Dancing Culture

Lots of updates to post in the near-distant future, but for now I’ll share the opportunity I had to see some Scottish Highland and Country dances. My Study Abroad group was required to visit several museums as part of our curriculum, and on Monday we went to our final one: the National Gallery of Scotland.

Country Dances in the Grassmarket

We stumbled upon some Croatian dancers right outside of the museum. Much to our surprise, there had been Scottish dancing performed right before and we narrowly missed it! A few girls and I decided that we would catch the dancers the next day at 2 p.m. in the Grassmarket.

After a workout at the gym (and a shower after that), Erika, Nicole and I headed towards the Grassmarket, a place where regular food dealings used to be held, similar to a modern-day farmer’s market. It is a more authentic area of the town. While many tourists like to visit the area, there are not very many crowds. It is full of pubs with a vibrant and family-friendly atmosphere.

Highland Dances with Edinburgh Castle in the backgroun

We arrived about 10 minutes early and got a great view of the dancers. Many of the dances were country dances, not Highland dances. (Which means that I didn’t know most of them!) I did get to see them perform the Lilt, which is a dance that was performed by Highland women. I remembered performing the dance but I (sadly) didn’t know all of the moves to it.

Pumpkin Brown, the coffee shop I visited

I also had the opportunity to visit this little coffee shop! (And by opportunity I mean I wanted coffee and found the nearest shop to caffeinate me.) I started chatting with the manager and ended up interviewing her for an assignment for class. She was very charming and was more than happy to answer all of my questions. She didn’t even make me pay for the

A gluten-free chocolate raspberry bar and dairy-free hazelnut milk latte

]iced americano that I ordered! (I love the Scottish. They are very friendly, just like those people in my traditional Midwest encounters.) The shop was (wait for it) gluten free, vegan, dairy free, no refined sugar, 100% organic! I returned for a latte with hazelnut milk and a gluten free chocolate raspberry bar a different day. (Delicious!) It’s been very easy to eat gluten free here, which has been one less thing to worry about.


Emily McIntyre is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship with a Spanish minor. Emily is involved with several student organizations, including UMKC Enactus, which uses entrepreneurship to solve needs in the community. She’s looking forward to studying abroad this summer with the UMKC Honors Program in Scotland, where she plans to explore more of her family heritage and country of origin.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.