Stone Mountain Highland Games is pleased to host two Highland Dancing competitions during the festival.
Both days will feature the traditional "Highland" dances as well as several Scottish National dances. Some of the best dancers from around the country will compete for medals, trophies, and prizes.
Scottish Highland Dancing is a celebration of the Scottish spirit. The dances are a spectacular combination of strength, agility, movement, music, and costume. Unlike other dance mediums, Highland dances are generally danced solo and in competition. Dancers typically dance to traditional Scottish music such as Strathspeys, Reels, Hornpipes and Jigs, all played by an accompanying bagpiper. The dances are made up of different parts, called steps and there are usually four or six steps to a dance.
Highland dancing was traditionally performed by men but is now performed by men and women. It is one of few arenas where men and women compete equally. In most competitions, the number of women competing far exceeds the number of men.
In addition to perpetuating a great cultural tradition, highland dancers appreciate the athletic challenges, competitive goals, performance opportunities as well as the opportunity to meet and become lifelong friends with dancers from other areas, both nationally and internationally, that participation in this ethnic art form/sport affords them.
Be sure and stop by the Highland Dance Pavilion.
Highland Dance forms for the 2022 games can be accessed by clicking on the link below. Entries must be postmarked by October 1, 2022. After that, entries must include late entry fees.
Check back on this page for competition announcements and additional information.
Highland Dance Judge Aileen Robertson
Aileen Robertson started dancing at the age of seven taking classes in all forms of dance. She began competing in Highland and continued her career by winning every major Championship title in Scotland.
The highlight of her career was winning the World Junior Title in 1972 and continuing to win the Adult World Championship in 1974 and 1976. She also won the SOBHD Oscar award for Champion of Champions and was given a Civic Reception from Kyle and Carrick Council.
Aileen is a Fellow and Examiner of the Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance and was taught by Elspeth Strathern. She is a Life Member of the British Association of Teachers of Dancing and an Adjudicator on the RSOBHD Worldwide panel. She is Head Delegate on the Board representing FUSTA/Scotdance USA, and also serves on several Committees of the RSOBHD including the Technical and Judges Committees.
Aileen has a successful Dance School based in Ayr and is Founder of the Ailsa Craig Highland Dancers. The Robertson School have had many successes in Choreography. A highlight was to be recognised earlier this year as the Dance School gaining the most winning choreography teams at the Highlands and Islands Music & Dance Festival.
Aileen is Dance Director of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and leads the Tattoo Dancers to perform in Tattoos Worldwide. She has choreographed for Tattoos in Melbourne and Sydney Australia, Wellington New Zealand, Virginia, Basel, Zurich, Berlin, Lichtenstein, Dusseldorf, Oslo, Las Vegas and Shanghai.
One of her biggest Honours was having dancers perform for the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations at Windsor Castle in 2016 and again for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations in Windsor earlier this year.
Aileen was honoured and privileged to become an Honorary Member of the FUSTA Hall of Fame in 2019. This was awarded to Aileen for representing FUSTA/Scotdance USA on the RSOBHD for 30 years.
Aileen was the recipient of the prestigious RSOBHD Atholl Clasp award for 2021 presented to her by the Atholl Dancing Association.
Highland Dance Judge Christine Lacey - MBE
Christine was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2014 New Year’s honours list for services to Scottish Highland Dancing.
Christine was elected Chairman of the World Governing Body for Highland Dancing in November 2006 – now known as The Royal Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing.
Christine was awarded the prestigious Atholl Clasp Award from The Atholl Dancing Association in November 2019.
Christine is also a Trustee and Examiner of The British Association of Teachers of Dancing as well as an International Adjudicator on The Royal Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing.
Among Christine’s many competitive credits are, six times World Highland Dancing Champion. Although well renowned in the world of Highland Dancing, Christine has also achieved recognition in both Tap and Ballet. She has held the titles of British Senior Ballet Champion; Scottish Junior and Senior Ballet Champion; Scottish Junior and Senior Tap Champion. Collectively, in all three disciplines she has accumulated over 250 Championship Titles.
