Highland dance is a style of competitive solo dancing similar to ballet and Irish dancing that was developed in the Scottish Highlands centuries ago. The dances were passed down over the years to preserve the rich heritage of the Scottish people. Although it originated in Scotland, highland dancing is performed throughout the world today, by dancers of a variety of heritages.
Highland dancing is a celebration of the Scottish spirit and is a competitive and technical dance form that requires technique, stamina, and grace to perform. Each dance is an amazing combination of agility, movement, music, and costume. Dancers typically dance to traditional Scottish music such as Strathspeys, Reels, Hornpipes and Jigs all played by an accompanying bagpiper.
The dances are made up of different parts, called steps and there are usually four or six steps to a dance. The dances are great fun and anyone, not just those with a Scottish heritage, can join in and learn the dances.
Highland Dancing is a healthy workout for adults and for children. It is a great way to develop good coordination, posture and overall muscle tone, not to mention aerobic capacity and strength. One study showed that a half hour of dance was equal to a game of soccer.
Ambitious new students develop self-discipline and confidence as they learn to tackle the physical demands of Highland dancing. Indeed, the tremendous strength, stamina, and technical precision that accomplished dancers exhibit on stage comes from years of independent training and collaboration with experienced teachers.
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