Highwood Highland Dancers

High River's School of Highland Dance

Medal Tests


To be announced.


The schedule for the day's exams will be sent to all families via email, as well as an outline of costs and exam requirements. 


Our school has yearly examinations with the SDTA, and all students are encouraged to participate.  Your instructor will direct you as to which exams should be taken.  Fees must be pre-paid to your teacher before examination day.  Examinations are broken into Highland, National, Theory, Jig/Hornpipe categories. 

When a dancer reaches 17 years of age, they are eligible to sit Professional examinations.  Dancers interested in pursuing these tests must do so with the assistance of their instructor, and must complete the application form and submit it, along with the necessary fee, to the Secretary of the SDTA.  Click here for the professional application form.




Preliminary (Highland Fling) 

Alternative Preliminary (Sword Dance)

Spring points, High cuts, Pas de basques, Toe Heels, Springs in 1st position, 8 shedding movements or the 1st step of the Highland Fling.

6 Pas de basques & 4 high cuts repeated 4x to the music.

1st, 3rd (toe & Heel) and 8th (last) steps of the Fling, each step demonstrated separately without music

6 Pas de basques & 4 high cuts repeated 4x to the music.

1st and either 2nd or 4th steps of the Sword, demonstrated separately without music,

NOTE:  Both Preliminary tests cannot be taken during the same exam session.




 Fling Sword Seann Truibhas Reel 
Pre-Bronze*4 steps (No backsteps) 

2 & 1




4 steps 

2 & 1




4 steps 

2 & 1 

Demonstrate brushes and shuffles 



4 steps 

2 & 1

3 & 1N/A
Pre-Gold 4 steps, demonstrate backsteps 2 & 1, demonstrate spring point turn 3 & 1, demonstrate shakes from 2nd step and shake-shake-down movement  N/A
Gold 6 steps 3 & 1 4 & 2 Demonstrate Strathspey movement
Scottish Award I6 steps 3 & 1 (3rd and 8th steps)4 & 2 1/2 Tulloch OR Strathspey & Highland Reel 
Scottish Award II 6 steps  3 & 1 (5th and 8th steps)4 & 2 (2nd step) Strathspey & 1/2 Tulloch 
Scottish Award III 4 steps (5th and 7th Alt.) 3 & 1 (6th & 7th steps) 4 & 2 (6th Alt. & 8th steps) Strathspey & Highland Reel (6th step of the Reel) 
Scottish Award IV 4 steps (5th Alt. step)2 & 2 4 & 2 (6th, 7th Alt., 14th & 11th steps)Reel of Tulloch 
Scottish Award V 4 steps (1st, 5th, 6th, & 8th steps) 3 & 1 (1st, 2nd, 3rd & 8th steps)4 & 2 (1st Alt., 3rd, 4th Alt., 7thStrathspey & Highland Reel


*Dancer will choose only ONE of the listed dances for Pre-Bronze.

**Dancers for SA III, IV and V may dance Championship Steps for their age category, however, they must be able to demonstrate the steps required on the syllabus.





 Dance #1Dance #2 Dance #3 
Pre-Bronze*Lilt FloraDusty Miller 
BronzeLilt FloraN/A
SilverLiltFlora Johnny
GoldLaddie (1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th)Flora (1st, 3rd, 4th or 5th, 6th) Johnny (1st, 3rd, 5th, 8th)
Scottish Award ILaddie (1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th)Blue Bonnets (1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th)Scotch Measure (1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th)
Scottish Award IIVillage Maid (1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th)Blue Bonnets (1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th) Scotch Measure (1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th)
Scottish Award III **Village Maid (1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th)Earl of Errol (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th)Hebridean Laddie (1st, 3rd, 4th, 8th)
Scottish Award IV **Tribute to J.L. (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th)Earl of Errol (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th)Hebridean Laddie (1st, 5th, 6th, 8th)
Scottish Award V **Tribute to J.L. (1st, 4th, 5th, 6th)Earl of Errol (1st, 4th, 5th, 6th with leaps)Hebridean Laddie (1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th)

*Dancer will choose only ONE of the listed dances for Pre-Bronze.





