Many of the Highland Dances trace their beginnings to times of war and were performed by the Scottish soldiers. The Sword Dance is the prediction dance, said to have been done prior to battle. It was believed that if the soldier touched or displaced the sword in any way it was a bad omen. The Highland Fling is the victory dance done on the “targe“ (shield) of the defeated warrior.
The Sean Triubhas came about in the rebellion of 1745 when the English forbid the Scots to wear their kilts. This dance represents the repeal of the act and the return to wearing the free flowing, beloved kilt. Today, Highland Dance is female dominated and many of the national dances such as Flora MacDonald’s Fancy and the Scottish Lilt are softer in feel than the traditional Highland Dances.
Highland Dancing provides participants the opportunity to gain poise, self-confidence, stage presence, ethnic tradition, uniqueness, self-discipline, aerobic exercise, lifelong friendships and a variety of other positive benefits. It is the desire of the Thistle & Heather Highland Dancers to make Scottish dancing accessible to as many students as possible. Dancers need not be of Scottish heritage to participate.