Basic Moves

Basic moves in Highland

Getting started in Highland Dancing is easy and shouldn’t be daunting, there is a large support network of parents, older dancers and teachers right here to help.

Highland Dance classes are a fun and social activity for all ages, male and female, with qualified teachers all over the UK and Europe. Your first steps into Highland Dancing will be through one of our many teaching professionals. We have included a searchable dance class directory to assist with finding the perfect teacher.

We’ve added some handy videos so you can start your highland journey at home. Your new teacher will go over all of these moves with you in your classes but there’s no harm in getting a head start. 

Hear from our dancers

Rosey Watt from MacDuff, who started her dancing journey at the age of 4.

The Five Foot Positions

Foot positions are the basic building block that underpins all types of Highland Dancing. Every movement and group of movements that form a dance step has specified foot positions which the dancer should accurately place.

Spring Points

A spring is similar to a hop but we land on the other foot.

The video shows the spring points movement where we execute springs and point the other foot in fourth.

High Cuts

High Cuts are similar to spring points but we place the foot on the back on the leg each time we spring.

Toe and Heel

More advanced movements build upon the spring, hop and foot positions and when combined with other movements make up our dance steps.

A toe and heel is two hops or a spring and a hop and placing the other foot on the full point (toe) in third or fifth.

Pas de Basque

Pas de Basque are either performed on their own by youngsters or as part of the sword dance. The spring movement is used in a Pas de Basque with the foot extended to the variation of second position – second aerial position.

Pas de Basque and High Cuts

We can combine pas de basque and high cuts together.


Shedding is the main movement used in the Highland Fling and consists of hops and springs with basic and alternative foot positions as shown.

Ready to get started?

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