Pre-Bronze 4 steps, Teacher's choice4 steps, Teacher's choice 
Bronze4 steps - 1st, 2nd, 6th, 2nd finishing (Triple shuffle)4 steps - 1st, 2nd, 9th, 16th
Silver5 steps - 1st, 2nd, 10th, 5th, 2nd finishing 5 steps - 1st, 2nd, 6th, 12th, 16th
Gold6 steps - 1st, 2nd, 11th, 4th, 7th, 8th6 steps - 1st, 3rd, 13th or 13th Alt., 7th, 5th, 16th
Scottish Award I6 steps - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 1st finishing (Toe tap), 3rd finishing (Heel travel)1st, 2nd, 14th, 4th, 8th or 15th, 16th
Scottish Award II

6 steps - Intro Method 5, 1st (using cramp roll), 2nd (turning with toe-taps bars 15-16), 3rd (alternative method on bars 5-6 & 13-14), 5th (flap using method with hop), 4th (method A), 8th

Intro: Alt. Method with Break A, 1st (circle with Polka step) 2nd (using break C with shake movement), 12th Alt., 11th (using break C), 15th, 16th (with variations)


For Primary Theory, dancers are required to demonstrate only.  For all other examinations, dancers must demonstrate and describe everything from the previous grades in addition to the information required for the new grade level. 

If a dancer is taking a dance exam in addition to their theory, it may be unnecessary to perform the dances required for that grade.  If no dance exams are taken, however, the dances are manditory.

Study sheets are available in PDF form by clicking on the examination grade level. There is no study guide for Grade V theory.

NOTE: Dancer sitting their Grade I Theory and above should purchase the S.O.B.H.D. textbook for Highland Dancing.  Please see your instructor or the "Links" page for information on how to purchase your copy.


GeneralFoot PositionsArm Positions Head Positions Basic Movements 

Primary: (Up to & including age 10)

Dances: Fling (4), Sword (2&1)

Correct stance; spots and spaces of the sword1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th 1st, 2nd, 3rdN/A Bow; hop; spring; shedding; toe-heel; rock; closed pas de basque for sword dance; spring points in 4th position

Grade I:

Dances: Fling (4), Sword (2&1)

Placing of the foot on 1/2 point3rd aerial & 3rd rear aerial 

 As for Grade I

Grade II:

Dances:  Fling (6), Sword (2&1)

Line of direction; placing of the toe & heel and the amount of weight taken on each4th inter. ground and aerial; 4th opposite 5th; terms ground & rearGrouping of fingers 1st & 2ndSpring points in all positions; open PDB in all positions and in which steps they may be danced; shake for the Highland Fling; backsteps

Grade III:

Dances: Sword (3&1), Seann Truibhas (4&2)

Placing of the ball and the amount of weight taken; placement of the supporting footTerms open, closed and aerialGrouping of the fingers; 4th & 5th positions.Assemble; disassemble; highcutting; outward brush; inward brush; shuffle; shake for the Seann Truibhas

Grade IV:

Dances: Seann Truibhas (4&2), Strathspey & Highland Reel (2&2)

 All rear positions; 3rd crossedRaising and lowering of arms Step; pivot turn; change; balance; travelling balance; progressive strathspey; progressive reel

Grade V:

Dances: Seann Truibhas (4&2), Strathspey & 1/2 Tulloch (2&4)

Introductions to Fling, Sword, Seann Truibhas & StrathspeyDifferent methods of placing the working foot in all 5 basic positionsGeneral rules for arm and head in coordination with footwork High cut in front; heel & toe; hop-brush-beat-beat; shake-shake-down; leap; propelled pivot turn