Forum: Highland / Highland - Theory

Highland - Theory
Highland Theory...What Is It?
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Wed Jan 07, 2004 05:57 PM

What is Highland "Theory"?

(And, just to save you guys from having to explain this 9,000 more times, I'm going to make this a sticky! lol!)

Theresa

24 Replies to Highland Theory...What Is It?

re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By GonnaBeAStar Comments: 3928, member since Wed Feb 20, 2002
On Thu Jan 08, 2004 06:33 AM
Ok well... I'm not very sure how to explain it properly but I'm gonna have a try!! Fill in the bits I miss guys! ;)

Highland theory is basically being able to talk through all of the positions, movements and steps that we dance in highland.

It's what highland examinations (NOT medal tests!) are based around. Starting from a very young age you do grade exams on this theory and to become a professional teacher you must sit an examination based mostly on theory lasting about an hour. That's a lot of talking!!

The theory itself covers three main things, as I said above;

Basic Positions this covers the positions that the feet, arms and head can be in while dancing
eg 1st pos. of feet, 3rd pos. of arms
Basic Movements these are combinations of the basic feet positions, to make the primary movements that make up highland dance
eg pas de basque, backstepping
Basic Steps these are combinations of the basic movements. They make up steps, which fit into four basic dances - fling, swords, shean truibhas and reels

So yeah, that's what highland theory really comes down to - you have to know, and be able to describe, everything that comes underneath these headings!!

Hope this helps a little... sorry if it's not very clear!!
I'll probably thing of other things to add to it later! :)
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By criosamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3252, member since Wed Oct 09, 2002
On Thu Jan 08, 2004 08:13 AM
are the nationals dances included in the theory exams?
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By GonnaBeAStar Comments: 3928, member since Wed Feb 20, 2002
On Thu Jan 08, 2004 09:01 AM
The nationals aren't covered in Grade Exams, however, when you get to the Professional exam level, you can do 'extra' exams in nationals to allow you to teach scottish national as well.
I say extra cos you don't have to take national exams, but everyone does cos what parent is going to send their child to a teacher who is only qualified to teach four dances?!

A LITTLE MORE INFO ON PROFESSIONAL EXAMS

**Just to clarify, I'm talking only about STDA. I know BATD, UKA etc are different but someone else can talk about them!!**

So yeah, there are three levels of professional exams that are taken:

Associate Member this is the first level of pro exam, and can be taken in highland and nationals. In SDTA you have to be 17 or older to take this exam.

Member this is the second level and can also be taken in both highland and national form. You have to be at least 21(?) to take this and have had at least two years of teaching experience, or have held Associateship in the SDTA and had two years teaching experience in the SDTA

Fellow this is the highest from of membership in the Association and you must be 23 years or older and have been a Member for at least 3 years. For this exam, there is no seperate national exam, and you are examined on everything - highland, national, hornpipe and jig.

As you can see, there's quite a bit of waiting in between the exams, so that's why a lot of people choose to do their highland assoc. one year and then the national assoc. the next. This fills in the two years teching experience needed to sit the members exam.

Hope this clears it up a bit!
PS. I think all that info's right but someone please correct me if I'm wrong on anything! :)
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Thu Jan 08, 2004 08:37 PM
national dance?

Theresa
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By GonnaBeAStar Comments: 3928, member since Wed Feb 20, 2002
On Fri Jan 09, 2004 06:16 AM
Edited by GonnaBeAStar (22132) on 2004-01-09 06:18:41 my computer sux!
MIClogger;

In highland dancing there are only four actual highland dances. These were written above, and are - fling, swords, shean truibhas and reels.
The rest are known as Scottish National dances. They were introduced later than the highland dances. There are a large number of them, too many for me to mention here, but they include;

- Scottish Lilt
- Flora MacDonalds Fancy
- Heilan' Laddie
- Blue Bonnets o'er the Border

These dances aren't (generally) done in the kilt either. For the most part, girls wear circualar tartan skirts, a blouse and velvet top, and tartan plaid. The boys have the chioce of wearing their kilt or tartan trews.

There are two other nationals that aren't put with the rest - Sailor's Hornpipe and Irish Jig.
These are done in different costumes and both tell a story. Look under the Jig and Hornpipe forums for more info on these two.

