Dancing in Georgian Edinburgh
When & Where
Dance history outdoor course as part of the Edinburgh Adult Education Programme
The New Town of Edinburgh, a UNESCO World Heritage site from 1995, started from James Criag’s plan of 1767 and transformed Auld Reekie into ‘Athens of the North'. The social scene was an essential part of the new lifestyle, with dance playing an important role in education and entertainment. Moreover, survived Georgian Street Assembly Rooms are now one of the gems of New Town Georgian architecture. A ball dedicated to Queen Charlotte’s Birthday, similar to the one featured in the Bridgerton series by Netflix, was one of the first events hosted in the elegant ballroom. The course will introduce students to the historical and social background of the 19th-century Scottish dance scene in Edinburgh by exploring the streets and buildings connected with it. 5 h walk through the elegant streets of the New Town will focus on major centres of dance during the 1800s. Buildings and sites used to house 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 visit to the Scottish National Gallery to look at other material traces of dance activities of the Georgian period.
HOW THE COURSE WILL BE TAUGHT: The course will take the form of a guided tour around the New Town of Edinburgh, exploring the City’s unique dance heritage from the late Georgian period. The walk will begin with a brief ntroduction before visiting relevant locations for a short discussion supplemented by images and maps. It will finish with a guided visit to the Scottish National Gallery to look at paintings of dancing scenes and to discuss them from a dance history point of view.
WHAT STUDENTS CAN EXPECT TO LEARN: Students will be able to learn about Edinburgh’s rich and important dancing heritage from the late Georgian period 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 tours last for 5 hours. Please bring water to stay hydrated. Toilet and food breaks will be included in the itinerary. Food or drinks are not included in the course fees.
HOW TO BOOK: The Programme online platform is unable to process online payments/bookings at the moment. Please call 0131 556 7978 or 0131 469 3003 where the Edinburgh Adult Education team will be on hand to book you on your chosen courses. Phone lines will be open: Monday – Thursday 10am – 4pm; Friday – 10am – 3pm.
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.