Waltz Dis­ney? It’s the car­toon ceilidh

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Kirsten John­son

GEN­ER­A­TIONS of Scots have birled and jigged to ceilidh clas­sics Strip the Wil­low and The Dash­ing White Sergeant. How­ever, the ceilidh tra­di­tion has been given a 21st cen­tury makeover – in­spired by one of Dis­ney’s most fa­mous char­ac­ters. The Royal Scot­tish Coun­try Dance So­ci­ety (RSCDS) has drawn up a new dance bi­ble to pull in younger au­di­ences – with Mickey Mouse’s pet dog Pluto the un­likely muse for one of the favourite rou­tines.

Cou­ples ‘cast off’ in two sets, trac­ing his floppy ears and large, car­toon eyes.

En­ti­tled Pluto’s Head, the 32-bar reel was de­vised by Su­san McKin­nell, of the so­ci­ety’s Chicago branch, af­ter a trip to Dis­ney­land.

It is one of 12 new rou­tines fea­tured in RSCDS’s Book 51, which at­tracted more than 100 en­tries from across the world. Other new dances in­clude a 32-bar jig, Save the Chil­dren, which encourages young peo­ple to raise money for char­ity and the Ed­in­burgh Toy Shop, in­spired by foam swords on sale at the city’s Cas­tle’s gift shop.

Peo­ple from as far afield as Canada and New Zealand sub­mit­ted ‘imag­i­na­tive, creative and pro­gres­sive’ dances for the book.

For the first time, they were en­cour­aged to look to pop cul­ture and Mrs McKin­nell de­vised the Pluto moves on a visit to Dis­ney’s an­i­ma­tion stu­dio. She said: ‘The name came from a trip, where I learned to draw Pluto’s head. You draw cir­cles for the out­line, add merid­ian lines for ref­er­ence and fill in the de­tails. It seemed to fit the struc­ture of a dance.’

RSCDS spokesman Robb Quint said: ‘This new book is aimed at chil­dren as most of the dances are rel­a­tively straight­for­ward and easy.’

AN­I­MATED: Dancers do­ing the Pluto’s Head

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