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How to Do the Highland Fling

Updated April 17, 2017

The Highland Fling, one of Scotland’s traditional highland folk dances, is considered a battle dance of victory, once danced by warriors on the top of round shields. Though it seems difficult to master, the Highland Fling may be learnt readily, as it breaks down into a few simple steps. Dance the Highland Fling to the Strathspey, an eight-count dance tune similar to a reel but with more energy.

Hold your left hand arched in a C-shape above your head, and place your left hand at your waist with your fingers going toward your rear and your thumb facing down.

Hop once on your left foot while extending your right foot forward and to the right. You may either point your right toe or place the heel down. This is the first count, or beat.

Hop once on your left foot while bringing your right foot back, pointed, to your left ankle. This is the second count.

Hop once on your left foot while bringing your right foot forward and to the right, as in Step 2. This is the third count.

Hop once on your left foot while bringing your right foot forward and up with the toe pointing down. This is the fourth count.

Switch your hand positions so that your right hand arches above your head and your left hand is at your waist. At the same time, hop onto your right foot while extending your left foot forward and to the right. This is the fifth count. Repeat steps 3 through 5, beginning with your right foot.

Tip

As you learn the steps, you may wish to practice in front of a mirror to self-critique your dancing.

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About the Author

Alicia Roque began writing nonfiction professionally in early 2010, with her articles appearing on various websites. She also writes children's plays, some of which have been performed by local troupes. Roque received her Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications from Rhode Island College, graduating magna cum laude with a minor in history.