Scottish country dance coming to UQ Gatton campus

22 Jan 2024

DancingOver 100 Scottish country dancers will take up residence at The University of Queensland’s Gatton campus this July for the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society’s 47th annual Australian Winter School.

The dancers, from clubs around Australia and New Zealand, will attend classes at halls in Gatton, Laidley and Forest Hill.

Australian Winter School Convenor, Cathy McLeod, is thrilled to help the society’s Queensland chapter showcase and celebrate the unique cultural dance.

“Scottish Country Dancing is long-established in Australia, and is often confused with Highland Dancing,” Ms McLeod said.

“Highland Dancing is a highly energetic dance, performed over crossed swords, whereas Scottish Country Dancing is much less energetic, and is a progressive dance, usually performed in longwise three- or four-couple sets and beginning with partners standing opposite each other.

“Partners work together to dance a short sequence of formations that provide a particular dance with its identity.

“The shared experience of dance is both physically and mentally enjoyable – it’s going to be a fantastic event!”  

Five teachers from Scotland, France, New Zealand and Australia – chosen for their teaching excellence and their enthusiasm for the joy of the dance – will conduct the classes.

DancingThis year’s event theme will be ‘Fun in the Sun’, a perfect fit for the sun-soaked region.

“The UQ Gatton campus offers comfortable accommodation in a picturesque and peaceful rural setting”, Ms McLeod said.

“The campus’s Foundation Building will serve as our welcome hall, supper room and will also house our music room.

“And we’ll also get to explore many more halls across the region, in Gatton, Laidley and Forest Hill.

“Easily accessible from the campus, these halls are spacious and well-appointed, with good wooden floors, an absolute necessity for pain-free and injury-free dancing.”

The Australian Winter School runs from 7-14 July.

The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) was founded in 1923, as the Scottish Country Dance Society, by Miss Jean Milligan and Mrs Ysobel Stewart, of Scotland.

In 1947, Princess Elizabeth became Patron of the Society and, in 1951, her father, King George VI, bestowed the title of ‘Royal’ on the Society as a mark of its excellent service to social life in Scotland.

The Society’s aim is to preserve country dancing as performed in Scotland, and today there are 160 RSCDS branches spread throughout the world.

You can find more information, including booking details, on the Queensland Winter School 2024 website.

Media: Cathy McLeod,, Faculty of Science Media,, +61 438 162 687.