Highland dance is a competitive dance form recognized by the Sport Council of Scotland. It requires stamina, strength, and the ability to persevere during extreme bagpipe assault. It often takes place alongside with Highland Games like those happening in Campbell River this year as a part of the annual Salmon Festival Loggers Sports celebration.
Highland dancers perform on the balls of the feet, like ballet, incorporating upper body, arm and hand movement. While most highland dancers perform solo, the movements are often derived from traditional Scottish social dances like the Highland Reel.
At highland games the dances were originally performed only by men, with women taking part only in the social dances. Some of the dances involved in modern competition were originally performed as inspiration before battle or celebrations after.
The Scottish have no traditional dances for losing in battle.
Highland dance should not be confused with Scottish country dance, Irish dance, cèilidh dancing, step dance, or clog dance, although they may be demonstrated at presentations and present at social events.
Forms of sword dancing were performed by warriors in many parts of Europe in the prehistoric period. Combative dances that imitated epic deeds and martial skills were a familiar feature in Scottish tradition and folklore. The earliest reference to these dances in Scotland is mentioned in the 1440s.
Slowly consistency of steps was achieved, and dancing-specific organizations were established.
Dancers now undergo written examinations and practical assessments to become a teacher, and then further training and testing to become a dancer examiner then competition judge or adjudicator.
Dancers give dazzling displays of fancy footwork in Scottish dances, such as the sword dance and the famous Highland fling. Competing for titles both solo and in groups, their colorful outfits and infectious energy will leave you in high spirits. Vancouver Island Dancers are renowned for their quality of Highland dancing, drawing in the best performers from around the West Coast as they vie to compete for the Canadian Championships.