The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)
C. Stewart Smith
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Information: Cedric Stewart Smith, teacher of Scottish country dance.
Stewart, born in 1929 in Dundee, Scotland, was affectionately known as "Scotty," although he preferred to be called Stewart. He supported himself solely by the teaching of Scottish dancing.
Stewart was versed in both Highland and Scottish Country Dancing. His first love was Highland, where he was both a teacher and an adjudicator at Highland Dancing competitions. He held the Teacher's Certificate of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS), had a very pleasing manner, and knew how to bring the most out of the dancers in his classes. Stewart taught Scottish Country Dancing in his own studio. He taught the Tearn of the San Francisco Scottish Dancing club.
In 1960, Stewart was invited to be on the staff of the Stockton Folk Dance Camp in Stockton, California. Following that successful session, he was invited to teach at the Santa Barbara Folk Dance Conference in Santa Barbara, California. He also taught the Mendocino Folklore Camp in Mendocino, California, in 1969.
Early Scottish Country Dancers in Los Angeles, California, consisted almost exclusively of folk dancers who built the Los Angeles Scottish Country Dancers from scratch. In the late 1960s in Los Angeles, The Team, a Scottish Country Dance demonstration group that had been taught by Stewart (who communted weekends from his home in San Francisco) was formed. Some of its members were David and Lois Brandon, Ruth Garber, Nitche Graham, Anthony Ivancich, John and Susan Tiffany, Larry White, and Vickie White. The Team performed primarily for Folk Dance Festivals.
It was Stewart who helped these dancers form a Branch of the RSCDS in Los Angeles, California, recognized on December 11, 1965. Stewart was made an honorary member by vote of the Committee of Management, which included David Brandon, Vickie White, Avis Tarvin, and Richard Goss (and not a Scot among 'em!).
For many years, Stewart taught classes in Houston, Texas , and it was through Stewart's efforts that the Houston and District Branch of the RSCDS was officially formed on November 7, 1978.
C. Stewart Smith was known as the premier Scottish dance instructor in the United States until his death in 1982 in Eastern Canada, where he was judging at the Eastern Canadian Championships. A "C. Stewart Smith Memorial" was established to award Scottish Country dancers. The principles and values set by Stewart are the standards that thousands of dancers, teachers, and judges still try to achieve.
Cedric Stewart Smith died of a heart attack (after receiving open-heart surgery earlier) on July 8, 1982, leaving his wife Joan.
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