Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY


May 14, 2014

Scottish Highland Dancing makes a comeback to Glasgow High School

GLASGOW — Scottish Highland Dancing will be demonstrated at the Glasgow Highland Games for the first time in several years.

Katie Snyder of Franklin, Tenn., will do two dance demonstrations on May 31  — one at 10 a.m. and another at 2 p.m.

“She is very, very good,” said Bob Harrison, president of the Glasgow Highland Games. “I certainly wanted the best highland dancers in the country, so we are going to have her this year.”

Snyder learned Scottish Highland Dance at age 6 and has been dancing for 13 years. She credits her mother, who has Scottish heritage, for getting her involved with the art form.

“When I started at age 6, I just fell in love with the sport and the art form,” Snyder said.

She chose to promote Scottish Highland Dance because she feels like the dances are the stories of the Scottish culture and the country, and the dancers are the storytellers, she said.

Snyder has competed across the country for 12 years and was the alternate to the United States Inter-Regional Championships for two years.

“This is the first year that I haven’t competed on a regional or national level just because I am in college and that comes first,” she said.

At age 19, she is a student at Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee and is working with her university to establish a Highland Dancing Program for children, said her biography.

Because the dance is representative of the Scottish culture and serves as its own type of art form, Snyder became inspired to teach Scottish Highland Dance.

She received her teaching certificate from the British Association of Teachers of Dance in June 2013.

Scottish Highland Dance is not a dance form that is easy to master.

“It’s extremely difficult to learn,” she said.

It is also very strenuous.

“It is very cardiovascular and it’s very hard on your joints,” she said, adding that the dance can also be very elegant. “It’s very similar in nature to ballet.

“In fact, the French helped to refine Scottish Highland Dancing. Both ballet and highland have similar foot positions, and the steps are very intricate.”

As for whether Snyder will help bring Scottish Highland Dance competition back to the games in the future, she said, “I don’t know. We will see what happens this year. I would love to bring dancing competitions back to the games.”

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