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Dance School Beginner Dance School for 4,5,6 years Logierait dancers Introduction to Highland Classes Atholl Dance School Novice dancers Highland dancing Scottish Official Board

Dance School

Welcome to the world of Highland Dancing! Here are a few notes to give you an introduction to what happens in the dancing class and beyond.

Classes Timetable 19 OCTOBER 2020 - 10 DECEMBER 2020

Mon 4.00pm 4.45pm Primary Highland 4,5,6 years
Mon 5.00pm 6.15pm Highland/National Beginner/Novice
Mon 6.30pm 8.00pm Highland Premier
Tues 6.00pm 7.30pm Highland/National Inter/Premier
Tues 7.45pm 8.30pm Adult Dance Fitness/choreo
Wed 5.00pm 6.15pm General Pre-Premier  
Wed 6.30pm 8.00pm General Pre-Premier  
Thurs 5.00pm 6.15pm Highland/National Premier
Thurs 6.30pm 8.00pm Highland/National Premier
Thurs 8.00pm   Theory  

Winter Term: 8 weeks Monday 19 October 2020 – Thursday 10 December 2020

No Medal Tests until 2021

Spring Term: 4 weeks Monday 11 January 2021 - Thursday 4 February 2021

Easter Term: 7 weeks Monday 15 February 2021 – Thursday 1 April 2021

Summer Term: 9 weeks Monday 19 April 2021 – Thursday 17 June 2021


Introduction to Highland Classes

Whilst a kilt is necessary for medal tests, exhibitions and competitions, class wear is not at all formal:

  • Shorts and neat fitting T-shirt OR
  • Tights and neat fitting T-shirt
  • No skirts, trousers or loose fitting leggings please
  • Knee length socks
  • Highland Dancing pumps.
  • Hair must be tied back off the face - preferably in a bun rather than a long pony tail
  • Water is supplied in the Studio, but you can bring your own non-fizzy drink

Please encourage responsible practice at home. “Practice makes perfect”!

If you are unsure of anything, please ask me to explain more fully.

Medal Tests

Amateur medal tests are offered by the United Kingdom Alliance Ltd to ensure that the traditional steps are preserved and performed correctly. These tests provide an opportunity for the dancers to receive a written report, a certificate and an award.

Medal Tests are not competitions. Dancers are trying to achieve the standard for the various levels of skill, and it is one way for parents to know if their dancer is progressing and being taught the basic steps properly. Grades given are Fail, Pass, Pass Plus, Commended, Highly Commended, Honours and Distinction.

Professional exams are available for any dancer 16 years and over who wishes to become a certified teacher and a member of the UKA Ltd.

Minimum dress requirements for Medal Tests are: Kilt (above knee length), dark coloured pants (not shorts), white blouse, knee length white socks and Highland Dancing pumps.


Another side to Highland Dancing is the competitive arena. Whilst this is not a compulsory part of the class work, it can be good fun. There is nothing to beat dancing at Highland Games on a sunny day. The weather of course is not always favourable!!

Any dancer who plans to compete must register with the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing, the world governing body, to obtain a registration card which must be shown at each competitions prior to the start. The registration scheme is an effective way of tracking a dancer’s progress through the various levels – Primary (6 years & under), Beginner, Novice, Intermediate, Premier.

Dancers wishing to compete should ask me for a registration form or download one from the SOBHD. Two recent passport size photographs, A copy of the dancer's birth certificate (NEW REQUIREMENT) and the current registration fee and a SAE are also required. These registration card applications are sent to the SOBHD office in Edinburgh once I sign the form and the photographs. The SOBHD has a Code of Ethics for all taking part in competitions. This is now page 2 of all dancer registration forms but you can read this here. You can also find competition entry forms by clicking here

Some Do’s And Don’ts For Performing

Highland Nights rota 2019

Here are a few tips on looking good and on the conduct expected from dancers:

  • Do check your shoes are tied tightly in double knot, and that the laces are well tucked in. You don’t want to trip over...
  • Do check the diamonds in your socks go straight up the front of your leg – from your foot to your knee. (You will look as if you have bandy legs if your socks are squint!)
  • Do check the centre line in the front of your kilt lines up with the centre of your waistcoat.
  • DO keep your hair away from your eyes. (Remember that hair which is tucked behind your ears falls forward in front of your face and looks very untidy.)
  • Do remember people are watching you not just when you dance but when you walk on and walk off. That is part of your performance.
  • Do walk smartly and keep together as a group when doing displays.
  • Don’t run
  • Don’t fold your arms as you walk across to the board
  • Don’t have a chat with anybody on the board. Wait until you are well out of sight of the audience.