Looking for my photography website? Just click here!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Highland Dancing at the Burns Dinner

Every last Saturday in January the Scottish Society (I assume all over the world..) holds a very fancy dinner on behalf of Robert Burns .... a Scottish poet.  He is the poet who wrote "Auld Lang Syne" among other poems.  He is also referred to as "Scotlands favorite son". 

So, it is typical for Highland Dancers to dance at this dinner that is held every year.  {However this year and last year the Irish Dancers here have been dancing at the Burns dinner... taking up even more time than we're given -- they got 30 minutes, we got 12!! .... so it doesn't really make any sense why they're there since Burns was Scottish....  it's never happened at ANY of the other Burns dinners that the girls have danced at .... strange!} Since Katie has been dancing for 8 years now, Maddie for 6 years -- the Burns dinner is something we look forward to every year.

Now that we have moved down to San Antonio, the girls no longer compete in competitions (you can read more about a previous competition in that link).  We found the Scottish Society and they joined the dance group there.  The teacher, Miss Annette, is wonderful, and the girls have really enjoyed their time with this group.  Miss Annette teaches and puts together wonderful choreographed dances.  Since Katie & Maddie do know quite a few of the traditional dances that you would find Scottish dancers dancing at competitions, they do and have done solo dances at events as well.

On this particular night, Miss Annette managed to make all 8 costumes for the girls (and herself).  She did an AMAZING job.  They debuted their new costumes for this dinner.
In this particular picture, Miss Annette is giving the final instructions before they head out on the stage.  They are only given 12 minutes to perform, which really is hardly ANY time at all b/c some of these girls know a lot of dances and many enjoy watching their beautiful style that emerges through the dances.  It is so refreshing to see that all the traditional dances that are done, and are all symbolic or created from a story in the Scottish history.


Lined up before they head out  ... a group picture.


Walking out to the stage...


For this blog post, I am just adding pictures from the dances that my girls danced.  Here Katie is dancing the Seann Triubhas --


Katie and Miss Annette are dancing a choreographed dance...



Miss Maddie danced another choreographed dance with two other girls..



Finally the dance of the evening.... a group dance for 8 people, all dancing different steps.  It was beautiful to watch.

Scottish Highland Dance is a very vigorous sport.  I call it a sport because it is recognized in Scotland as a sport.  The dancers dance on the ball of their feet (except for 4 dances).  It takes a massive amount of stamina for the arms, hands & legs to dance these dances.  I should know because I had to learn the sword dance and teach it to Katie... I was exhausted after doing it once! 
If you would like to read more about the history & general information about Highland Dance, you can click here.  To see past dances that my girls have done, you can check out my Youtube channel here ... (it's under the user name twocuteblondies if you can't link it right).
You can also find Highland Dancers at any Highland Games that are generally found in the spring, summer and fall times of the year.  The San Antonio Highland Games are coming up on the weekend of March 31 & April 1st in Helotes.  There is generally so much more to see at the games other than dancers.  There are competitions for Bagpipers, Scottish heavy athletics (you can see people throw logs-- also called caber toss!  Pitch hay bales, hammer throw, herding dog trials).  Not to mention, this is the one place where you will most likely see men wearing their kilts.  Of course, Highland Games come enrich in history as well.

It took me awhile to get used to hearing the sound of bagpipes.  I was always amazed at how my girls could listen for the melody and know when to dance, when to do what at certain points in the song -- but now I think bagpipe music is beautiful and not a bunch of noise.
So, I encourage you to attend a nearby Highland Games.  It really is a lot of fun, full of culture & heritage and you do learn a LOT of interesting, fun things about the Scottish culture. 

1 comment:

Related Posts with Thumbnails