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Reilly's Highland Dance Page




The highland dances were originally danced by Scottish men after war. The Nationals were originally done by Scottish women. Some of the highlands are called the Fling, Sword and Sean Triubhas. Some of the Nationals are the Lilt and the Flora.


The Fling was danced after war as a victory dance. The raised arms symbolize stag antlers. Men would dance it on the middle of their enemy's shield. That is why you should dance in one spot when doing the Fling.


The Sword is danced over two crossed swords. Some say the winner took their enemy's sword and their own and crossed them to dance over. Others say men took their own sword and scabbard to dance over. Another theory is that the men danced over their sword and scabbard before a battle. If they touched it, it was supposed to be bad luck.

Sean Triubhas

Sean Triubhas is gaelic for old trousers. The shaking movements of the leg symbolize men trying to shake off pants that they were made to wear when the English invaded Scotland. The last step of the dance symbolizes Scots enjoying the freedom of the kilt again.


There are two main kinds of costumes. They are the aboyne or white dress and the kilt. The kilt is worn with a matching vest and socks. Highland dances are done in the kilt. The aboyne is worn for the Nationals. The kilt is made out of a wool tartan material. Every clan has their own tartan. The vest is made out of velvet. The aboyne is a full gathered skirt made of cotton or polyester. It is worn with a matching vest that is velvet. When worn, the vest is laced up the front. A plaid or sash is worn with the both the white dress and aboyne. The plaid is the same tartan as the skirt. The plaid is pinned on the right shoulder with a cairngorm. The plaid hangs down the back and is secured at the waist.


Most highland games start at 8:30 or 9:00 am. There can be more than 40 pipe bands at a highland games. During the day there are several events such as:

My Favorite Web sites

David Coulter's School of Scottish Highland Dancing
Highland and Scottish Step Dance Resource Pages
Ottawa Highland Dance Association
Rob Roy Pipe Band and Highland Dancers