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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0886354517

From: Bonnie M Fountain< >
Subject: Re: Step/Highland Dancing
Date: Sun, 01 Feb 1998 12:35:17 EST

On Sun, 1 Feb 1998 10:23:57 -0500 John Giacoletti
<> writes:


>A note of interest is that the Highland sword dance which is now
>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
>day Highland dancers are graded on the elevation and lift to their
> 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.
>the consequences of a mis-step were a wee bit more serious and
>John Giacoletti
Interesting bit of history there. Can you say when the sword dance
changed so drastically from a dangerous dance of dexterity to one of
comparative ease? My grandpa always told me that when he danced that
dance in Scotland, 1895-1900, it was dangerous and a dance of supreme
skill. Perhaps it's a good thing for me that he was somewhat proficient
at it.... I had the impression that the swords were actually held by the
dancers and whipped rapidly 'round their heads. Wrong?

Bonnie M. Fountain

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