Highland at Home with Hesperi!

Welcome to our new ACE-funded online project, "Highland at Home with Hesperi", with Kathleen Gilbert, our wonderful Highland Dancer! We can't wait to introduce you to Highland dance, and to help you keep moving and healthy at home, accompanied by fantastic Scottish music...

Here you'll find all the resources you'll need to take part in the project, including Kathleen's Dance Tutorials, Warm-ups and Practice Materials! Then, once you've learnt the dance, if you like, we'd love you to send in an informal video of you dancing it at home! After our third dance, in a few weeks' time, we'll create a huge collage of all of our wonderful supporters dancing! So, let's get going!

Week 1 - Braes of Elchies

Step 1: Warm Up

First, it's important to stretch a bit before we start. Highland Dancing is very bouncy and quite stretchy! So, here's a short warm-up track for stretches of your choice:

Step 2: Learn the Basic Highland Steps

Follow Kathleen's first video tutorial below to learn the steps you'll need for our short dance today.

Step 3: Learn "Braes of Elchies" - Section A

Now it's time to learn the first part of our dance, set to the tune, "Braes of Elchies", by Charles Grant of Aberlour. For every dance, we will have 3 variations, so, no matter your experience, there's something for everyone. Kathleen will teach all levels throughout.

Choose Basic if Highland dance is new to you, and you're happy with High Impact movement

Choose Modified if Highland dance is new to you, and you'd prefer to stick with Low Impact movement (without jumps!)

Choose Challenge if you're a more experienced dancer, and you'd like to add some extra challenges!

Step 4: Learn "Braes of Elchies" - Section B

And here's Kathleen's tutorial for the second part of our dance!

Step 5: Practice!

Here's the full dance, danced by Kathleen, with the music, at all three levels: 

Basic Level



Once you think you know it really well, here's a Practice Audio track, and a Microsoft Word file with the Dance steps described in words if you need a quick reminder. You can download both of these to your phone or computer! Then head to the bottom of page, where you can submit your informal dance video!

Week 2 - Fast Feet - "Miss Nancy Frowns"

Step 1: Warm Up

Don't forget to head up the page, and stretch to our warm up track!

Step 2: Learn the New Movements for Week 2:

Follow Kathleen's first video tutorial below to learn the new movements you'll need for Week 2:

Step 3: Learn "Miss Nancy Frowns" - Sections A, B and C

Now it's time to learn this week's dance, set to the tune, "Miss Nancy Frowns". Each section has its own video, and in the 4th video, Kathleen dances the full dance at slower and faster speeds:

Step 4: Practice!

Here are you downloads for this week: audio practice tracks, at slow and fast speeds, and a Word document with the dance explained in words:

Week 3 - Choreography Challenge: "Jolly Tars"

Step 1: Warm Up

Don't forget to head up the page, and stretch to our warm up track!

Step 2: Learn the Dance!

Follow Kathleen's video tutorial below to learn the start of this week's dance. 

Step 4: Practice and Improvise the rest of the Dance!

Kathleen dances the first part of the dance phrase below - and then the rest is completely your choice! You can dance Highland steps, or in any dance style you like (or none!) We'd love to see your choreography, so don't forget to send in your videos by the 1st July using the form below! 

Here's all the practice materials for this week, including the downloads for the tune "Jolly Tars" and the dance in words:

Final Step: Record and Upload your Dancing!

We would be so happy if you would like to send us an informal video of you or a family member dancing one of our dances, so that we can create one HUGE dance at the end of the project in a big video montage!

Our deadline for sending in your videos is Sunday 12th July 2020. Just click here to head to our Google form, where you can upload and give your consent. 

© 2020 by Ensemble Hesperi.