Highland Dancing

Our Highland dancers this year are from the Claire Bryce School of Highland Dancing and the Elizabeth Fraser School of Dancing in Inverness – and throughout the afternoon they will be presenting a variety of traditional Highland dances on the wooden platform in front of the main stand.

Highland dancing is a style of solo dancing developed in the Scottish Highlands in its present form during the nineteenth century and is often a competitive spectacle at public events such as the Highland Games. It is performed to the accompaniment of bagpipe music and has always been a main stay of the modern Games.

At the Glenurquhart Highland Gathering & Games instead of a competition we provide a display – but you can rest assured that not only is the dancing of the highest quality but the dances themselves are authentic and traditional. The youngsters wear the traditional costume of tartan and plaid as well as special dancing shoes.

During the course of the afternoon you will see the Sword Dance which originated, according to tradition, when crossed swords were supposedly placed on the ground before a battle while a soldier danced around the blades. You will also see the Highland Fling- a dance of triumph at the end of a battle and the Seann Triubhas which means “old trousers” in Gaelic. This dance is associated with the removal of the ban on wearing the kilt some years after the failed Jacobite Uprising of 1745. The movements symbolise the “kicking off” of the hated trousers.

Watch carefully and enjoy the graceful technique, stamina, and strength of the dancers – and while you do so, also reflect upon the long and proud traditions their dances represent.