Sunday was a gorgeous day, so I decided to go to the games in Scotland, CT. These are a nice, small games, and the dancing is always fun because Cathie Gibbs, who organizes it, likes to have the Premier dancers do the National dances, which they don’t always get to do earlier in the year. For those of you new to Highland, the (approximately) 15 dances that exist are divided into two main groups: the Highland dances, and National dances. The Highland dances are the Fling, Seann Triubhas, the Sword dance, and the Reel. There are several variations of the reel: Strathspey and Reel, Strathspey and 1/2 Tulloch, and the Reel of Tulloch. These are the dances that make up a championship. All are danced wearing a kilt and either a velvet vest or a velvet jacket, and tartan hose to match the kilt.
The National dances include The Lilt, Flora MacDonald’s Fancy, the Sailor’s Hornpipe, the Jig, Bluebonnets, Highland Laddie, Wilt Thou Go to the Barracks Johnny, the Earl of Errol, Scotch measure, the Village Maid, and the Tribute to J. L. MacKenzie (which is never done in competition), and last, but not least, the Cakewalk. They are danced in a traditional outfit called an Aboyne or an Arisaid, consisting of a gathered tartan skirt, a velvet vest and a plaid, or a white dress worn with a plaid. The Jig requires a red, white, or green dress and an apron to represent an Irish washerwoman, and the Sailor’s Hornpipe requires a navy or white sailor suit.
Anyway, Sunday’s games were fabulous, and I enjoyed watching all of it. I hadn’t been to this competition for several years, and had missed all of the fun since my dancing daughter stopped competing. It’s actually much more relaxing when you don’t have a child competing, with all of the stress that comes from costume emergencies, hair catastrophes, shoelace disasters, and so on. I also get to see kids that I dressed, which is fun, and talk to the other dance moms, many of whom I haven’t seen for a few years.
Highland dancing is what got me into the world of kiltmaking, and it’s a pleasure to go back, like coming home.