Library offering 2nd course in Scottish country dancing

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The first class of Scottish country dancing at the Cartersville Public Library was such a hit that a second class is forming next month.

The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society will be teaching another eight-week course starting Thursday, Jan. 12, from 6 to 7:45 p.m. in the Nathan Dean Meeting Room at 429 W. Main St.

Susan Tumlin, who organizes the classes for the dance society, said a second session is being offered because “we just touched on the surface of Scottish country dancing.”

“There is so much more to learn,” she said. “But having another session really helps to reinforce what has already been learned. I hope to continue offering these sessions.”

The first course, which ran from Aug. 25 to Oct. 13, was “very successful,” Tumlin said.

Adult Services Coordinator Amanda Monson also called the first class “a real success.”

“Lots of people signed up — some couples, some families with kids and some came solo — and they filled the room,” she said. “Scottish country dance is very social so no one felt left out. Everyone enjoyed themselves, made new friends and gained a new hobby. It was a delight for the library to host the class, and we look forward to meeting new dancers in January.”

Tumlin said there was a group of about 25 dancers who were in class “on a consistent basis.”

“Most were beginners, but we did have about six experienced dancers attend to help out,” she said.

“We had eight children under 18 years of age, and the rest ranged from young adults to senior citizens. All danced well together.”

She also was impressed with the news dancers’ level of talent.

“Most of the dancers were very talented and caught on quickly to the footwork and formations,” she said.

During the class, students learned the five basic steps of the 300-year-old dance — slip step, skip change of step, pas de basque, strathspey setting step and strathspey traveling step — as well as many figures, including rights and lefts, figures of eight, allemande, promenade, pousette and reels of three.

“At the end of our first session, we had a social at the library, where we were able to dance eight of the dances we learned,” Tumlin said. “Everyone had a lot of fun and invited friends and family to come and watch. We were able to even get the spectators to dance a couple of our easier dances. We will plan a similar social for this session as well. You don't have to be Scottish to enjoy Scottish country dancing.”

The new session will be both a beginners’ class and a continuation of the first class, according to Tumlin.

“We are ready to welcome brand-new beginner dancers to the class,” she said. “As they learn the basics, the other dancers will continue to improve and also be great aids to the new beginners. There are so many dances and figures, we could never cover them all. With more experience, we can begin to learn some more advanced formations and dances.”

Tumlin said instructors will teach the five steps again and most of the same formations “but will also introduce some new formations to the class as well.”

“We will repeat some of the dances from the first session but will also add some new dances as well,” she added.

The class, which costs $30 for dancers 18 and older and free for kids ages 6 to 17, can accommodate up to 36 dancers, Tumlin said.

“Most of our dances are done in four-couple sets so it is nice to have a few extra dancers and be able to have four complete sets,” she said, noting dancers do not have to have a partner or previous dance experience to participate.

Those who want to take the class need to register at the library and pay the fee before the first class.

“As long as there is space, you can register up to the first class,” Tumlin said. “But if it fills up, you will miss out on this session.”