Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"Clothes Make the Man. Naked People Have Little or No Influence in Society." ~ Mark Twain's contrarian view (1835-1910)
Apart from being a Scottish Country Dancer, are you a nudist, naturist or like Mark Twain, a "textilist"? To clarify, nudism is the act of being naked, while naturism is a lifestyle which at various times has embraced nature, the environment, respect for others, self-respect, crafts, healthy eating, vegetarianism, teetotalism, non-smoking, yoga, physical exercise and pacifism as well as nudity! The term "textilist" is used by nudists to refer to those who prefer to remain clothed. This humorous and light-hearted dance by John Drewry, was inspired by a dance weekend at which he was teaching. When two of the dancers at the Morland Scottish Country Dance Week were walking near Ullswater, in the Lake District, they met a solitary hiker - wearing a straw hat, a rucksack, climbing boots and nothing else! This humorous dance includes notes to "avert your gaze from 4th man" with a cheeky music recommendation of"Cold and Raw" 😉
All commentary taken from wikipedia:
Naturism, or nudism, is a cultural and political movement practising, advocating, and defending personal and social nudity, most but not all of which takes place on private property.
Militant naturism, including campaigning, and extreme naturism is sometimes considered a separate category.
Nudism is the act of being naked, while naturism is a lifestyle which at various times embraced nature, environment, respect for others, self-respect, crafts, healthy eating, vegetarianism, teetotalism, non-smoking, yoga, physical exercise and pacifism as well as nudity.
In naturist parlance, textile or textilist is a non-naturist person, non-naturist behaviour or non-naturist facilities.
The prevalence of naturism tends to increase during the summer months especially when the temperature is higher with some regions experiencing first-time naturists and people who have transitioned to becoming a naturist. Some studies have observed that among some of these naturists, they are clothed during other seasons, thus making them seasonal naturists.
The first English naturists adopted the name Gymnosophy as a thinly disguised euphemism for their pastime. The English Gymnosophical Society was formed in 1922 and became the New Gymnosophy Society in 1926; they purchased land at 'Bricketts Wood' to become Britain's first nudist colony.
This humorous dance, which includes a direction to "avert your gaze from 4th man" has the following dance notes from the :
For many years, John Drewry taught at the Morland Week School where the Chris Dewhurst Band played. He was also a very keen walker, as are many Scottish Country dancers. When two of the dancers at the Morland Week were walking near Ullswater, they met a solitary hiker. He wore a straw hat, a rucksack, climbing boots and nothing else!
This dance is a light-hearted depiction of this incident and is not to be taken too seriously! The dance is dedicated to all who walk alone and the recommended music is the traditional tune “Cold and Raw” (though, as a dance, this is an 8x24 bar jig). Chris Dewhurst’s recording “Morland Ladies” seems appropriate ........ and before anyone asks whether the hiker may have been invited to try Scottish dancing, consider the observation by Sir Robert Helpmann (ballet) - “the problem with dancing in the nude is that when the music stops not everything else does.” It also should be added that John wrote two other ‘nude’ dances - “Three Naked Men” in the Autumn Collection 1984 and “Starkers to Yarkers” in the Stoneywood Collection Vol.II.
Nude hiking and dancing aside, the practice of nude combat actually does have some historical reference, particularly regarding The Battle of Telamon, fought between the Roman Republic and an alliance of Celtic tribes in 225 BC.
For a discussion on whether the ancient Celts practiced combat nudity, click the illustration of The Battle at Telamon, 225, B.C. by Angus McBride.