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The River Cree

Demonstration of the dance

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An instructional film guiding viewers through the steps of the River Cree dance. A brief description is given of the dance and its origin, before detailed attention is paid to the steps involved. Male and female dancers demonstrate, and slow motion is used to make the movements easier to recognise. A group of mixed dancers then perform the dance. Commentary is provided throughout to explain the movements of the dancers individually and as a whole.

Questions & Activities


  • What is a jig?
  • What is a bar of music?
  • How many beats are there in a bar?
  • How many other Scots dances have you heard of that have a pattern to them and what are their names?
  • Why do you think dance is important to Scottish history and culture?


Dance / Health and Wellbeing / Enterprise: Create your own 'Strictly Folk Dancing' Competition. Perform to raise money for a charity of your choice.

PE / Social Dancing / HE / Dance / Health and Wellbeing: Learn the dance and perform to another class or the rest of the school.

RME / PSE / Social Studies / Citizenship: Research the history, purpose and significance of dance around the world. Ask: When and why do people dance? How does it make you feel? How do these purposes and functions differ? What values are promoted in different dance systems, particularly the Scots Dance.

MIE: Discuss how this film works and which shots and angles are used. Recreate this film or make your own instructional film showing others how to perform this or another Scots Dance. Create footstep patterns or geometrical shapes showing the shapes that are drawn by the dancers. Try adding titles for each step on the screen to make it even clearer.

History (Jacobites): Discuss why dances like this were banned by the Crown after Culloden.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-143-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0850
Date c.1950
Genre Educational
School Subject Expressive Arts, Drama, Dance, Music, Moving Image Education, History
Who Joint Production Committee of SEFA and SFC in association with Scottish Country Dance Association (sponsors), Stanley Russell (director), Thames and Clyde Film Company (production company)
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 6:54
Film Length 06:54