Scots on The Rocks is a community group dedicated to the promotion of Scottish Country Dancing. Our classes, courses for new dancers and Chaotic Ceilidhs are all part of our work to promote Scottish Country Dancing in Sydney. We do not run ceilidhs or classes commercially. We are often asked to help with ceilidhs, parties and performances – here are a few useful tips.
Who can come to a ceilidh? Do you need to know the dances?
Scots on The Rocks’ Chaotic Ceilidhs are open to all. The dances at Chaotic Ceilidhs are dances that most people can do without any practice or experience. Our callers will walk you through the dance, and help you get the most out of the night. Feel free to contact us if you would like to know more.
How can I find out about Scottish events in Australia?
There are a number of organisations with Scottish roots who organise ceilidhs and other events. Most of these are advertised through the Scottish Banner (https://www.scottishbanner.com/calendar/category/australia/).
I am going to a wedding in Scotland next week. They are having a ceilidh and I need to learn how to dance the dances before then. What can I do?
Unfortunately you have left it a bit too late, but perhaps on the night the guests will have had too much whisky to notice. Attending one of our Chaotic Ceilidhs or a beginner’s course is a great way to pick up some basics if you know you will be attending a Scottish event in future.
I’d like private lessons. Can I book them with you?
We do not offer private lessons for individuals or groups. Scottish country dancing is social dancing, done in groups and usually with a different partner for each dance. It is not possible to teach dancing in a one-on-one class and a good class will have between ten people and two dozen.
I need a band for a ceilidh (or for a wedding, funeral or bar mitzvah). Where can I find one?
Our preferred band is the duo of Chris Duncan and Catherine Strutt. Their website is here: www.chrisandcatherine.com.au
Also Black Bear Duo featuring Iain Mckenzie and Emma Nixon (http://www.emmanixon.com.au/blackbearduo/)
Other bands, such as Highlander Celtic Rock Band (www.highlandercelticrockbandaustralia.com), Strathmannan (contact Kate Scott email@example.com (02) 6247 4753), The Four Clansmen and Skewiff also perform in the Sydney area.
I need a caller for a ceilidh. Where can I find one?
Contact Anthony Simon – email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (www.rscds.org.au) – email email@example.com.
Contact David Valks – (www.celebrationceilidhs.com)
I would love to have some Scottish dancers in kilts jumping over swords etc. How can I organise that for my event?
Scottish Country dancing is very different from Highland dancing. Scottish Country dancing is similar to bush dancing and does not involve swords or single dancers leaping on stage. If you would like a Highland dance performance contact Elizabeth Munro at the Argyll Highland Dancers firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want people to dance at my event. Where can I find some?
Contact the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society – email email@example.com.
I want someone to lead people through some Scottish dances. Who can do this?
Contact Anthony Simon – email firstname.lastname@example.org or the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (www.rscds.org.au) – email email@example.com.
Where can I find a Piper/Drummers?
For weddings/funerals and large events we can recommend the Sydney Thistle Highland Pipe Band (http://www.sydneythistle.com/) – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile 0404 480736 or the NSW Police Pipe Band (www.nswppb.com).
Also Pipers of Distinction (www.pipersofdistinction.com) offer an Australian wide service providing Bagpipers.
Where can I learn to play the Bagpipes/Drums?
For one to one lessons or group lessons contact the Sydney School of Piping and Drumming (www.sydneyschoolofpipinganddrumming.com.au)
Where can I buy a Haggis?
We recommend Hill’s Butchery – (02) 9344-6219 (www.hillsbutchery.com.au).
Where can I buy Tartan cupcakes or a Scottish themed cake?
We recommend Embellished Cakes – 0419 423 688 (www.embellishedcakes.com.au).
I want someone to teach my friends a few dances. Where can I find a teacher?
Come to one of our courses for new dancers or contact the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (www.rscds.org.au) – email email@example.com.
Where can I hire a kilt?
Kilts are available from The Scottish Accessories Shoppe (02) 9747-8270 (https://www.scottishaccessories.com.au/)
Scottish Clan Tartan & Kilt Hire Shop (02) 9819-7208.
Where can I buy a kilt?
The Scottish Accessories Shoppe (02) 9747-8270 (www.shop.scottishaccessories.com.au).
Scottish Clan Tartan & Kilt Hire Shop (02) 9819-7208
Many Scottish suppliers can also be found on ebay