College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Dance residency step in right direction

A new residency has been launched that plans to renew a traditional Scottish dance.

First Footing – a collaboration between the Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland (TDFS) and the University – will bring together partners to revive the Scottish step dance tradition.

Nic Gareiss - First Footing

The first dancer in residence is Nic Gareiss, an internationally renowned percussive dance artist and researcher.

Step dance

Across his seven-month posting, Mr Gareiss will develop and implement collaborations across Scotland with traditional arts organisations, educational institutions, dance agencies and community groups.

He will share his expertise and innovations in step dance, build on existing research on the form, and engage with dancers across Scotland.

The residency builds on the previous work of the TDFS and the University to apply their expertise in dance and Scotland’s cultural traditions to connect artists, educators and academics.

Collaborative dance

During his residency Mr Gareiss will work with the University’s School of Scottish Studies Archive and the Institute for Sport, Physical Education & Health Sciences at Moray House School of Education.

First Footing will also work with Feisean nan Gaidheal, the organisation which supports the development of Gaelic arts tuition festivals throughout Scotland, to engage communities in an outreach learning programme.

There will be community performances, open workshops and a masterclass for step dance teachers to enliven the tradition through the feisean movement.

Research tells us that dance enriches children’s lives. Doctors now even advocate social prescribing’of dance classes to benefit health and well-being. What better way than to promote health, wellbeing and creativity in education that through a dance form that originates in Scotland? We are indeed really excited to host internationally acclaimed percussive dancer, Nic Gareiss, as dance artist in residence at Moray House School of Education.

Professor Rowena ArshadHead of Moray House School of Education

Related links

Study Dance Science and Education

Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland

First Footing blog