Waltz Disney? It’s the cartoon ceilidh
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