In the late 1940s a group of Scottish ex-pats formed a Caledonian Society
here in Hamburg. Whether at home or away the Scots like to follow tradition
and celebrate their feast days, to name but two, the birthday of Scotland's
national poet Robert Burns (1759-96), celebrated on 25 January, and the death
of Scotland's patron saint St. Andrew, celebrated on 30 November.
At festivities like these, after enjoying the culinary delights, merrymaking will
invariably continue in the form of dancing. The Scots are famous for this, to the
extent that Scottish country dancing has spread widely and today is performed all
over the world. Thus, with the formation of a Caledonian Society in Hamburg, was
also the beginning of Scottish country dancing in the Hansestadt.
Scottish country dancing can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It has several
different styles, much like ballroom dancing. The ballroom dancing danced on
the postage-stamp-sized floor of the night club is long way from that learned
at the local dancing school, and even the dancing there is yet a different style
again from that of competition dancing seen on TV.
The Scottish Country Dancers of Hamburg (SCDH) might be compared to the local
dancing school. We like to perform correctly, try to put our feet in the right
positions and to do all the things you are supposed to do, but at the same time -
and first and foremost, we like it to be fun.
We are a happy and friendly group of about 50 dancers of various ages and mixed
abilities from several countries, some coming regularly, others occasionally. Newcomers are welcome with or without dancing experience, alone or
Thursday evenings are Scottish Country Dance evenings at Albert-Schweitzer-Schule
where, since 1999, we have been in the most fortunate position of having the use
of its new sports hall with its wonderful resilient floor. (Click on to
venue for address, etc.).
From time to time the SCDH perform in public; put on a Scottish country dance
demonstration to show how it should be done. This means a lot of practice beforehand.
The demonstrations usually go off well, but always cause the adrenaline to start
flowing. Sometimes there are hitches, but these are there to be mastered. A nice
bow and curtsey and everything looked fine.
The SCDH have performed in many places in Hamburg, to name a few: in the City Hall
(das Rathaus) as well as on the square in front of it, in the CCH, the Schauspielhaus,
the Musikhalle, the Auditorium Maximum, at 'Britfest / Hafengeburtstag' at various places along the river Elbe,
in the Museum für Völkerkunde, and, last but not least, regularly at 'British Day' (now 'British Flair'),
the annual, outdoor event which usually takes place at the end of August at the Polo Club in Klein Flottbek.