Between 1998 and 2001 I was Traditional Dance Development Officer for the partnership of the Scottish Traditions of Dance Trust (STDT) and the Angus Council, a project that was funded by the Scottish Arts Council Lottery Fund.
The Scottish Traditions of Dance Trust was active between 1995 and 2011 as an umbrella organisation for various forms of Scottish Dance. STDT was the only national organisation which, at the time, existed to promote, research, conserve and foster all of Scotland’s dance traditions. “Everyone dances at some point in their lives”, and STDT was the national advocate for the enjoyment of all forms of traditional dance socially and educationally.
The STDT Aims were 1) To promote and enable dance activity and awareness. 2) Establish an on–going programme of educational outreach. 3) Develop a nationwide research network. 4) Establish and maintain a Scottish dance archive & resource centre. When STDT undertook the three–year archive research and participation project in Angus between 1998 and 2001 led by Development Officer Mats Melin, a similar project also took place in the Scottish Borders.
The aim of the Angus project research was to gather and record information about the local dance traditions to form a resource for future generations. The local traditions are still living in the memories of old people. Oral history recovery was therefore crucial to the project. Our research also included the collection and analysis of newspapers, books, photographs, audio and video footage and artefacts. For observation purposes of the current dance traditions a number of dance classes and events were visited.
When STDT folded in 2011, it is not known where its Dance Archive and other items ended up! Copies of the research findings collected in Angus 1998-2001 can however be found in the Angus Archives.
Some items which I have in my private archive would be of interest to Scottish dance enthusiasts and dance researchers, some of which I share below for research purposes. Please note that some of the information given within these documents may well be inaccurate, so check other source material to verify.
STDT Newsletter – 1996 – 2008. 30 Issues from the Melin Archive.
STDT Angus Dances Education Project Pack, 1999. Contents, Dance information and Tunes recorded on the CD. Dance Education Pack developed for the Angus Primary Schools. These dance packs and accompanying CD with music recorded by Ian Cruickshanks Dance Band of Kirriemuir was handed out to all schools in the Angus Schools Clusters during the project period. In-service training for PE and Class teachers was also provided. Mats Melin taught 168 classes (on average 50 mins long) to 1212 pupils (predominantly in primary schools but also some secondary schools) during the project.
STDT – Information on Angus Dancies, 2000. Summaries of newspaper information on the activities of Angus based dancing masters gathered during the project.
Angus Project Dance Event Poster 2000. A number of Social Dance events were organised as part of the project.
Factpack about the various Traditions of Scottish Dance issued by the STDT 1997. Some names and addresses have been redacted.
Ion Jamieson booklet, STDT 1999 At the 1999 STDT AGM a souvenir booklet with information on Ion Jamieson, who collected and filmed dancing in the Borders was handed out.
Dancie John Reid booklet, STDT 2000 At the 2000 STDT AGM a souvenir booklet with information on dancing master or ‘Dancie’ John Reid of Newtyle was handed out.
Dance Your Socks Off & James Scott Skinner Events 2004 Booklet and flyer for two STDT events.
STDT Research Work 1998 A summary of STDT Research in Fife and Angus prior to 1998.
STDT Guidelines for Research March 2000 These are the guidelines given to those who conducted fieldwork researching dance for the Trust.
STDT – Interview Analysis Guidelines 2000 These are the guidelines for how to analyse research interview data gathered in Trust projects.