OFFICIAL BOARD OF HIGHLAND DANCING (SOUTH AFRICA)
Highland Dancing in the country has been in evidence as far back as the 1930’s with the first recorded South African championships having been held in 1932. The OBHD(SA) was established in the early sixties, from which time it became the recognised governing body of highland dancing in South Africa. The OBHD(SA) is an Affiliated Member of the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing.
Dancers, teachers and adjudicators travel across the country to participate in competitions and workshops in Cape Town, Durban, East London, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Knysna. Highland Games are often held in conjunction with Pipe Band Competitions. The South African Highland Dancing Championship, the premier event on the Highland Dancing calendar, is held in September attracting both International dancers as well as dancers from around the country .
As well as competing at the World Championship held at Cowal Highland Gathering in Dunoon, Scotland and various other Highland Dancing competitions as far away as Canada, our dancers have also participated in Military Tattoos both here and at various cities around the world.
There are four principal highland dances :
THE HIGHLAND FLING
Said to originate in the 18th Century and to be derived from the antics of a stag on a Scottish hillside, the arms raised during the dance are to resemble the antlers of a deer.
THE SWORD DANCE
Scotland’s oldest dance which has its origins as the winner of a duel placing two swords in a cross on the ground and dancing in and out between the blades. This was regarded as a sign of daring because touching the swords was a bad omen for the forthcoming battle.
THE SEANN TRIUBHAS
The Gaelic word for “old trousers”. There was a time in Scotland’s history when the bagpipes and kilt were banned. This meant that dancing had to be done in trousers. The shaking movements of the leg are said to represent the shaking off of the trews (trousers).
THE REEL OF TULLOCH
The Hullachan is a dance of four. Whilst waiting for a church service to begin a congregation milled around stamping their feet and clapping their hands to keep themselves warm. This in turn gave way to dancing.
The sound of the bagpipes is recognized as an integral part of Scottish heritage and as Highland Dancers we are proud to promote the culture and traditions of Scotland.
For more information or to find a teacher in your area, visit our webpage or Facebook page.
Office Bearers 2019/2020
Gauteng Highland Dance Association
Western Province Celtic Dance Association / Highland Teachers Association
(WPCDA / HTA)