International gathering of Scottish dancers in Perth

© DC Thomson
RSCDS members dancing in the busy St. John's Shopping Centre, Perth

Hundreds of dancers from around the world have beaten a path to Perth for a prestigious annual gathering.

More than 500 people from as far afield as Russia and Australia took part in this weekend’s Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) conference.

The event, now in its 88th year, featured a variety of performances, as well as discussions on the future of traditional Scottish dancing.

Shoppers at St John’s Centre in Perth were treated to a flash mob-style performance by the RSCDS Youth Demonstration Team, who were joined by primary school-age children from a local dance class led by Jane Rattray.

This was followed by the organisation’s annual general meeting at the Bell’s Sport Centre, where the office bearers were piped into the hall.


Saturday’s packed programme was rounded off by a civic reception hosted by Perth Provost Dennis Melloy.

The evening came to a close with a ball in the sport centre’s main arena, with music by Colin Dewar and his Scottish Dance Band.

Events continued on Sunday with a talk on how music affects Scottish country dancing, and vice versa.

RSCDS chairwoman Helen Russell said: “The event is significant for the city and our conference weekend is a great opportunity for everyone to take part, not just in the business of the society, but to dance and enjoy the fund and friendship of Scottish country dancing, ceilidh dancing and music.”

The society was founded in 1923 by Scots Jean Milligan and Ysobel Stewart who wanted to preserve traditional Scottish country dancing, when it started to become eclipsed by continental ballroom-style dances such as the waltz.