There is very little that evokes the spirit of Scottish culture quite like Highland Dancing. These days most dancers are female, but the roots of these dances are in the military clan culture and Scottish folklore. Originally Highland Dancing was for men only, and clan chiefs used the sword dances and other dances to select their very best men. The men used the dances to show their strength, stamina, and discipline.
Highland Dancing competitions are organised under the authority of the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing. The dances are Highland Dances (always danced in Kilt) and National Dances (generally danced in the Aboyne costume which suits the more elegant style of these dances). The best-known dance in the Sword Dance, in which dancers dance over two crossed swords – and which they are not allowed to touch. Next to the Highland Dances there will be other solo dances and group dances.