She is always in great demand lecturing, examining and adjudicating all over the world.
Christine was trained at the Stewart School of Dancing in Alexandria, Scotland.
Christine’s teachers at the School were – Miss Jessie Stewart Haggarty MBE, Miss Agnes Stewart and Mrs Nancy Haggarty Gibbons. Christine is most indebted to all three ladies for giving her the skills and the passion she has for Dance.
She now teaches dance full time and is thoroughly enjoying being able to devote her time and expertise to the dancing world.
Christine is happily married to Donald MacPhee who is a well-known piper and RSPBA Adjudicator.
Piper Donald MacPhee
Donald MacPhee is a member of the RSPBA Adjudicators panel ( Ensemble and Piping ) and the Piping representative on the APMB. After a successful pipe band career he retired from pipe band competition at the end 2014 accumulating 34 Major Championships, 8 Champion of Champions titles, 6 World Championships and 2 Grand Slams while a member of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band.
Some of his solo major successes are Former winner (ceol beag) at both the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting, The New Zealand Piobaireachd Society’s Gold Medal, The Donald MacDonald Quaich .The Former Winners MSR at the Scottish Pipers Association professional contest, the overall solo piper award at the Cowal Highland Gathering and winner of The Highland Society of London’s Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting.
Donald is also a well known for Piping for Dancers . He has produced over the past 25 years 3 Piping for Dancing Professional recordings - the latest "The Definitive Collection" which is highly acclaimed by dancers, teachers and examiners.
Donald holds a Graduate & Senior Teachers Certificate from the Institute of Piping as well as the Advanced Certificate and Teachers Certificate from the RSPBA. He is also a well respected and travelled solo Adjudicator and on the Competing Pipers Association supplemental list of solo Adjudicators for active competitive pipers and a Visiting Assessor and External Verifier (Scottish Bagpipes) with the SQA ( The Scottish Qualifications Authority). He teaches for the Argyll and Bute Council at Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh and lives happily with his wife Christine, a former 6 time World Highland Dance champion in Alexandria where he is a successful Reed-maker.
Piper Doug Frobese
Doug Frobese began playing bagpipes at age 9 at St. Thomas Episcopal School in Houston, Texas. In 1991, Doug joined the Hamilton Pipe Band, now St. Thomas Alumni Pipe Band. He served as pipe major from 1997 to 2000 and remained a piper in the band through 2019. In August 2019, St. Thomas Alumni won the grade 2 World Pipe Band Championship. Doug also plays for Scottish highland dancing competitions and with the Celtic folk bands The Rogues and Scotland Rising. When not piping, Doug is a lawyer in Dallas.
Likely the oldest of the traditional dances of Scotland, the Fling signifies victory following a battle.
Legend says that warriors danced the Sword Dance prior to a battle. If the warrior touched the swords, it was considered an omen of injury or death.
The Seann Triubhas originated as a political protest dating to 1745 when wearing the kilt was an act of treason. The graceful steps reflect the restrictions of trousers, and the lively quick time recreates the Highlander's celebration of rediscovered freedom.
Reels are said to have started in a churchyard on a cold morning when the minister was late for the service. Parishioners kept warm by dancing a reel.
The National Dances are more modern than the Highland Dances and were developed so women could participate. The costume worn by women is called the Aboyne dress named in honor of the Aboyne Highland Games in Scotland where women were forbidden to wear the traditional Highland outfit. The National Dances are much more rhythmic and balletic; however, they still require quick and precise movements. Some of the dances are the Scottish Lilt, Village Maid, Blue Bonnets and Scotch Measure. Several National Dances are performed in the kilt since they were originally men's dances such as The Highland Laddie, and Wilt Thou Go to the Barracks, Johnny? Men, of course, also perform all of the dances, but they wear the traditional Highland outfit.