Compiled by Leeds Scottish Country Dance Club


1.           Use only dances which are likely to be known by those attending. Include no more than one or two difficult dances.

2.           Choose a good selection of RSCDS dances, as their dances are well known throughout the Scottish dancing fraternity.

3.           Avoid ‘local’ dances, as these may not be known to people coming from away.

4.           Most dances should be fairly easy or of average difficulty.

5.           Avoid too many long dances. If it is known that many who will attend are "past their prime", include no more than one or two dances, which are longer than forty bars.

6.           Do not choose dances because of their name.

7.           Start each part of the programme with a lively, popular dance in quick time. It should be easy for the musicians as well as the dancers. Both need to warm up and quick time sets a lively spirit.  Keep Pas de Basque to a minimum in these starter dances.

8.           Finish each part of the programme with a lively, popular dance in quick time. Avoid using four couple dances to finish a programme, as this could cause dancers to have to sit out the last dance.

9.         Aim to have the greatest possible variety of figures.

10.      Avoid having the same figure or figures in consecutive dances.

11.      Avoid dances that have been danced to death.

12.      Adding variety. It is sometimes useful to include a dance which, although not particularly difficult includes a tricky bit of phrasing or technique.

13.      Select dances with an eye to variety and contrast in dance style; reel or hornpipe, jig, strathspey, reel, medley. jig, etc.

14.      Select dances with an eye for variety and contrast in the music. Not repetitions of the same tune.

15.      Recorded Programmes. Try to use the correct tunes where possible as dancers do associate the tunes with the dances.

16.      Encores. Dances should only be repeated by popular demand, but not when a set has ‘collapsed’.  It is not always a good idea to repeat a dance just because it is short (i.e. 3 or 4 times through).