Dance Director: Joy Mackinnon
e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web address: www.mackinnondance.com
For further information or questions please contact Susie Eskridge at email@example.com
Each Games weekend you will witness dances that will take at the most three or four minutes each to perform. Yet the actual time it has taken these dancers to prepare themselves has spanned years of training dedication, study, joy, tears, sore muscles, pulled tendons and a competitive spirit which makes each dancer want to do their best. Highland dancing requires both athletic and artistic skills. The Scottish dances are ancient in origin, dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries. These dances were expressions of both personal and social emotions - joy, victory, or perhaps symbolic of one's work. Here are some of the dances that will be used in our competition.
Highland Fling - This is the oldest of the Scottish dances, dating back to the eleventh century. It is a dance of happiness and joy in the quick light tempo of the strathspey.
Sword Dance - This dance originated as a preperation for war by the great Malcolm Canmore in 1054. The intricate footwork in passing over the swords kept the warriors mindful of the dexterity needed in climbing the heather-covered hills of Scotland. Since the Scots were a superstitious people, it was thought that if the warrior touched a sword as he danced, it was an omen of a wound or even death in battle. Even today the dancers are still careful not to touch the crossed swords.
National Dances or Lilts - The lilts are known by many names - the Village Maid, the Flora McDonald's Fancy, the Scotch Measure, the Earl of Errol and the Blue Bonnets Over the Border are just a few written especially for women. they were originally performed by young men as a part of the athletic competition, with high stepping vigorous dance steps. These have changed to a graceful and flowing dance for the ladies.
Sailors Hornpipe - The sailors Hornpipe is a national dance of England. Since the English people depended on the sea so much in years gone by, it is clear how a dance depicting the chores of British navy life would become an important part of folklore. In fact, many of the dancers wear caps of actual British navy ships.
The Scottish Lilt - A national dance with more flowing movements than highland dances. The girls wear the Arisaidh Dress, begun by the Aboyne Highland Games committee in Scotland, where it is forbidden for women to wear the kilt. An ancient, historic form of feminine attire, this dress is appropriate at any Highland gathering.
The Jig - This English word Jig means " of sprightly movement especially to whirling." The original jigs were dances done to a fiddle and some lyrics. The jigs of the 15th and 16th centuries were danced to a tune and accompanied with a ditty or rhyme that told a story. Our jig, the "washerwomen" shows a great deal of frustration over their long hours and low pay. To ease their resentment at their employers they danced hence the angry gestures and stomping which prevail in this dance.