Royal Scottish Country Dance Society - Delaware Valley Branch


How do you become a Scottish country dance teacher?

Most Delaware Valley Branch teachers have gone through an extensive training process. The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society offers a two-tiered certification: Teachers Certificate Levels I and II.

Teacher candidates complete the rigorous training and examinations in Scotland, Canada, or in their home branch, with visiting examiners assessing their skills at the courses’ end.

Teacher’s Certificate I

Teacher candidates work with a trained tutor to study and prepare for the following units.
Unit 1 – Written test of background and technical knowledge
Unit 2 – Dancing skills exam
Unit 3 – Test of practical teaching skills

Teacher’s Certificate II

Unit 4 – Candidates complete at least six hours of independent teaching and submit a record of practical teaching, which is then assessed by an RSCDS examiner and returned.

Unit 5 – A final teaching course followed by a longer examination focusing on more advanced teaching skills and a more realistic teaching situation

Delaware Valley Branch Instructors

Jill EmeryJill Emery
Fully Certificated, Teaching since 1990
Status: Active
Jill began Scottish Country Dancing while in college at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE. She began teaching during graduate school at Penn State and later formed a Scottish dance group in Danville, PA. Jill obtained her Preliminary teaching certificate at TAC in 1990 and her Full Certificate in the Delaware Valley in 1993. She has taught at all levels from Basic to Advanced, and has enjoyed tutoring teacher candidates on several occasions.


Katherine Giacoletti
Fully Certificated, Teaching since 1997
Status:  Active – Chestnut Hill Basic Class
Katherine Giacoletti started Scottish country dancing when she was attending Swarthmore College.  Her past dance experience includes ballet, jazz, English country dancing, and competitive Highland dance.  She is originally from St. Petersburg, Florida and now lives in the Montgomery County suburbs of Philadelphia, where she works as a biostatistician.
She also enjoys reading, cooking, and needlecrafts.


Gray GoodmanGray Goodman
Fully Certificated, Teaching since 1986
Status:  Inactive
When Gray Goodman’s Outward Bound instructor learned that he was planning to attend Haverford College, she encouraged him to go to the Scottish country dance class that her sister was teaching.  Gray is originally from Long Island, NY, but after college he stayed in the Delaware Valley and now lives in Kennett Square and works as a secondary school history/social studies teacher.
He and his family also enjoy English country dancing, and Gray is an avid cyclist.


Christen GoreChristen (Chrissy) Gore
Fully Certificated
Status: Active – Chestnut Hill Class
Christen started dancing while she was a student at Bryn Mawr College. She fell in love with Scottish dancing after the first class. She received her Level I certificate at St. Andrews Summer School (Scotland) in 2009 and just passed her Level II certification in Boston in June of 2011. She is originally from the Eastern Shore of Maryland and now lives in Lansdowne, a suburb of Philadelpia. “I love working with new dancers and children! It is a great feeling to watch them become Scottish dancers and fall in love with the dance form.” Chrissy does administrative/clerical work and enjoys reading, antiquing, organizing events and gardening.


TerryTerry Harvey
Fully Certificated, Teaching since 1989
Status: Active – University of Delaware Class
Terry Harvey started dancing in the Delaware Valley in 1983 while a student at the University of Delaware. He is married to Line Farr whom he had met in the RSCDS certificate class. In 1989 Terry and Line started a Scottish class at Swarthmore College, which he taught for more than 20 years. Terry has also taught various other basic, intermediate, and advanced classes in the Delaware Valley. He says “My philosophy of teaching dance is that teaching technique (including teamwork, phrasing, handing, carriage, sociability, and footwork) is the way to ensure dancers’ maximum enjoyment of the dance. Different dancers have different capabilities, but all of us can reach to become better dancers. Improvement leads inevitably to increased enjoyment on the dance floor. Furthermore, it is my goal to present all these aspects of technique in ways that are fun, exciting, and challenging for as many people and in as many ways as possible.”


