COMMENT(S): Robert Mathieson: the pipes|drums Interview, Part 2
|Published: July 13, 2008|
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|Rab, great interview but your take on Highland dance is a bit off the mark
Highland dancing had their differences back in the late 40's and did split to have 2 different dancing associations the SOHDA and the SOBHD. The most important aspect of the split was that there was an Aberdeen highland Fling, a Dundee Highland fling and so on and so on . The different regions of Scotland had their own way of doing the different dances. Glasgow people couldn't compete against Dundee folk without some type of "area prefferredness" or bias. Therefore people came together to "de-regionalise" highland dancing, and to further stamp out bias they came up with a text book of the steps for the different highland dances and then an adjudicators test along with rules of judging. In one association you have a textbook, adjudicators, adjudication tests, a world governing body of these rules and ideas with representatives all over the world. In the other association you do not have adjudication test and there is no textbook. The people that did not want to place these confines on Highland dancing did not join in with the changes that were implemented - thus producing two different organizations. One organization is today the World governing body of highland dance and the other is an association that has their champioships in parts of the UK with a few affiliated members in parts New Zealand, and parts of Australia.
Also there is only 1 World championship in Highland dancing today ( with 3 categories Juvenile (under 15) , Junior (under 17), and Adult ( 18 and over) - these are awarded at Cowal and for the exception of 1 year back in the early 70's - it has always been that way. The other association in highland dancing does not have a World Championship nor do they award one.