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  • Writer's pictureSOHDA


Updated: Jul 9, 2023

The Seann Truibhas is the classic and surely the most beautiful of all our Highland Dances. Seann Truibhas (pronounced 'Shawn Trews') is a Gaelic translation for 'old trousers' which links back to the story behind the dance.

The origin of this dance date back to the rebellion of 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charlie led the Scots to the Battle of Culloden, where they were defeated by the English.

As punishment the Scots were forbidden from many Scottish traditions, including playing the bagpipes and wearing kilts. This meant that they had to wear trousers instead. The ban had lasted 40 years before they were allowed to wear the national dress again.

The dance itself tells this story where you learn of the sadness at the loss of the beloved kilt and then the celebration of its return many years later. The first half of the dance mocks the uncomfortable trousers and represents the highlanders trying to shake and kick them off. The second half of the dance represents the feeling of freedom and joy in getting to wear their traditional kilt once again.

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