...who thrills to the sound of the bagpipe can join in and learn the dances.

Scottish Highland Dance


Scottish Highland Dancing is a celebration of the Scottish spirit. The dances are a spectacular combination of strength, agility, movement, music, and costume. Unlike other dance mediums, Highland dances are generally danced solo and in competition. Dancers typically dance to traditional Scottish music such as Strathspeys, Reels, Hornpipes and Jigs all played by an accompanying bagpiper. The dances are made up of different parts, called steps and there are usually four or six steps to a dance. The dances are great fun and anyone, not just those with a Scottish heritage, who thrills to the sound of the bagpipe can join in and learn the dances.

Highland dancing was traditionally performed by men but is now performed by men and women. It is one of few arenas where men and women compete equally. In most competitions, the number of women competing far exceeds the number of men.

Highland Dancing is a healthy workout for adults and for children. It is a great way to develop good coordination, posture and overall muscle tone, not to mention aerobic capacity and strength. One study showed that a half hour of dance was equal to a game of soccer.

Ambitious new students develop self-discipline and confidence as they learn to tackle the physical demands of Highland dancing. Indeed, the tremendous strength, stamina, and technical precision that accomplished dancers exhibit on stage comes from years of independent training and collaboration with experienced teachers.

In addition to perpetuating a great cultural tradition, highland dancers appreciate the athletic challenges, competitive goals, performance opportunities as well as the opportunity to meet and become lifelong friends with dancers from other areas, both nationally and internationally, that participation in this ethnic art form/sport affords them.

There are two styles of Highland Dances: the traditional Highland Dances and the graceful National Dances...

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Olivia Tyler | 2018 World Champion

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2018 Women's World Champion - Olivia Tyler


T exas native, Olivia Tyler has been throwing for about 6 years, with about 3 of those years off to grow, birth, and recover from her 5 year old and 1 year old babies. She threw the discus, hammer, and indoor weight at Texas Tech University, which she found to be a huge help with highland games. Olivia was introduced to the highland games through her husband, Spencer, as she missed throwing since leaving college. Now, Spencer and Olivia get to train, travel, and throw together, which makes the games even more fun for them both! They love the trips, people, throwing, and friendships from the games!


2018 Women's World Champion

World Record holder in Sheaf

2018 North American Co-Champion

2016 North American Champion


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The Caber is a tree that has been cut and trimmed down so one end is slightly wider than the other. It can vary length from 16 to 22 feet and between 100 and 180 pounds. The smaller end is rounded off so it will be easy to cup in the thrower’s hands. The caber is stood up for the thrower with the large end up. The thrower hoists the caber up and cups the small end in his hands. He then takes a short run with the caber and then stops and pulls the caber so that the large end hits the ground and the small end flips over and faces away from the thrower. The caber is scored for accuracy as though the thrower is facing the 12:00 position on a clock face. A judge behind the thrower calls how close to the 12:00 position the small end of the caber lands, 12:00 being a perfect toss. If the caber is not turned, a side judge calls the degrees of the angle the caber makes with the ground.
This event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions, though with some differences. In the Scottish event, a round metal ball (weighing 16 or 22 lb. for men or 12 or 16 lb. for women) is attached to the end of a shaft about 4 feet in length and made out of wood, bamboo, rattan, or plastic. With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one’s head and thrown for distance over the shoulder. Hammer throwers sometimes employ specially designed footwear with flat blades to dig into the turf to maintain their balance and resist the centrifugal forces of the implement as it is whirled about the head. This substantially increases the distance attainable in the throw.
This event is similar to the modern-day shot put as seen in the Olympic games. Instead of a steel shot, a large stone of variable weight is often used. There are also some differences from the Olympic shot put in allowable techniques. There are two versions of the stone toss events, differing in allowable technique. The “Braemar Stone” uses a 20–26 lb stone for men (13–18 lb. for women) and does not allow any run up to the toeboard or “trig” to deliver the stone, i.e., it is a standing put. In the “Open Stone” using a 16–22 lb. stone for men (or 8–12 lb. for women), the thrower is allowed to use any throwing style so long as the stone is put with one hand with the stone resting cradled in the neck until the moment of release. Most athletes in the open stone event use either the “glide” or the “spin” techniques.
A bundle of straw (the sheaf) weighing 20 pounds (9 kg) for the men and 10 pounds (4.5 kg) for the women and wrapped in a burlap bag is tossed vertically with a pitchfork over a raised bar much like that used in pole vaulting. The progression and scoring of this event is similar to the Weight Over The Bar. There is significant debate among athletes as to whether the sheaf toss is in fact an authentic Highland event. Some argue it is actually a country fair event, but all agree that it is a great crowd pleaser.