Pas de Bas/Pas de Bas Hi Cuts

Is one of the first dances taught in Highland Dance. This dance is exactly the same as the first step of the Sword Dance, but is danced to the front without the use of swords. It is usually taught to young dancers who are not yet prepared to learn the entire Sword Dance

Highland Fling

One of the oldest traditional dances. Originally performed by male warriors as a victory dance over a tang (shield).

Special Fling

A unique addition created for our competition, for Premier dancers aged 15 and under. All the dancers dance together and one award is given to the dancer judged with having the best fling.

Sword Dance

Dating back to 11th Century, this is a victory dance where the victorious warrior places his sword over that of the defeated. Touching or kicking the sword results in a deduction or disqualification.

Sean Truibhas

Used to depict the Scottish displeasure at being forced to wear trousers by the English. Dancers’ movements show pleasure at shedding the trousers and donning the kilt.


(Wilt thou go to the barracks, Johnny?) Is a national dance in Highland dancing, and was originally a recruitment dance for the Royal Scottish Army. This dance represents the strength, agility, and determination the soldier received while going through training.

Irish Jig

A Scottish take on an Irish jig in which a washerwoman is angry with her erring husband. A heeled shoe is used in this dance. Male dancers play the erring husband and dance with a shillelagh.

Sailor’s Hornpipe

Adopted from the English Hornpipe. Dancers wear a sailor’s suit and depict everyday movements in a sailor‘s life.

Stone Throw

A stone is thrown in a style similar to the modern shot-put for maximum distance. The modern Track and Field shot-put has, in fact, its roots in the Heavy Events.

Weights (For Distance)

These weights are metal with a chain and ring handle. The weights include Light (28lb) and Heavy (56lb) with the overall length of each implement being 18 inches. The athlete has a 9’ run up and must throw the weight with one hand. The object is to throw the weight as far as possible.

Weights (Over the Bar)

The weight is thrown one-handed over a bar set at increasing heights. The weight is attached to a metal ring handle. The thrower has three tries for each height (12-25 lbs).

Hammer Throw

The hammer head is metal, and the shaft is wood (rattan or bamboo),or plastic eg. PVC pipe. The total weight of each hammer is 16 lbs (light) and 22 lbs (heavy). The length of the hammer can be no longer than 50” overall. The hammer must be thrown with the feet in a fixed position, but a competitor may move his feet after the hammer is released.

Sheaf Toss

A pitchfork is used to hurl a burlap bag stuffed with straw (16 lbs) over a horizontal bar. The contestant gets three tries to clear the bar without touching it. The bar is raised higher and higher each time.

Caber Toss

There is no standard size or weight of a caber but the caber is wood and typically of a length and weight so half the competitors can turn it. The caber is ‘stood-up’ for the athlete, with the heavy end on top. The attempt begins when the caber is lifted from the ground. The thrower may take any length of run they wish and may toss the caber from where they choose, but the caber must pass through the vertical position in order to count as a turned caber. The “clock face” method of judging is used, as opposed to distance, such that a perfect toss will flip over and land with the small end pointing directly at 12 o’clock away from the competitor.