Register NOW for absolute beginner classes in NYC with Shot of Scotch!*
Shot of Scotch was formed in February 2011 in New York City as a venue for experienced, premier level competitive Scottish Highland dancers to continue to dance with the high level of precision they have trained for so many years to achieve.
In Fall 2012, two of their founding members independently moved to Vancouver, BC, so Shot of Scotch is now an international group, with one branch established in NYC and a new branch in Vancouver!
Both groups have a primary focus on performance, but also offer lessons from absolute beginner to premier!
Highland Dancing is one of the most sophisticated forms of national dancing known throughout the world. Dance origins could be social dances, war dances, or strictly for exhibition purposes. Highland Dancing has ancient origins. When the Romans came to Britain during Agricola's reign (circa 77 A.D.), the renowned historian Tacitus wrote of the inhabitants in the far north doing strange dances with swords and spears.
The Norsemen (Vikings) and Mary Queen of Scots' French court also influenced some of the dances. The greatest influence; however, may be by John Knox and John Calvin, who negatively impacted Highland Dancing and probably caused the loss of many of the traditional Scottish dances. Sadly, their sermons preached against music and dancing and all but terminated these activities. Can you imagine?
Highland Dancing is often compared to ballet, but is considered to be more strenuous during the duration of the dance because the dancer is not allowed to put their heels on the floor (except during a Jig or the Sailor's Hornpipe).**
Types of Dances:
Traditional Dances: Are those where the kilt is worn and are known for their aggressive and meticulous movements. These dances were originally done by MALE dancers. These dances usually commemorated battles and were believed to be used as an exercise to keep warriors fit and ready to fight.
National Dances: Are more graceful and are generally performed by women. The women often wear Aboyne dress for these dances. Aboyne dress gets its origins from the committee of the Aboyne Games who were opposed to women competing in kilts (the kilt is a male garment). In 1953, they approved a costume for female dancers which became known as the Aboyne dress.
Highland dance currently has millions of dancers competing across the planet.