We plan to resume classes in September 2020 if the City of Ottawa re-opens Churchill Community Centre and restrictions on assembly are lifted.
The website will be updated as conditions change.
Scottish Country Dancing is the social dancing of Scotland. Though energetic and precise, it is not to be confused with competitive highland or solo dancing. We emphasize fun, friendship, and lively music. We dance in sets of six or eight people to lighthearted jigs, driving reels, and strong, graceful strathspeys. And since dancing etiquette requires that you change partners after each dance, you soon get to know everyone in the group.
To see what Scottish Country Dancing looks like, click on the button below.
The Ardbrae Scottish Country Dancers of Ottawa (an affiliate of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society) is dedicated to spreading the social spirit of Scottish country dancing in a fun, relaxed environment. Founded in 1964, our first Scottish country dance class was held at Ottawa’s Ridgemont High School. We have now evolved into a group of 68 members with three levels of classes and social events held throughout the year.
A pot-luck dance on Robbie Burns Day in 1969 grew into a formal catered ball held at the Chateau Laurier by 1976, complete with music by Stan Hamilton and The Flying Scotsmen. Though venues and bands have changed over the years, our annual ball continues to be the highlight of our dancing year, and now coincides with Ottawa’s Winterlude Festival.
In 1987, Ardbrae published a booklet of dances written by its members and dedicated to our founding teachers, Gertrude and Velyien Henderson: The Hendersons of Ardbrae. To mark our 50th anniversary, we compiled a second book of dances by members past and present entitled: Ardbrae celebrating 50 Years.
Here are some of the things that our members enjoy about Scottish Country Dancing:
I love the exercise of both mind and body;
it’s a great aerobic workout!
It’s a social gathering to meet people and enjoy new friendships.
Scottish Country Dancing is fitness with a tradition.
I could join without a partner!
Really nice people, talented and well informed instructors and lots of fun.
Great roots music, feasts, dance parties, and men who actually want to dance!
Something a bit different, something active and enjoyable that allows me to explore my interest in Scotland in a new way.
My Mum's side was all Scottish, and I was curious - and a bit surprised really that this "cultural" thing had existed for so long and I didn't know about it
I wanted to join a social dance group that gave a variety of dancing, would evoke memories of dancing growing up, and maybe spin off some friendships.
I took up Scottish Country dancing to get some exercise. Then I actually started enjoying the classes, the music, the dancing, the discipline of the formal steps and the great fellowship and friendly atmosphere. (I also get my exercise!)
I decided to give it a try and after three or four classes I realized that I was looking forward to the next class! I went to my first St Andrews Ball and had a fantastic time; I didn't realize how social this dancing can be.