Dancing Competitions

Rob Roy dancers are often seen competing at many Highland Dance competitions throughout Canada, the United States, and Scotland.  Many competitions occur in the Ottawa and Toronto areas and they attract dancers from throughout the province.  Students who are interested in competing should speak with their instructor or Dance Director for more information.  A great way to ease into the competition scene is to try out the Kingston Scottish Festival, hosted by the Rob Roy Pipe Band and Highland Dancers each May.  Come out to this event to see the opportunities that are available for you.

All events are listed on the ScotDance Canada website. Entry Forms are available at the links listed below.

There are 5 classes of competitors in highland dance competitions:

  1. Primary – dancers who are under 7 years old
  2. Beginner – dancers stay at this level until they have a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in one of the Fling, Sword, Sean Truibhas, or Reel at 6 different competitions, but for at least 1 year
  3. Novice – dancers stay at this level until they have a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place at 6 different competitions, but for at least one year
  4. Intermediate – dancers stay at this level for one year from the date of the first intermediate competition
  5. Premier – dancers at the highest level

There are age classifications in each group, so each dancer competes not only against dancers of a similar standard but also against dancers in their age group.

Dancers are judged on three basic areas:

  1. Timing – the ability of the d an cer to follow the rhythm of the music in the dance. Dancers must place feet, arms and head in very precise positions simultaneously with the music.
  2. Technique, which concerns the dancer’s footwork and the coordination of head, arms and hands. Good positioning of the feet is most important.
  3. General Deportment, which concerns the dancer’s interpretation and ability to capture the spirit and motif of the dance and includes balance, overall appearance, bearing and carriage of the head, arms, body and hands. Upright posture is essential, and the dancers must exhibit a happy demeanor. Although the dances are very athletic, they must be danced with seeming ease, with no signs of strain and free of elaborate showiness.

Dancers can’t be judged by their teacher or family members.



Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing

Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance

ScotDance Canada

Highland Dancers Association of Ontario

Ottawa Highland Dancing Association

Federation of United States Highland Dancing Teachers & Adjudicators


Dancing Competition Entry Forms:

Kingston Scottish Festival

Georgetown Highland Games

Coburg Highland Games

Kincardine Scottish Festival

Cambridge Highland Games

Glengarry (Maxville) Highland Games

Fergus Scottish Festival

Almonte Highland Games

Rob Roy Highland Dance Competition