Most of the true Highland dances are connected with ancient Scottish folk customs. Highland Dancing developed in the rugged Scottish Highlands sometime around the 11th Century and has continued up to the present time. Margaret, the wife of King Malcolm Canmore, introduced popular Norman entertainments at the Scottish Court following her marriage to the king in the year 1070. The Modern Ballet and Highland Dancing have common roots in the classical dances of that day. Their present form evolved through the centuries as refinement in the general form of dance occurred, but the original basic steps and the themes were passed on through the years.
Highland Dancing is essentially solo dancing, no partners being involved. All of the Highland dances have precise, difficult movements and require much stamina and coordination. Highland Dances were originally danced by men only, but now they're performed by far more females than males. Dance steps are standardized by the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing (SOBHD) and competitions are held world-wide. Highland Dances include the Highland Fling, the Sword Dance, the Seann Triubhas, and the Reel; other dances, known as Scottish National Dances, are of a more modern origin and have been collected from old dance masters.
The National dances are very similar to Highland dances, yet the style is more flowing and ballet-like. They require a lot of skill to execute correctly, and spectators will note that often the rhythms are more complicated than in conventional Highland dancing.
- Competitive training from the Beginner level to the Champion
- Medal testing through the British Association of Teachers of Dance (BATD) and the Scottish Dance Teachers' Alliance (SDTA) where dancers are examined based on a standard.
- Many performance and choreography-based opportunities to enhance and expand studio work.
- A friendly yet structured environment where students develop their poise, grace and confidence on a regular basis.
Testimonials regarding Highland:
“Exhilarating & delightful”
Heather's teaching from parent's perspective:
“The girls’ poise and grace are a testament to your patience and love of dance.”
Heather's teaching from student perspective:
“Heather is amazing, supportive, funny but serious, pay really close attention to detail as well as the big picture, encouraging, encourage students to be goal-oriented and focused on specifics. She wants the best for us which encourages us to strive for it, sometimes getting it, sometimes not.” – Katherine Bull
“I particularly like Heather’s teaching styles. She focuses on important skills and techniques with her students, while making all the classes fun and enjoyable at the same time.” – Ashley Davidson