The Benefits of Highland Dancing

There's So Much to Gain from Highland Dance

Why we love what we do

Highland dance is a somewhat niche style of dance (at least on our side of the Atlantic!) that creates unique opportunities and benefits for those who get involved. When you start Highland dancing, you join a community unlike any other!

 I started Highland dancing when I was five years old. Fifteen years later, I’m more in love than ever! 

Highland dance has been instrumental in my life – not only in the sense that it gave me a great source of physical activity throughout my childhood and adolescence. Highland dance has shaped me as a human being, giving me the tools to succeed in all areas of my life.

Highland dance has so much to offer – let’s get into it.

Opportunities for Personal Growth

Highland dance comes with many opportunities – performing, competing, teaching, and more. These opportunities for hard work and success inevitably come with failures and disappointments. 

As any number of self-help books and inspiring quotes will tell you, failure is key to self-growth and building perseverance. The times I’ve been disappointed with the result of a competition, or my frustration with a certain correction don’t stick out in my mind years later because I regret them or I wish I could redo them – they stick out in my memory because I know I’ve grown from them.

With hard work comes occasional setbacks and letdowns, and with these setbacks and letdowns comes the opportunity to push through and learn from your experience.

Physical Benefits

If you’ve ever watched Highland dancers perform, particularly in the more advanced competitive categories, you know that Highland dance is quite the physical challenge. Dancers must build their physical strength and stamina in order to improve their abilities. 

Acquiring a balance between the power needed to complete at a high level and the grace required to make things look easy is no simple task. Highland dancers often cross-train with significant cardio, weight-training, and often other styles of dance, notably ballet. 

Research shows that dance is just as if not more effective than other forms of physical activity for improving physical health outcomes.

Improved Mental Wellbeing

According to a study in Arts & Health International Journal for Research, dance has extensive benefits for our mental wellbeing. Dance is linked to increased self-esteem and positive coping strategies, along with improved emotional, spiritual, and social outcomes. 

Friendship and Community

Without a doubt, one of the best parts of dance is the people you meet. Through long hours of classes and rehearsals, road trips to competitions, and working together for performances, dancers truly become part of a community when they join dance.

So many of my best friends are people I met through dance – I look forward to being a part of the Highland dance community for the rest of my life!

Development of Skills

The physical resiliency required to progress in Highland dance is not only beneficial for the body, but it teaches dancers the value of mental fortitude and working hard for success. The work ethic Highland dancers develop through practice is useful in school and any other future endeavours. 

One great example of how Highland work ethic helps dancers in the future is medal tests (which you can learn about on our FAQ page!). I completed medal tests from around age 11 until I took my Associate’s exam at 16. The studying and preparation needed to succeed in medal tests helped me more than I can say when I got to higher levels of school and needed to study for tests and exams. 

Now that I’m in my third year of university, I still notice how much more equipped I feel from years of experience in dance. My time-management and organisational skills have undoubtedly been formed through dance.

Gaining Independence and Confidence

As you’ve already learned, dance is known to improve self-esteem. Plus, learning from failures and disappointments is sure to leave dancers more resilient. 

Dance also helps to improve independence and confidence. Dancing on stage can be nerve-wracking, but being able to work through nerves and perform at your best under significant pressure is a helpful life skill! Additionally, dancers gain independence when they begin to take on tasks such as travel to competitions with other dance families or learning to choreograph their own solo choreographies.

Dancers are pushed beyond their comfort zone both on and off the stage – creating confident and self-possessed humans!

Opening up a World of Possibility

Joining Highland dance is like opening up the window of opportunity – there are so many ways to get involved! 

Let’s explore the world of Highland dance!

If you want to learn more about all Highland has to offer, check out our previous post, all about the 5 Opportunities Highland Dance has Given Us

Let's Get Started!

Jump into our studio and see what Highland dance can do for you! We’re so excited to welcome you into our dance family – start your journey today!

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