Scottish step-dancing is a traditional Scottish form of hard-shoe dancing which can be danced solo, or in a small ‘set’ where steps in slow (Strathspey) and quick (reel and jig) time are combined with simple dance patterns such as reels of three or four and ‘birrling’.
Up until the 19th century, hard-shoe step-dancing was enjoyed all over Scotland. With the introduction of country dances, placing a greater emphasis on the figures of the dance rather than on the stepping, and the changing style of the old solo step-dancing into the more open and balletic style we now see in modern Highland dancing, the popularity of step-dancing declined. Scottish step-dancing survived thanks to Highland emigrants to Cape Breton, Canada, who maintained the tradition, and now step-dancing is becoming increasingly popular again in Scotland.
New Scotland is now running a Beginners Scottish Step Dance class for complete beginners, and an Intermediate Scottish Step Dance class more advanced dancers. The Intermediate class also includes work on display routines.