Hope this helps! :)
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By highland_QT29member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3197, member since Thu Jan 09, 2003
On Sat Feb 28, 2004 09:17 PM
Hey
That is all very good infromation Gonnabeastar! I was just thinking. You know how the fling sword and everything is classified as Highland dances, and then the naitonal dances , flora ,laddie and ect. I wonder why they didn't make the hornpipe and jig under a name?? Sorry just a little thought of mine! Thought I would share!
Chantelle
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By GonnaBeAStar Comments: 3928, member since Wed Feb 20, 2002
On Sun Feb 29, 2004 06:26 AM
Lol yeah, I wondered that too, they always just get stuck in with the Nationals, lol! :)
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By maureensiobhan Comments: 4727, member since Wed Dec 24, 2003
On Tue Mar 16, 2004 09:22 AM
I have my Associate certificate. When I took my exam in 1981 I had to know all the positions of the feet and arms, the dances (the examiner asked me to name all 15 steps of the Seann Triubhas), show some musical knowledge (the examiner asked me, what is the difference between time and tempo?), a method of teaching, and perform the dances. Today, though, it's much more technical. You also have to know the movements, and the time signature and tempo of each dance, as well as everything listed above.
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By Hullachan Comments: 157, member since Sat Mar 13, 2004
On Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:14 PM
ugh - i am scheduled to take my members in the fall (BATD) and i am a little scared. i never took theory tests before and am plugging through all the grades this spring. i've had a lot of theory and have helped teach for quite some time, so i think i am ready to learn, just nervous.
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By batd_teacherPremium member Comments: 2551, member since Mon Feb 23, 2004
On Wed Mar 17, 2004 08:12 AM
I was absolutely terrified too. But it went better than I expected. Simply know your text inside and out, and how to do the dances. My adjudicator was great!
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By JiggyHorse Comments: 52, member since Thu Apr 17, 2008
On Fri Apr 18, 2008 04:18 PM
Highland Teory is basically where the examiner asks you to do different movements, but for grade 2 theory and up the examiner asks you to describ like first posiion and movements... etc!

Hope this helps,

-Kaileigh
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By JiggyHorse Comments: 52, member since Thu Apr 17, 2008
On Mon Apr 06, 2009 05:08 PM
I'm sorry I totally didn't explain it right there. From pre primary to grade one theory the examiner will ask you to dance different moves or show them to her, she will judge you on what you know. From grade two to grade five you will need to know how to dscribe certain movements depending on your grade level. After grade 5 it is usually to get your teachig and so on. There is a booklet called "Highland Dancing Seventh Edition" I bought mine for $20 but i'm sure you can get them cheaper. The booklet has all the ways you can describe the different movements and count beats and bars ect... it's usualy a part of exams but it maybe different with your dance school.
Hope this helps,
JiggyHorse
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By highlanddancer96member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 83, member since Sat Aug 22, 2009
On Thu Sep 24, 2009 08:20 PM
Highland theory is everything that is in the text book. Understanding of movements, positions, music, beats and bars, how the dance is meant to be danced, the tempo of the dance, what music is used for the dance and the different ways that you can do movements steps bows etc etc...
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By jesujoma Comments: 23, member since Mon Sep 21, 2009
On Sat Sep 26, 2009 03:27 PM
Highland dancing 7th edition. Where could I find a copy for sale. Author.. Would like to check it out. Thanks, JG

Comment #9381494 deleted
Removed by hummingbird (128773) on 2010-12-29 10:29:41 Star farming

re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By needsnewoutfits Comments: 2, member since Mon Oct 11, 2010
On Tue Jul 05, 2011 07:50 AM
Would you need the "book " for grade 3 theory sdta?
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By highland3393 Comments: 359, member since Mon Apr 07, 2008
On Tue Jul 05, 2011 08:42 AM
jesujoma wrote:

Highland dancing 7th edition. Where could I find a copy for sale. Author.. Would like to check it out. Thanks, JG

sobhd.net . . .
Highland Dancing 7th Edition is the first book listed here. The Scottish National Dances books are also available (BATD, STDA, or UKA), as well as the Sailor's Hornpipe and Irish Jig books.
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By emlougar Comments: 25, member since Thu Jul 14, 2011
On Mon May 14, 2012 07:31 AM
Is there any more basic instruction for us long suffering parents? :)
Instead of rear aerial a more generic inside of foot on back of leg beneath knee?
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By needsnewoutfits Comments: 2, member since Mon Oct 11, 2010
On Sat May 19, 2012 02:41 AM
Wouldn't that b e nice
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By Karen1234 Comments: 85, member since Sun Jan 29, 2012
On Mon May 28, 2012 11:47 PM
OK so let me get this right... the theory test are what you need to take to be a highland dance teacher? You must be 17 years old or older to get an associate member level exam but what grade exams do you need to get to the associate member stage?
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By chrispbinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2188, member since Sat May 06, 2006
On Tue May 29, 2012 01:40 AM
It depends on your examining body. Most people on here are BATD, UKA or SDTA, but in Australia there are another two, one of which is NDAA, that our school does.

The NDAA testing regimine is very rigorous. In the Teachers' exam, candidates have to know everything that is in the preceding 5 grades plus the specific Teachers' 'stuff'. They have to demonsrate any step from any highland dance the examiner chooses and have to teach a particular step/part of a dance to at least two students. The step is chosen by the examiner from a set list. The students must not have done exams past grade 2 and must not be students of the candidate.
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By Karen1234 Comments: 85, member since Sun Jan 29, 2012
On Wed May 30, 2012 08:48 AM
Thank you! I forgot that this web site was world wide so it will have several differant organization and rules. That is helpfull any ways and now that I know sort of what to look in to I will find out what the examinations are.
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By facainath Comments: 23, member since Mon Jun 21, 2010
On Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:05 AM
Ahhhh...I know what music theory is, but I never knew that Highland dancers had coined the term "Highland Theory". That's very interesting!
re: Highland Theory...What Is It?
By highland_dancer5 Comments: 217, member since Mon Mar 10, 2014
On Thu Mar 13, 2014 02:27 PM
Highland theory is basically the contents of the SOBHD dance book. This includes positions, basic movements, and steps.

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