THE LEGEND OF THE HIGHLAND FLING
By Charlie Mill
It was very early in the morning as the little boy followed his grandfather up the mountainside. It was cold too and little Donald had trouble keeping up with his grandfather who was stepping out swiftly, but oh so quietly.
They were stalking a beautiful mountain stag and it was so exciting. Donald was so pleased his grandfather had allowed him to share this great adventure. “Quiet now, Donald,” whispered grandfather, “he will soon have to break cover”.
Suddenly the beautiful big red stag appeared on the rock across the hollow from where they were hiding. Its noble head was raised and the wide antlers were clear and proud against the blue sky.
The stag was restless and sensed it was being watched. Its front and back legs were lifting, just like the beautiful curvette of circus horses.
“He is dancing,” whispered Donald! He tried to imitate the stag with his arms and fingers held aloft and curved like the antlers and holding his head proudly as he hopped up and down on the spot as the stag had done on the rock.
And do you know that this was said to be the beginning of our lively, happy and dignified dance we now call THE HIGHLAND FLING. In later years, it is said that the warriors of old danced the Highland Fling on their targes or shields, which were made of leather. This would certainly keep them dancing on the spot in a very small space.
To help you dance the Highland Fling in a very small space, draw a circle on the floor with a smaller circle in the centre. Try to keep your supporting foot in the little circle every time you hop. This is called replacing and is very important, especially in the Toe-Heel Step and the Backstep. Make sure you stretch your working foot to the extremes of the larger circle.