Highland dance is a style of competitive solo dancing developed in the Scottish Highlands in the 19th and 20th centuries in the context of competitions at public events such as the Highland games. It was created from the Gaelic folk dance repertoire, but formalized with the conventions of ballet, and has been subject to influences from outside the Highlands. Highland dancing is often performed to the accompaniment of Highland bagpipe music and dancers wear specialised shoes called ghillies. It is now seen at nearly every modern-day Highland games event.
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.