Have you ever seen Highland dancing before? If not, you’re in for a treat.
Highland dancing was developed in the 19th and 20th centuries and is often performed at competitions and events, such as the world-famous Highland Games.
With roots firmly in Gaelic folk dance with a smattering of ballet, Highland dancing is truly like no other.
In Highland dancing, the dancers dance on the balls of their feet – so, as you can imagine, it requires impeccable technique, stamina, and strength.
Knowing how much skill it requires, it’s no surprise that Highland dancing is recognized as a sport by the Sport Council of Scotland.
This video features 7-time world champion David Wilton, Robyn Hart-Winks (World Juvenile Champion 2009), and Anthea Bundy (World Juvenile Champion 2010).
Anthea was the one who posted the video on YouTube in 2012.
The Highland dance, performed exquisitely by this champion trio, was choreographed by Heather Jolley and Nancy Hayes – from Canada, of all places.
The video, which has accumulated over 130,000 views, was recorded at Nicola Grant and Delma Wilson’s A Taste of Scotland dance show that took place in the legendary Kirriemuir Town Hall in the UK.
In the video, although the girls didn’t miss a beat, David Wilton is the undeniable star of the show.
The Canadian-born Highland dancer has been committed to the sport since he was just five years old.
Despite being Canadian, David had always wanted to express his Scottish heritage.
His grandfather was born in Dundee. So, when David and his family moved back to Scotland when he was four, he found himself naturally drawn into the world of Scottish dance. He began his Highland dance training in Arbroath.
Soon after, he was catapulted into the limelight when he won his first dancing championship at age seven.
…And, even more impressively, it was the first competition he’d ever entered.
But that wasn’t the only way he wanted to celebrate his Scottish heritage.
David began playing the bagpipes at around the same age as he began Highland dancing:
“I loved them both as a child and practiced equally. Luckily piping and dancing championships never fall on the same day, so I never had to choose one over the other,” he told the Scottish Herald.
Thanks to his natural talent, he’s traveled all over the world – from Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and Canada, to Brazil.
He went on to win 192 Highland dance championships, including seven World Championship titles!
“I suppose I was initially more competitive with the dancing, which was much more physical, obviously. At seven I entered the premier – the top tier – for the first time and won,” he revealed in an interview with the Scottish Herald.
Watching the video of his stellar performance back in 2012, it’s not hard to see why David has become so successful in his career.
The enchanting leaps, twirls, and kicks in his routine are reminiscent of Scottish sword dancing, which is a natural precursor to modern Highland dance.
David retired from competing at age 23. Since then, he has worked full-time as a professional bagpipe Instructor at The National Piping Centre in Glasgow, and he also runs workshops and clinics for Highland dance.
To watch David and his team’s mesmerizing performance, check out the video below!
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.