Thistle and Kudzu

Click above for a demonstration of Scottish Country Dancing

The Thistle and Kudzu Scottish Country Dancers meet Thursdays at the Church of the Nations at 7:00PM.

For more information, please see the Thistle and Kudzu Scottish Country Country Dancers Facebook page or e-mail

What is Scottish Country Dancing?

Scottish Country Dancing is a distinctive, historical form of social dancing. Despite its title, Scottish Country dancing should not be mistaken for a form of folk dancing or Highland dancing. It was not only danced by the common folk, but also by the elite.

Participants are grouped into sets, typically of 3, 4, or 5 couples arranged either in two lines (men facing ladies) or in a square, and work together to dance a sequence of formations. This will leave them in a new order, and the dance is repeated enough times to bring them back to their starting positions, with everyone dancing at each position in turn.

SCD is mainly danced socially, for pure pleasure and enjoyment but there is also a demonstration group.  Although the basic steps and formations are easy to pick up, the technique is being honed continuously so that at its highest levels it is an athletic, balletic dance form (not that the majority of social dancers take it as seriously as that).

There's no dancing without music, and Scottish Country Dancing has attracted some of the most talented musicians to play for it. From the first chord to the final bow or curtsey, dancers are inspired by the driving reels, jaunty jigs, snappy strathspeys or lilting slow airs - leading to the popular expression "the music will tell you what to do" (now also immortalized in the name of a dance). 

History of Scottish Country Dancing

The elegance, manners, and footwork of the Scottish Country Dance has its roots both in French Ballet and the French Court. In 17th century Scotland, this French base, combined with Celtic dance patterns danced for centuries by the Scots, resulted in an extraordinary musical form of dance. It embodied not only grace, but also an exhilarating spirit!

Thanks to the social pattern of Scotland, Scottish Country Dancing has never died. By contrast, the country ballroom dances of England, Ireland and Wales became unfashionable, and nearly forgotten. As a result of Scotland's clan system, where the Clan Chieftains interests became those of their kin, the Clan Chieftains demands for dancing were greatly responsible for its continuation. This socially inclusive tradition made Scottish Country Dancing accessible to all, from the barn to the ballroom.

Until this century, Scottish country dances were communicated strictly by word of mouth. This assured the preservation of traditions, while at the same time allowing for a certain amount of Scottish dance evolution. However, by early in the 20th Century, American and European ballroom dancing had begun to exert an extraordinary influence; Scotland's unique dancing was about to evolve itself into extinction!

In 1923, the Scottish Country Dance Society was formed to preserve Scottish county dances. As the British Royal family has long been enthusiastic participants in Scottish Country Dancing, King George VI bestowed the title of Royal on the Society in 1951. Thanks to the efforts of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, we can now enjoy the spirit and grace of authentic Scottish Country Dancing around the world! 

Scottish Country Dancing Class in Athens, GA

Beginning dancers are accepted in the Athens class.  No partner is necessary! No previous dance experience is necessary!  Appropriate footwear at the first few lessons should be light, flexible soled shoes, sneakers or dance slippers.  Casual, loose fitting clothing is recommended.

Come Join the Dance!