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Scottish Country Dancing Courses

Scottish Country Dancing Courses

More of the same is probably the best way to sum up the period from September 2023 to June 2024. Scottish Country Dancing has the advantage that you can do it anywhere (well, almost anywhere, deep sea dancing isn’t encouraged and keeping your feet on the slopes of Monte Bianco could be tricky) and at any time throughout the year (we choose to close in July and August, mainly because our members tend to go on holiday at that time, so numbers decrease drastically).

Courses

We decided to add a fourth course last September, so we now have Level (L) 1, 2, 3 and 4. This had the advantage of allowing us to keep the previous year’s L1 course participants together, as they had clearly become friends. It’s what the Irish call “great craic” (which in Gaelic literally means crazy, but also fun, sport, laugh, action, even good music).

In the coming year, we will maintain the same structure:

L1 for beginners, Thursday evening from 19.30 to 21.00. So most newcomers will join at this level, unless they already have a certain amount fo experience. Current L1 participants can stay there if the time suits them better, or they can move on to L2 or even L3, depending on their ability.

L2, on Monday evening from 19.30 to 21.00, is for those with 2 or 3 years experience of SCD. 

L3, on Monday evening from 21.00 to 23.00, is for those with more than 3 years’ experience. The dances taught will be essentially those chosen for our own dance events and maybe one or two external events.

L4, on Thursday evening from 21.00 to 23.00, is for those in L3 who want to practice more frequently, to learn new formations and, above all, to prepare for the external dance events that we have decided to attend.

Each 10-lesson course costs €60, plus there is a membership fee of €30 per year, which includes insurance cover through CONI (we are a registered Associazione Sportiva Dilettantistica or ASD). Compared with almost any other kind of course, this is exceptional value. How do we manage it? Essentially because all of our teachers are volunteers. They do not receive any kind of salary.

Where? At the Anglican Church in Via Solferino 17, Milan (in the Brera District).

Open House

In the past, we used to hold an Open House on the first day of the L1 course. Anyone could come free of charge and see what we do, ask questions and then decide whether to continue or not (most did).

This year we have decided that this approach doesn’t do us justice. Nor does it show newcomers what the real point of the course is: to learn how to dance, certainly, but above all, to put it into practice. And if we choose a reasonably simple programme, newcomers can start immediately. That will help them feel the joy and elation of Scottish Country Dancing (those endorphins again).

So this year, we have decided to start the season with a Welcome Ceilidh (for those new to the world of Scotland and SCD, ceilidh is a Gaelic word – pronounced kaylee – which originally meant going to visit your neighbours; from there it became a gathering where you drank, sang songs, recited poetry and told stories… even danced; it then became just a dance and nowadays, in the world of SCD, it tends to means a party where you dance simpler dances that can be taught and “called” on the spot: hence the term “ceilidh dances”).

This Welcome Ceilidh will be held, again at the Anglican Church, on Saturday, 14 September from 19.30 to 23.00. There will be some light refreshments, but no supper. So come già mangiati, as they say here (in Scotland, the hostess would say “ye’ll hav’ had yer tea”). The evening is open to everyone, corsisti and, above all, potential corsisti, of all ages and entry will be free of charge. Please book in advance, so we can have an idea of numbers, by sending us an e-mail at info@milanscd.it

More information can be found at www.milanscd.it

Article by John Murphy for Easy Milano

President, Milan Scottish Country Dancers ASD

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