Primarily intended for participation, Scottish Country Dance is not for display to an audience though many societies are invited to perform at civic and charitable events. It does not include dances like The Sword Dance or The Lilt; these are part of the Highland Dancing and the Ladies' Step Dancing traditions and so involve much more intricate steps and are normally danced to the bagpipes. Unlike Ballroom, Highland Dancing and the Ladies' Step Dancing, examinations, apart from those for prospective teachers, were unknown until the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society introduced graded testing for children in 2003. Since Scottish Country Dancing is essentially a team activity, and since a dancer's performance is strongly dependent upon the competence and support of the other five or more of her/his team, it must be extremely difficult for the examiner to judge a candidate's true capability.
At a Ball, the Music for Scottish Country Dancing is usually provided by a band consisting of a selection from accordion, fiddle and keyboard, sometimes supported by percussion and other instruments; for classes and minor events, recorded music has almost entirely replaced the traditional piano. Gentlemen need not wear the kilt though it is more comfortable for dancing. Scottish Country Dance clubs don't exclude those without Scottish ancestry and prospective members don't need to bring a Partner; indeed, in most clubs, the newcomer is likely to be almost overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and helpfulness of potential Partners!
Here are some brief Introductions To Scottish Country Dance, one by the South Simcoe SCD Group, (one of the many near Toronto, Canada) and one by Naramata Scottish Country Dancers, British Columbia, Canada.
Part of the video publicizes the SCD groups in that area of southern Ontario; for those seeking a group elsewhere, worldwide, go to The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, click on "Branch And Group Finder", select the "Country", click on "Search" (don't use "Enter") and look at the list; "Keyword" is only useful if the word is part of the Branch/Group name precisely as it appears on the RSCDS site. This list covers all RSCDS Branches and RSCDS affiliated groups, nearly 500 in all. There are many unaffiliated groups; these can often be found by a Google Search on "Scottish Country Dancing XX" with "XX" replaced by the name of the area of interest to you.