about without falling or becoming too tired."


FUN A study from the University of Strathclyde, in 2010, showed Scottish country dancing to be superior to other forms of physical activity in building levels of fitness. A Canadian study found Scottish country dancing to be superior to folk and square dancing, and research from the University of Cumbria, published in January 2014 suggests that participation in Scottish country dancing could reduce the ageing process. It also helps to prevent dementia through the complex interplay of cognitive skills needed to memorise steps and formations, interaction with other dancers, and the effect of dance music on the mind."


FRIENDSHIP The social aspect of Scottish country dancing develops a sense of community and enjoyment, which encourages continued participation, and long term involvement, and is linked with good health, a positive attitude and longevity. With about 160 branches all around the world, and 9 across Australia, you will find a class just about everywhere you go. So you can travel the globe, with your dancing shoes, and make new dancing friends wherever you go."


Teachers - Adelaide

Jean Dodds


Teaching since 1988

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Jean Lumsden


Teaching since 1981

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Barbara Lupton


Teaching since 1991

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Margot Mernitz


Teaching since 1991

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Maureen Morris


Neville Pope


Noriel Tarca


Teaching since 1986

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Andrew Timmins


Teaching since 1979

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Mechthild Timmins


Teaching since 2006

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Committee - Adelaide

Adelaide and Districts Branch

We preserve and further the practice of traditional Scottish Country Dance

Andrew Timmins


Louise Kropinski

Vice president

Anna Grant - Henderson


Neville Pope


Andrew Buchanan


Terry Donald


Lois Hall


Noriel Tarca


Sharon Vincin



The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) is a registered Scottish Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee (Charity No. SC 016085; Company No. SC480530), dedicated to promoting Scottish Country Dance. The Society exists to promote and develop Scottish country dancing worldwide for the benefit of present and future generations.

The Branches (also known as Local Associations) are independent, autonomous bodies that operate under a Licence Agreement with the Society. Branches and Affiliated Groups are the “grass roots” organisations that run classes, provide training and host social events at a local level in their own areas.

Members of the RSCDS, through the Branches, appoint delegates to represent them at the Society’s General Meetings.

RSCDS Membership

There are many reasons to join the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, but most become members because it is a fun, enjoyable way to keep active and socialise with people from around the world!

Anyone can join the RSCDS.

Active dancers and anyone who is interested are encouraged to join through one of the Society's 160+ Branches worldwide (either the local Adelaide branch, International Branch or Youth Branch) so that you are in touch with what is happening in your local area or wider.

Discover all the benefits of membership and learn more about the Society through the Membership Brochure.

History of the Society - RSCDS

In the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries, as the waltz and other ballroom and sequence dancing became popular, Scottish Country Dancing fell from favour.  It was rescued by Dr Jean Milligan and Mrs Ysobel Stewart, the joint founder members in 1923 of what eventually became the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.

The RSCDS researched old dance publications, published authoritative dance descriptions and undertook to train teachers; later, it helped members to set up RSCDS Branches and accepted independent Scottish Country Dance clubs as affiliated societies.

Subsequently, many devisers have published new dances, sometimes on their own account and sometimes under the aegis of the RSCDS, using the more basic Figures of the old répertoire together with newly devised Figures.  There are now 51 books of dances published by the Society.

RSCDS Australia
Putting you in touch with groups around Australia.

RSCDS New Zealand
Information about Scottish Country Dancing in NZ.

Info for Members

Costs and Benefits of Your Membership

Membership application, 2017-18 fees and benefits.


Check the RSCDS Adelaide Branch Consitution, By Laws and Risk Management policies.


Read a recent edition of Reel Spiel for Adelaide and surrounding areas.

Links and Resources

The Strathspey Server

Discussion group, with a wealth of SCD information and links

Dance Data

Largest SCD database on the web – contains comprehensive information on dances, formations, people, publications, albums, recordings, and tunes.

St Andrew's Shoes

Supplier of Scottish Dancing Shoes, based in Brisbane, Qld

Grand Chain

The Edinburgh Scottish Dance Resource

The Celtic Circle

Scottish Country Dance in Continental Europe

The Inter-City Scot

Information source about Scottish country dancing activities in Canada and the United States of America (USA).

Teachers' Association Canada TAC

Serving Scottish Dance teachers for over 50 years, and continue to grow and evolve

South Australian Scottish Resources

Groups, societies and businesses supporting Scottish culture across South Australia

Some Scottish Tunes


We dance on the Adelaide plains and Fleurieu Peninsula, and acknowledge that the Kaurna people are the traditional custodians of the land of the Adelaide Plains, and the Ngarrindjeri people are the traditional custodians of the land of the Fleurieu Peninsula. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land.