Dance in Scotland

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  • A scene from Scottish Ballet's production of the Nutcracker
    Scottish Ballet's The Nutcracker © Graeme Wylie

From traditional Highland dance and the elegance and grace of ballet to the growth of hip hop, Scotland’s dance scene is buzzing with diversity.

The complex footwork of Highland dance with its jigs and reels, and the Scottish country dances enjoyed at ceilidhs and social gatherings across the country, form an important part of Scotland’s magnificent cultural heritage.

Head to the Cowal Gathering in Dunoon, on the west coast, to experience the world’s largest Highland games, which include the World Highland Dance Championships, a spectacular display that attracts more than 650 dancers from all over the world each year.

Catch a performance by Scotland’s national dance company, Scottish Ballet, in one of the country’s major cities. Based at the purpose-built international arts centre, Tramway in Glasgow, the company presents a wide range of classical and contemporary work throughout the year.

Scotland’s national contemporary dance company, Scottish Dance Theatre, is based at Dundee Rep Theatre and works closely with internationally celebrated choreographers and emerging talents. Known for its challenging repertoire, the company tours regularly with performances in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and across a range of more intimate venues throughout Scotland.

The Edinburgh Festival Theatre hosts exciting dance performances throughout the year and hosted the international festival of hip hop theatre, Breakin Convention, in 2012.

The Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival take place every August and attract a fantastic variety of international artists from all styles of dance. Get ready to discover everything from flamenco and Latin American to breakdance, ballet, jazz and mambo.

Feast your eyes on the marvellous array of wonderful dance styles on throughout the year across Scotland.

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