Strathspey & Reels


Of all the Highland Dancing events in which the competitors vie, the reels are the closest approach to social dancing. While the teams consist of four dancers, the judges mark each competitor individually.

Legend has it that the reel originated outside locked church in the Highland village of Tulloch, where it was danced by chilly parishioners as a method of keeping warm while waiting for a tardy clergyman


The competitive dance normally comprises steps danced to Strathspey tempo and then change to the more exciting Reel tempo.

The dance takes the following basic pattern:

Strathspey time:
Dancers weave in and out, round each other, following a Celtic figure of eight pattern (3 circles instead of 2).
Dancers then dance a Fling setting step
Repeat the figure of eight
Then dance a different Fling setting step

Change tempo to Reel time:
Repeat the above pattern using Reel steps.


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