Highland Dancing Competition
The Loch Norman Highland Games at Rural Hill is honored to host the Carolinas Open Highland Dancing Championships, one of six sanctioned championships held in the United States. The sanctioning body is the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing. SOBHD rules will govern all events.
Authorities on dancing have stated that Highland dancing is one of the most physically demanding forms of dancing in the world. The five basic foot positions used in Highland Dancing are almost the same as in ballet, underlining the common roots of the two dance forms. While all of the dances you will see in the competition are loosely called Highland dances, they are formally divided into Highland dances and National dances.
Highland dances require a great deal of stamina and are known for their meticulous, aggressive movements. Traditionally they were performed by men before and after battle. When Highland Dancing competitions were started during the Highland Revival in the late 1800s; most of the competitors came from military units.
Many of the National dances were originally choreographed for women and the focus is more on graceful movements and energy than on physical strength. Proper attire for male and female dancers varies slightly. In US competitions, the kilt, generally a man's garment, is required for all competitors. National dances feature costumes appropriate to the theme of the dance.
Since 1950 the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing (SOBHD) has set standards for performance and judge’s scoring. There are many accepted steps for each dance, some of which are required in competition by the SOBHD and others which are optional. All dancers may not, therefore, dance the same steps. In judging Highland dancing, the main points to watch for are the precision and timing of the steps and the leg, body and arm positions. The dancer should appear relaxed and well in control of the movements.
Scottish National Dances
Rural Hill , Center of Scottish Heritage
PO Box 1009 * Huntersville, NC 28070-1009
4431 Neck Road * Huntersville, N. C. 28078-8342
Office: 704.875.3113 * Fax: 704.875.3193
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