Highland Dancing

When interest in competition Highland Dancing grew with the passing years, instruction became authoritative, and the dancing technique became more defined. Since there were differing ideas on technique and judging, the Scottish Official Board or Highland Dancing and its traditional and accepted technique of competition came into being.

The Highland Fling

The Highland Fling originated as wild dance of triumph following victory in battle. It is said to be inspired by the capers of the stag, the dancer's upraised arms representing the animals antlers. Danced vigorously and exultantly, it is now highly stylized and calls for the greatest skill in technique and exactness of timing. Despite the variety of steps, it should, for example, be danced throughout in the same position on the board, perhaps because originally the Highland Fling was said to have been done on the shield of the clansman. It has become the classic solo dance at modern competitive dancing events, and is often selected at competitions to decide who will be judged the best Highland dancer of the day.

The Sword Dance

Like the Highland Fling, the Sword Dance, or Ghillie Chalium has war as its basic theme. Today it is both picturesque and popular at Highland Games; legend has it that in older times it was danced on the eve of battle, and that for the soldier to touch or displace the sword portened evil in the comping fight. There are many other theories regarding the origin of the Sword Dance, and one of the most attractive of these is that which tells how the great Malcolm Canmore, after having defeated one of MacBeth's chiefs at the Battle of Dunsinane in 1054, seized his opponents sword, placing it over his own to form a cross, over which he danced triumphantly to the wild music of the pipes.

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