Dancing in Edinburgh through Scottish Enlightenment

When & Where

Edinburgh Adult Education Programme (EAEP)
Saturday, 13 May 2023 - 10:00am to 3:00pm
Adult Educaiton Programme , The City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT

Event Details

Outdoor Dance History Course at Edinburgh Adult Education Programme:

Scotland has a long and diverse dance tradition spanning many centuries. A major creative component of this tradition was formed during the Scottish Enlightenment (1700s – 1830s), with one of its epicenters in the city of Edinburgh. The course will introduce students to the historical and social background of the 18th century Scottish dance scene in Edinburgh by exploring the streets and buildings connected with it. 5 h. walk covering the UNESCO world heritage Old Town of Edinburgh will focus on major centres of dance during the 1700s. Interesting street names and buildings which housed or were used as ballrooms, theatres and dance schools will tell the stories of the people who enjoyed dancing and contributed to the development of the Scottish dance scene. The tour will finish with a guided museum visit to look at other material traces of dance activities of the past, including paintings, historical dresses, and others.

HOW THE COURSE WILL BE TAUGHT: The course will take the form of a guided tour around the Old Town of Edinburgh, exploring the City’s unique 18th-century dance heritage. The walk will begin with a brief introduction before visiting relevant locations for a short discussion supplemented by images and maps. The walk will finish with a guided visit to the National Museum of Scotland to examine 18th-century fashion exhibits relevant to the earliest dance clubs.

WHAT STUDENTS CAN EXPECT TO LEARN: Students will be able to learn about Edinburgh’s rich and important dancing heritage from the time of the Scottish Enlightenment and the still surviving places associated with it. The interaction of dance with the bigger picture of politics, society and the broader arts scene will also be considered.

RESOURCES REQUIRED BY STUDENTS / ADDITIONAL COSTS: Waterproof outdoor clothing, including sturdy shoes/boots should be worn. Please expect to walk on cobblestones, uphill and on stairs. Students should bring pencils, notebooks, and cameras if they wish to make their own records of the class. The tour lasts for 5 hours. Toilet and food breaks will be included in the itinerary. Food or drinks are not included in the course fees.

HOW TO BOOK: As EAEP online platform is unable to process online payments/bookings.
Please call 0131 556 7978 or 0131 469 3003, where the Programme team will be on hand to book you on your chosen courses. Phone lines will be open:Monday – Thursday 10am – 4 pm; Friday – 10am – 3pm.


Alena Shmakova



Event Location

Adult Educaiton Programme
The City of Edinburgh Council


Please note that you should check with the event organiser to confirm details of times and location - Scottish Local History Forum is not responsible for the events hosted by Member Societies.