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Get Scotland Dancing

Posted on April 4, 2014

commonwealth ceilidh04robmcdougall

commonwealth ceilidh04robmcdougallThe Get Scotland Dancing campaign has announced its full programme for 2014, from a worldwide, 24-hour ceilidh to dance trails, festivals and dance-along screenings of movie classics.

The campaign aims to inspire more people to be active and participate in dance. It’s part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, a four-year legacy culture programme for this year’s Commonwealth Games, to be held in Glasgow from July 23 to August 3.

On June 21, there will be large-scale public ceilidhs in Edinburgh’s West Princes Street Gardens, Glasgow’s The Briggait and The Music Hall, Aberdeen as part of the 24-hour Commonwealth Ceilidh. The event begins in New Zealand at 7.30pm local time, then traces a line around the globe with dances in different countries, ending in Hawaii.

More than 80 Scottish dance venues will offer free taster dance classes, in styles from country dancing and hip hop to ballet and tap. There will be classes for everyone, including sessions aimed at beginners or at parents and toddlers.

Special outdoor screenings will encourage audiences to dance along to favourite dance movies, including Grease and Dirty Dancing. Led by dancer Chris-Stuart Wilson, audiences will learn key moves in a friendly warm-up before the movie.

Dance Trails offer the chance to experience dance in unusual locations, popping up in parks, shopping centres, graveyards, town squares and online.

On July 20, young people from across the north-east of Scotland will perform in the premiere of The Four Seasons, created by choreographers and community dance artists Royaton Maldoom and Tamara McLorg. The performance will take place in His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen as part of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival.

There are two more festivals associated with Get Scotland Dancing. Around 400 young dancers from ten countries are set to perform at the first ever Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival, which runs from July 10 to 12 at Tramway, Glasgow. Tramway will also be the location for Gathered Together, Scotland’s first international inclusive dance festival. Hosted by Indepen-dance at Tramway, it runs from August 27 to 30 as part of a Europe-wide initiative.

The Big Dance Pledge will feature mass dances at an anticipated 2000 locations across the world. Participants can learn a specially choreographed dance created by Scottish Ballet, which will be performed across the world on May 16 – see the Big Dance website for details.

Get Scotland Dancing will be presented by six regional dance hubs – Citymoves, Dance Base, Dance House Glasgow, Dundee Dance Partnership, Eden Court and macrobert.

James Allenby of Get Scotland Dancing said: “Every day we hear about more people arranging to hold their own Big Dance Pledge, planning their own Commonwealth Ceilidh during what’s going to be an amazing midsummer night, and the number of venues who are offering free taster dance classes keeps growing. There’s also an exciting range of performances for audiences to enjoy in established, as well as exciting and unexpected, locations around Scotland. Dance is healthy, sociable and great fun and anyone can do it. Join in for what’s lining up to be an amazing year for dance in Scotland.”

See for more information.


Photograph: Rob McDougall



Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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