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Highland Dance Competition

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.

 

For more information, contact our Highland Dance Committee

Check back on this page for competition announcements and additional information.

Highland Dance Judge Fred DeMarse - 2023

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Fred is originally from Michigan but relocated to California in 1984 for university studies. Fred started to compete in Highland dancing in 1988 after completing his university degree. He competed and performed throughout North America. Fred is a Fellow of the BATD. He joined the RSOBHDs World-Wide Judging Panel in 2003. Since joining the Panel, he has enjoyed judging and teaching in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and Scotland. Fred teaches children and adults at the San Jose School of Highland Dancing in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been a member of ScotDance USAs Board of Directors since 2009 and the President since 2019.

Highland Dance Judge Jennifer Hastings - 2023

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Jennifer grew up in Redwood City, California and began dancing under Norine Vujovich Harmon at the age of 6. She has competed throughout North America and Scotland, winning the British Overseas Championship and USIR and completing her career under the instruction of Sharon Farrar. Jennifer currently serves on the FUSTA/Scotdance USA Board of Directors, is a Member of the SDTA and has been an Adjudicator on the RSOBHD Worldwide Judges Panel since 2010. Jennifer currently resides north of Denver, Colorado with her husband, Nate, where she has a small dancing school. She works as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist at a local hospital, and enjoys running, hiking and camping in her free time.

Piper Brian Green - 2023

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Brian Green has been piping for over 45 years. He began learning the pipes at the age of ten after watching a performance of a Highland piper, Scottish snare drummer, and Highland Dancer at his elementary school in Upstate NY, receiving his early instruction from Dr. Harold Kirkpatrick.

Brian has been actively piping for Highland dancing for over 30 years. He received valuable feedback on dance piping from Jeannie Brauns (founder of the Braemar Highland Dancers in Upstate NY), as well as pipers Jimmy Fee and John Recknagel.

Brian also competes in pipe bands, having participated in bands at all levels. He is currently a member of the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band, a Grade 1 pipe band based in Milton, ON. He lives in Gurnee, IL (approximately 40 miles north of Chicago) with his wife Pam (a former Highland dancer and current Scottish snare drummer), and daughters Courtney (a tenor drummer in the 78th Fraser Highlanders) and Fiona.

Piper Doug Frobese - 2023

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Doug Frobese began playing bagpipes at age 9 at St. Thomas Episcopal School in Houston, Texas. In 1991, Doug joined the Hamilton (now St. Thomas Alumni) Pipe Band, served as pipe major from 1997 to 2000, and played with the band when it won the grade 2 World Championship in 2019. 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.

 

Highland Dance

 

Highland Dances:

Fling

Likely the oldest of the traditional dances of Scotland, the Fling signifies victory following a battle.


Sword Dance

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.


Seann Triubhas

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

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.


National Dances

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.


Our 2023 Corporate Sponsors

 

Eagle Rock Distributing
Royal Scottish Country Dance Society - Atlanta Branch
Dillons Restaurant
Scottish Heritage USA
Second Chance Landscape

 

FirePro
The Bubbling Creek Co.
J. Martinez & Company
Cooper Lake Automotive

 

 

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