Scottish Dance: History and Styles

What is the name of the Scottish dance "on swords"which is performed in kilt and bagpipes? Its historical name is Sword Dance, in its traditional form it is now performed with swords. However, the name "Hayland" is more often mentioned, and swords are not always present in the performance.

Some of today's famous Scottish dances haveindigenous origin, others borrowed from neighboring peoples and changed over time to unrecognizability. Ballroom (paired) dances of Scotland can be divided into two main groups: cayley and country. In addition, there are solo dances, male and female.


Scottish DanceThis group includes paired dances of "native"origin: waltzes, polka, hornpipe, jig, tristeps, tosteps, quadrilles. The Scots invented for them many of their own pas, and national "imported" melodies were added to the "imported" melodies, for example, Straspey.

There were also homegrown customs:Scottish dance "Crazy Polka" - a kind of duel between dancers and musicians: who will break faster. They dance most often under the curtain, after which they disperse to rest. The elements of the polka entered the Scottish tri-steppe and the steppe.

"Hornayips" (paired dances) can be of a mass character. This includes polka, quadrille, waltzes.

Scottish Dance Cape Breton - Nationala kind of steppe, performed in hard boots. Cape Breton for 250 years, together with the settlers, he moved to Canada, thanks to what has survived to this day. In the twentieth - the twenty-first century was again brought to Scotland, where it had by that time been safely forgotten.

Scottish Country Dancing

What is the name of the Scottish danceThis is also a pair dance, but they are performed a littleotherwise: male and female lines are facing each other. Sometimes four pairs are enough, but in some dances the number of pairs reaches sixteen. The partners converge and diverge, the lines intersect, the drawing can be quite complicated (something similar to the Slavs - Russians, Ukrainians).


An ancient Scottish dance that came fromthe eleventh century, "Dance with swords". Originally was distributed among the mountaineers, later descended into the valleys. According to legend, King Malcolm danced first on his crossed swords (his and his rival), celebrating the victory. Since then, "Highland" - the main decoration of all military holidays in Scotland. Traditionally, this is a male dance, the emphasis is on athleticism and sharp movements. Currently, it is performed by the girls: bright and athletic, it perfectly fits into the dance culture of different countries. The Scottish dance "Highland" is performed with the accompaniment of bagpipes, the form of clothing is necessarily a kilt.

Ancient Scottish danceIn the old days, the dance was part of the ritual before the battle. The legend is connected with it: if a warrior, when performing Hayland, injures his leg, he will get a wound in battle.

Ladys Step

Happened from ancient female solo dances. In contrast to the energetic "Hyland", "Ladys Step" is soft and graceful. At the heart of all female Scottish dances are elegance and plasticity.

Revival of dance culture

Its today's worldwide popularityScottish dance owes a unique color, but not only. In the early twentieth century, thanks to the efforts of two enthusiasts, Isabel Stewart and Gene Milligan began a movement to preserve the national dance culture. A group of companions gathered a huge database - drawings, melodies, handwritten notes. This was the beginning of the Society of Ballroom Dance of Scotland, which in the middle of the twentieth century was awarded the status of Royal.

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