Dancing class not what it was

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AS A lifelong Scottish country dancer, I very much enjoyed Kate Foster’s article “Dancing feet help keep age at bay,” (News, 12 January).

However, it was sad to read the opening words – “It has been taught in Scottish schools for generations” – as the teaching of Scottish Country Dancing in schools (most schools) is not what it was.

The co-founder of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Miss Jean Milligan, saw to it in her post at Jordanhill College that trainee PE teachers were well-grounded in dances, steps and technique; but her power is gone, and a wider subject area called “Dance” is now the rule – incorporating American square-dancing, International Folk Dance, and Modern Dance. There is some Scottish Country Dancing, of course, but there has long been insufficient time on the curriculum for thorough preparation. Perhaps this is now changing?

I meet many older people who are still dancing; my own father was a skilled and lively dancer throughout his life, dancing for the last time two weeks before his death at the age of 83.

I would encourage people of any age to take up Scottish Country Dancing – not only for its health benefits, but also for the enjoyment of a social and historic pastime.

Helen Lawrenson, Wormit, Fife

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