Highland Dancing Events

The Highland Dances performed today were all born of legend and are widely recognised as being amongst the most complex and sophisticated folk dances in the world.


This is the most famous of the solo Highland Dances, said to derive from the antics of a courting stag on a Scottish hillside. The raised arms imitate the stag's antlers. There are no travelling steps in the Fling, the whole dance being performed on one spot. The stag does not like to run after his women; he expects them to come to him!


This is a graceful dance, in Gaelic meaning 'old trousers', which starts slowly and increases in tempo on the final two steps. This dance recognised the repression after the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 when both Bagpipes and Kilt were banned. Any dancing had to be done in trousers and the slow tempo represented the disgust at having to do so whilst the shaking movement represent the shaking off of the trews and the quick steps are a display of pleasure when the Scots were once more able to wear the kilt.


The Hullachan, to give it its Gaelic name, is a dance of four which is also called the Reel o'Tulloch as it was said to have originated on a wintry Sunday at the small village of Tulloch in Perthshire. The minister was late and the congregation, in order to keep warm, started to dance Reel steps and swing each other by the arms across the aisle. Although the dancers dance in fours, they are not judged as a team but individually.


Although not a Scottish dance, the hornpipe has formed part of the Games tradition for a long time. It is performed in stylised Navy uniform and simulates the various jobs of pulling ropes, manning the yardarm and splicing the mainbrace which seamen carried out in the days of sail.


Another popular import is the Jig, performed in a green and red outfit. The dance is a portrayal of anger as the man has donned a pair of clean leather breeches which have shrunk and so grip him uncomfortably. His resulting anger expressed at the washerwoman is returned by her in kind.


Num. Event Eligable
1 Highland Fling Local under 13
2 Highland Fling Local 13 & under 16
3 Highland Fling Local 16 and over
4 Seann Truibhas Local under 13
5 Seann Truibhas Local 13 & under 16
6 Seann Truibhas Local 16 and over
7 Hullachan Local under 13
8 Hullachan Local 13 & under 16
9 Hullachan Local 16 and over
10 Sailor’s Hornpipe Premier under 12
11 Sailor’s Hornpipe Premier 12 & under 14
12 Sailor’s Hornpipe Premier 14 & under 16
13 Sailor’s Hornpipe Adults 16 & over
14 Irish Jig Premier under 12
15 Irish Jig Premier 12 & under 14
16 Irish Jig Premier 14 & under 16
17 Irish Jig Adults 16 & over
18 Highland Fling Premier under 12
19 Highland Fling Premier 12 & under 14
20 Highland Fling Premier 14 & under 16
21 Highland Fling Adults 16 & over
22 Seann Truibhas Premier under 12
23 Seann Truibhas Premier 12 & under 14
24 Seann Truibhas Premier 14 & under 16
25 Seann Truibhas Adults 16 & over
26 Strathspey & Tulloch Premier under 12
27 Strathspey & Tulloch Premier 12 & under 14
28 Strathspey & Tulloch Premier 14 & under 16
29 Strathspey & Tulloch Adults 16 & over Pitlochry



Jean Swanston Trophy
for the Best Local Dancer aged under 13 in Confined Dances
Atholl Dancing Association Trophy
for the Best Local Dancer aged 13 and under 16 in Confined Dances
Donald Liddell Trophy
for the Best Adult Dancer aged 16 and over in Confined Dances
Linn Trophy
for the Best Open Dancer aged under 12
Keith Moncreiff Trophy
for the Best Premier Dancer aged 12 and under 14
Cuthbertson Trophy
for the Best Premier Junior Dancer aged 14 and under 16
The Drennan Trophy
for the Best Adult Dancer
Rotary Club of Pitlochry Quaich
for the dancer with the most points

 Dancing League

Covering Games throughout Highland Perthshire  culminating at Pitlochry. Prizes for 1st to 6th place (confined to Perthshire dancers)

The Confined to Perthshire event is also the qualifier for dancers to represent Perthshire in the Scottish Area Finals held each year in Oban. Two representatives and a reserve are selected in each of the three age groups.


Pitlochry Highland Games Secretary: Alice McCormick | Tel: 07724 337938 | Email: secretary@pitlochryhighlandgames.co.uk | Privacy Policy

Registered as a Scottish Charity under Scottish Charity Number SC041070

Thanks to Bill Robertson, Colin Liddell and David Brown for the photographs.