A great many tales and legends surround the origins of the Highland Dances. The oldest of these Dances include:
Highland Fling The Highland Fling originated as a 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 animal's antlers. Despite the variety of steps, it should be danced throughout in the same position on the floor, perhaps because originally the Highland Fling was said to have been done on the shield of the clansman.
Sword Dancing The Sword Dance is the war dance of the Highlander. It was traditionally believed that for the warrior to touch or displace his sword portended evil in the coming fight.
Seann Triubhas (pronounced Shawn Truews). After the Jacobite Rising of 1745, the Highlanders were forbidden to wear their traditional kilt, and had instead to wear the unmanly trousers. When the ban was lifted in 1782, it is said that the Highlanders danced for joy, kicking off the unwelcome garment. Seann Trubhas merely means without trousers.
These dances go back to the 18th Century or before. Other, newer, dances that are danced in competition include:
The Sailor's Hornpipe
Flora MacDonald's Fancy
In earlier times, these dances were committed to memory and handed down by word of mouth. What we see today are the dances that survived; unique, colorful, fascinating and unlike any other dance form. Dancers of all ages earn prizes and medals in day long competition beginning at 8 a.m.
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