Registered Charity No. XT38066

nireland college of piping

City East Business Centre, 68-72 Newtownards Rd, Belfast, BT4 1GW   |  Telephone: 028 90941659

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EST. 1980

Piping for Highland Dancing





Different Levels (standards) of dancers require different tempos to be played for the dancers and pipers for dancing must aim to produce a steady musical accompaniment to the dance.


Generally speaking, the older the dancer the stronger is the dancer. Thus, the higher category of dancers has the stronger dancers. Such being the case, dancers in the lower category sections dance to a slightly faster tempo than that of the higher category dancer.


There are 5 different levels of dancers, viz.,

1) Primary: Beginners aged 4, 5 & 6 years.

2) Beginners: No explanation needed and applies to any age.

3) Novice: A beginner, irrespective of age, when placed at 6 different competitions, is elevated to the Novice Category.

4) Intermediate: The level a dancer is at for one full year prior to going into the Premier Category. Could be any age over 7 years.

5) Premier: These are the professional dancers, the highest competitive category. Ages range from under 8 years to 18 years and over.


List of Competitive Dances


1.   The Highland Fling

2.   The Flora MacDonald’s Fancy

3.   The Scottish Lilt

4.   The Irish Jig

5.   The Sailor’s Hornpipe

6.   The Seann Triubhas

7.   Ghillie Calum

      The Sword Dance

      Pas de Basques

      Pas de Basques and Highcuts

8.   The Reel

9.   Wilt Thou Go Back to Barracks Johnnie

10. Highland Laddie

11. Scotch Measure

12. The Earl of Errol

13. Blue Bonnets

14. The Village Maid

                                                                                    The NIPDS is an

                                            Associate College of The College of Piping, Glasgow

                                                           Funded by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland

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