Stay young with Scottish dancing

BISHOPBRIGGS. L/R Molly McCaffrey, Cath Proctor, Carolyn Watson, Pat McBride. Pic of Pat McBride. Story on Scottish Country Dancing keeping old age at bay.
BISHOPBRIGGS. L/R Molly McCaffrey, Cath Proctor, Carolyn Watson, Pat McBride. Pic of Pat McBride. Story on Scottish Country Dancing keeping old age at bay.

It has been taught in Scottish schools for generations and 
is world-famous for its 
boisterous reels and jigs and its smooth strathspeys.

Bishopbriggs has a thriving Scottish country dance class who meet once a week in the area’s Guide Hall.

Now new research suggests the form of dancing could also delay the 
ageing process.

Scientists have found older women who take part in Scottish country dancing are fitter than those the same age who carry out other exercise.

President of the Bishopbriggs class, Pat McBride has been taking part in the local group since the 70s.

She said: “Our membership ranges from people in their 40s to their 90s, and at the moment we have about 19 members.

“We are very keen for more people to come along to the classes. You don’t have to have danced before. The class is for all abilities.

“I would say about 70 per cent of our membership are women, so more male members are obviously welcome.

“It doesn’t matter though. The class is all about having fun and making new friends.

“You can come on your own. You don’t need a partner, just a pair of soft shoes.

“I have made many new friends since starting. As 
well as having the classes, we regularly go away on holidays. It’s a great social life for people on their own and I don’t just mean retired people, We have members in their 40s.”

The study by the University of Strathclyde revealed the skipping and step-changing of the lively activity can “delay the effects of ageing” on women’s ability to carry out daily physical activities.

Scottish country dancing – from ceilidhs and parties to classes and competitions – is a popular event across Scotland and the globe. Its best-known dances include the Dashing White Sergeant, Gay Gordons and Strip The Willow.

The Bishopbriggs class runs every Friday at 7.30pm in the Guide Hall. For more info, call Pat on 0141 772 1250.