There are many reasons to enjoy the Highland Games: brawny athletes tossing cabers and mallets, bagpipers and fiddlers at every turn, and glasses splashing with delectable Scottish whisky. So it was at this weekend’s Virginia Scottish Games and Festival, where the pageantry and pride of the Highlands were on grand display. Amid this revelry, stimuli, and kilts as far as the eye could see, was held a competition of traditional Highland Dance. Naturally, we found ourselves there.
The inaugural Spey Co. Most Promising Dancer award
We at Spey are proud of the heritage that binds us to our namesake River Spey and to our work supporting threatened natural environments in Scotland. We also love art and most especially dance. Where Scotland and dance combine, one finds Highland Dancing – the competitive and sophisticated dance style of technique, stamina, and strength. In a classic six-step Highland Fling, by way of example, a dancer will perform complicated and intricate footwork while jumping vertically 192 times (equivalent to running a mile) on one foot at a time with their arms arched above their head. Oh, and did we mention the 7-10 pounds of wool clothing?
The dancers are an exceptional blend of artists and athletes, and to inspire the continued exploration and advancement of this art, Spey Co. was pleased to recognize emerging superstars and young artists in the field at this year’s Scottish Games. Enter Elias Pealer of Valley Head, West Virginia. His poise, enthusiasm, and technique earned him our trophy as the 2017 Spey Co. Most Promising Dancer. Mr. Pealer is an incredible dancer who will certainly be one to watch in the coming years. He is most deserving of this award. See pictures of Mr. Pealer on our Facebook page.
Spey raises a toast to all the artists competing for the coveted trophies, medals, and prestige, but also to the art itself. As purveyors of fine pearl jewelry, we appreciate the dedication, refinement, and artistry that goes into a craft like Highland Dance. Slàinte!