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Scottish dances similar to many dances of all nations are ancient in origin dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries. These dances, in the beginning, were expressions of both personal and social emotions - joy, victory in battle or the hunt, courtship, or perhaps symbolic of one’s work
Georgians have a great deal of Scottish heritage. An exciting way to rediscover one’s past is through Highland Dance, which is an excellent total body workout. It develops good coordination, posture, and overall muscle tone
Highland Dances are the first dances learned. They are the most rigorous and demanding of the Scottish Dances. There are many National Dances which are danced in different and fun costumes and tend to be more ballet like.
The Highland Fling is the oldest of the Scottish dances, dating back to the 11th century. It is a dance of happiness and joy in honor of a successful hunt.
The Sword Dance originated by the great Malcolm Canmore in 1054. The intricate footwork in passing over the swords kept the warrior aware of the dexterity needed in climbing in the Highlands. It was also a dance of superstition; if a warrior touched the sword he could expect to be wounded or die in battle.
Seann Tribhas literally means “old trousers.” After the rebellion in 1745, the English banned the Scots from wearing their beloved kilt. The dance celebrates the lifting of the ban in 1782 through movements of joy that bring the kilt to life.
The Scottish Lilt has more graceful movements than any of the Highland Dances. The girls wear the Arisaidh Dress, begun by the Aboyne Highland Games committee in Scotland, where it is forbidden for women to wear the kilt.
Flora MacDonald’s Fancy is a folk dance and perhaps the most elegant and graceful of the Scottish National dances. It commemorates Flora MacDonald, who smuggled Bonnie Prince Charlie from the Highlands of Scotland to the Isle of Skye in the Hebrides in an open boat. It is said that the prince was disguised as Flora’s maid to avoid detection by the English.
The Scottish version of the Irish Jig has several legends that go along with it. One of many is about the Irish washer women who immigrated to Scotland. They felt a great deal of frustration towards their low pay and hard labor, hence the angry attitude displayed in this dance.
The Sailors Hornpipe comes from England. This dance depicts the various chores done aboard British Naval Ships.