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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0886346637

From: John Giacoletti <>
Subject: Step/Highland Dancing
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 1998 10:23:57 -0500

Irish Step Dancing and its offspring US & Canadian Clogging is danced flat
footed in hard soled shoes for tapping and rhythmic stomping purposes.

Scottish Highland and Country Dancing is danced in soft soled ghillies.
Highland dancers dance up on their toes, Country dancers on the balls of
the foot.

A note of interest is that the Highland sword dance which is now danced
over two crossed swords placed horizontally on the floor or ground was
formerly danced over SWORDS POINTED UP and buried to the hilt, thus to this
day Highland dancers are graded on the elevation and lift to their dancing!
There are extant drawings showing male Highlanders in flight over the
upward pointed blades. Now that I can understand!!!

It is now a matter of pride not to touch the swords while stepping from one
quarter to another and an ill omen if the swords are rattled. Historically,
the consequences of a mis-step were a wee bit more serious and personal!

John Giacoletti

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