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Susan Holmes
Status:  Inactive


Bree HumphriesBree Humphries
Teacher Certificate – Preliminary certificate 2001, Fully certificated 2005
Status: Inactive
Bree Humphries was a homesick first-year at Bryn Mawr College in 1995 when a friend took her to a Scottish Country dance class to cheer her up. She fell in love with the music, the figures and the technique, and has been dancing ever since. Bree also dances a wee bit of other styles such as medieval, ballroom, Latin, hip-hop, and freestyle. She was born in Alexandria, VA, grew up in the Panama Canal Zone and Western Massachusetts, and currently resides in North Wales, PA. Bree works as a project manager and enjoys writing fiction, baking cakes and pies, putting together jigsaw puzzles, clothes-shopping for the sartorially-impaired, LARPing, and expanding her library.


Tine MacKay
Fully Certificated, Teaching since 1997
Status:  Inactive
Tine MacKay and her husband were looking for something fun that they could do together, decided to try Scottish country dancing, and were hooked.  In fact, she liked it so much that two years later Tine decided to become a teacher.  They live in Mountville, PA.


Steven RuscheSteven Rusche
Fully Certificated, Teaching since 1992
Status: Active
Steven started Scottish Country Dancing in college. He has taught classes at all levels in both the New Haven and Delaware Valley branches of the RSCDS, as well as weekend workshops in Georgia, Florida, and Pennsylvania. He particularly enjoys how the various aspects of technique and sociability make the dancing more rewarding and fun for everybody.


Margaret SarnerMargaret Sarner
Status: Inactive
Margaret Sarner first fell in love with bagpipes, which led to an appreciation of all things Scottish
She has been doing Scottish country dancing for 35-years and teaching for about 10-years. She also enjoys English country dancing. She grew up in Delaware and settled in Newark, DE. Currently retired, Margaret used to work as a computer programmer and an editor. Her other hobbies are travel, painting and bell ringing.


Cecily SellingCecily Selling
Fully Certificated, Teaching since 1979
Status:  Active – Media Social Class and Branch Candidate Class
Cecily Selling started Scottish country dancing when she was a member of the Swarthmore College Folk Dance Club, and eventually married the man who taught her first Scottish country dance class.  She grew up in Columbus, Ohio, but also spent some time in London, England where she learned English country dancing at school.  Cecily still does English country dancing and contra dancing on occasion.  The Sellings live in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia and Cecily works as a learning specialist at the Baldwin School.  In addition to dancing she loves reading, gardening, cross-word puzzles, hiking, canoeing, and camping.


Geoffrey SellingGeoffrey Selling
Fully Certificated, Teaching since 1969
Status:  Active – Branch Candidate Classes
Geoffrey Selling started Scottish country dancing because he loved the music and all things Scottish, and very quickly became a teacher.  He not only teaches Scottish dance classes, but has been involved in training teachers for 35 years and has been a North American Teacher Examiner for 13 years.  Geoffrey grew up in Portland, Oregon and Jakarta, Indonesia and now works as an elementary school science teacher in the Philadelphia area.  In addition to Scottish country dancing he is involved with a Polish dance performance group and enjoys English country dancing.  When not dancing or teaching you will probably find Geoffrey cooking, and he and his wife Cecily share a love for gardening, hiking, canoeing and camping.


Melissa ShanerMelissa Shaner
Fully Certificated, Teaching since 1997
Status:  Active – Delaware Valley Branch Performance Team Co-ordinator and Swarthmore Class
After taking a peek at the English-Scottish Ball at Swarthmore College, Melissa made an “I’ll go if you go” pact with a friend and joined the Swarthmore Folk Dance Club.  Raised in northern New Jersey in a family that appreciated Celtic music, she did not feel threatened by accordions and continues to enjoy Scottish and English country dancing as well as contra and the occasional international dance.  She now lives in the western Main Line area where she is a free-lance editor and at-home mother.
When she has free time she enjoys theater, singing, reading, and writing letters.


Justin GiacolettiJustin Giacoletti
Teaching Certificate Part I completed 2014
Justin Giacoletti, Teacher Convener
Status: Active – Bryn Mawr class
Justin began dancing in 1993 to make good on an agreement with his high-school sweetheart: he would try dancing if she tried karate. It worked out. Katherine and Justin married in 1995 and Justin remains active with both Karate and Scottish Country Dance. He holds a 5th dan in Uechi-Ryu Karate and, after 20 years of enthusiastic dancing, earned Part I of the RSCDS teacher’s certification in 2014.


Royal Scottish Country Dance Society - Delaware Valley Branch