Scottish Dancing at the Portland Highland Games
Dancing is a key element of Scottish culture so no highland games would be complete without Scottish Highland Dancing and also Ceilidh Social Dancing. Scottish dances are high-energy, fun to watch and, even more fun to try. Learn more about dancing events at the Games and opportunities for you to immerse yourself in the culture.
Scottish Highland Dancing
Scottish highland dancing has a long and varied history. This form of dance, unique to Scotland, dates to at least the 16th century, if not further. Each individual dance has its origin story with some, like the Strathspey and Reel coming from folkloric traditions to others like the Sword dance which has its roots in the Scottish military. There is even a dance called the Seann Triubhas, meaning “old trousers” in Gaelic, which celebrates the Scotts re-gaining the freedom from the English to wear kilts. To watch and understand Scottish Highland Dancing is the watch the history of Scotland.
The training required for highland dancing is extensive, requiring the athleticism of some of the most demanding sports and the grace and artistry of dance. The combination of athleticism and grace is quite the sight to behold.
Ceilidh Social Dance
We invite you to come and join us, take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn the fun social dances traditionally danced at a Ceilidh. Everyone is welcome to join in and all ages are welcome—novice to experienced alike.
The traditional Gaelic Social Gathering, or House Party, is frequently referred to as a Ceilidh (Kay-lee), “a visit”. A Ceilidh may include folk music and singing, traditional dancing, storytelling, poetry, readings, step dancing, skits and jokes; a casual do-it-yourself form of entertainment within the local community.
Come and learn these fun Celtic social dances and be ready to kick up your heels at your next Ceilidh, wherever your travels may take you! There is no fee and no need to sign up ahead of time.