Demonstrations of traditional Scottish and Highland dances will be provided throughout the Festival day by the Centre for Dance & the Performing Arts in Winter Garden, FL under the direction of Dr. Kathryn White Austin. THe CDPA School is one of the largest in the Southeast and the school boasts consistent runner's up and Champion winners at the regional level.
The dances you will see, though all loosely called Highland dances, are divided into Highland Dances and National dances. Highland Dances were originally performed only by men, often before and after battle, and require considerable stamina. Many of the National dances, however, were devised for female interpretation and are less athletic and more graceful. Authorities on dancing have said that Highland Dancing is one of the most sophisticated forms of national dancing known.
The main points to look for while watching Highland Dancing are the precision and timing of the steps and the leg, body and arm positions. The dancer should appear relaxed and well in control of the movements. Since 1950 the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing (SOBHD) has set standards for performance and judge’s scoring. There are many accepted steps for each dance, some of which are required in competition by the SOBHD and others, which are optional. All dancers do not, therefore, dance the same steps.