Warming up is a "Marmite" feature for Scottish Country Dancers: some swear by it and insist on following their own procedure if none is provided before a class or an event; others swear about it and may even delay their arrival to avoid having to participate. Historically, cold halls, cold public transport and unheated cars may have made some form of loosening the muscles desirable though those who walked or cycled would not have needed it. Nowadays, Warming up is elective for those so minded: it is probably essential for those aspiring to the most perfectly balletic performance; many older, social dancers may prefer to conserve their failing resources for the dancing. As a note of warning, it does not guarantee freedom from sports injury; we are aware of one dancer suffering a ruptured Achilles' tendon while Warming up for a class!
Although there is no real agreement on doing it or not, there is some common ground:
Warm up sessions for classes often start with physiotherapy exercises, especially those for feet, ankle and leg joints; these are a subset of the exercises used by ballet dancers. John Fletcher, a teacher in the RSCDS Berks, Hants and Surrey Borders' Branch, has devised the following dances especially for use in Warming up at the beginning of a class:
Warm Up 2;
Warm Up Jig.
Various takes on Warming up are shown in Warm Up Video Clips.
The RSCDS has an insurance scheme which is available to its Branches and to Affiliated Societies. The following paragraph is an extract from the RSCDS Guide to Branch Administration:
"Public Liability Insurance
Branches are responsible for arranging their own Public Liability Insurance, and any other insurances that they may require. A Public Liability policy, limit of liability £1,000,000, is available to UK Branches [and to UK Affiliated Societies] at a favourable rate negotiated with Edinburgh Risk Management Group General Limited (ERMG Ltd.), the cost being dependent on the number of members in the Branch[/Affiliated Society]. For further details please contact them at 68a Dean Path, Edinburgh, EH14 3AT, tel. 0131 311 4700."
There are two benefits from using this umbrella scheme:
the insurance is tailored to the activities of a group engaging in Scottish Country Dancing; and
the premium is much more reasonable than a group could expect to obtain on an individual basis.
There is, of course, a separate fee for Affiliation but this does provide its own benefits, especially to those groups with no individual RSCDS member.