How to Do the Scottish Highland fling

There was a time in Scotland when highland dancing used to be an athletic event. The Highland Fling is an old Scottish dance which the warriors did after winning battles. In ancient times, victorious warriors performed this dance along with their clansmen on a small round shield which is called the targe. The targe has a pinpoint sharp spike of steel that projects some five or six inches from the centre so one careless step can lead to a lot of pain which is the reason why these dances were not allowed to be performed by women until the 1900s.


  • 1

    If you aspire to learn the Highland Fling, you have to keep in mind that this dance, like most of the Scottish Highland dances, require the body to be in top physical shape. The movements in these dances are very vigorous and take years of practise to perfect and then perform.

  • 2

    You also need to know that if you really want to be good at the Scottish Highland Fling, you need to enter a tournament as there are very few people who have the tenacity to perform this dance. Currently, Britain is host to seven major Highland dance competitions and it is fun to be a part of these events. The British Open Highland, British Open National, Scottish Highland, Dundee City of Discovery City of Edinburgh, Stirling Bridge and Broadsword Teams are famous all over Britain so enrolling in these competitions isn’t a bad idea at all.

  • 3

    The highland dancing outfits have become very stylish over the years. You can find a lot of tartans and coloured velvets in Scotland. Highland Hose or Socks are a must as are the Kilts.

  • 4

    Now that you have all the outfits with you, it’s time to perform the Highland Fling for the world to see. The first position is a tough one and you have to stand in your first position for eight counts. First put your hands in a fist, on your hips and bow for six counts.

  • 5

    Stand on the balls and maintain the posture for two counts.

  • 6

    Then, first extend your right leg to the right side and keep your foot pointed for one count.

  • 7

    After this, put your right foot behind the your leg, below the knee for one count and then put it in front for one count and go back to the original position for one count.

  • 8

    Switch to your left foot and repeat this motion. Then, switch back to the right foot and do the previously explained steps.

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