History of the Red Thistle Dancers
The Red Thistle Dancers were created in 1973 as a new incarnation of a Scottish Country Dancing group previously led by C. Stewart Smith (who was instrumental in promoting Scottish Country Dancing in the San Francisco Bay Area of California during the 1960s and 1970s).
Founding Artistic Director Jennifer Kelly was persuaded into leading an advanced technique class in the South Bay, and once that happened, people started asking for performances!
The Red Thistle Dancers take their name from both the thistle, the national flower of Scotland which appears in many crests and coats of arms, and from the red thistle flower, a wildflower native to California.
Artistic Directors and Founders Jennifer & John Kelly, c. 1979