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Legend has it that the initial Gillie Callum, more commonly known as the Sword Dance, was created by Malcolm Canmore, a Celtic Prince who fought a battle in 1054. Triumphant, he crossed his opponent’s sword with his own and danced over them celebrating his victory. It is also said that the warriors danced the Sword Dance prior to battle. If the warrior touched the swords, it was considered an omen symbolizing injury or death in battle.

We no longer have to worry about going into battle, but the dance links us to those soldiers. Highland dancing has been handed down to us as a proud tradition that we continue to celebrate today. Originally, only men performed and competed in the dances, but now men and women compete as equals. The strength and agility once necessary for victory in battle will now bring medals and trophies.

We hope you enjoy this video of a group of talented male dancers performing the Sword Dance. Watch their strength showcasing the tradition that unites highland dancers worldwide.

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USA Scottish Highland Dancers travel to Spokane Washington for the 2011 USIR National Highland Dance Championship. Watch three dancers compete in the Highland Fling at the Lilac Open Championship.