Highland Dancing has origins several hundred years ago and actually has scripted steps which date back to the early 1900’s. In many of the traditional dances – the Highland Fling, Sword Dance and Reels – you would recognize the steps as similar to earlier forms however, the tempo at which the dances are executed is now much slower. This allows for great precision and strength of movements. Traditionally it was only the men who danced and often in a military setting but these days, females greatly outnumber males.
The Rob Roy Highland Dancing programme focuses on three elements – medal tests, performances and if the dancer is interested, competitions.
All dancers are encouraged to take part in local performances – we are often asked to provide entertainment at senior citizens’ residences, walk in parades (we participate in up to ten local Santa Claus parades each year) and a variety of other engagements. All dancers also take part in the Christmas tea and spring concert. Everyone loves the opportunity to show off what they have learned during the term.
Each year an examiner from the Scottish Dance Teacher’s Alliance (SDTA) visits the area to conduct medal exams. There are opportunities for dancers of all levels to participate in this valuable experience.
Finally, as dancers become proficient, they are encouraged to give competitions a try. A good first event is the Kingston Scottish Festival which is organized by our group. A first time competitor is categorized as a “beginner” and then each category is again divided by age. If you are interested in pursuing competitions, please discuss this with your teacher.
Rob Roy has a number of dance teachers who are qualified under the Scottish Dance Teachers’ Alliance (SDTA). They are under the direction of Carol-Anne Bell, herself a Fellow of the SDTA and certified adjudicator for the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dance (SOBHD).
Classes currently run on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at St Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School in Kingston’s west end. They are available for new beginners to advanced students starting at age five (by Christmas). Additional classes include:
- Separate adult class
- Advanced competition preparation class available for dancers intending to compete or improve technique
Classes begin in September, follow the school calendar year, and end in June with a final concert. Lessons are usually one hour, depending on the experience level, and include warm-up exercises, technique improvement, learning of new steps and dances, choreography, and annual Medal Test Preparation. Fall registration information will be available in August.
Come out and give our classes a try. It is lots of fun and great exercise!
Registration begins in August-September. See our registration page for more information.