The Sword Dance
Of all the dances I learned as a young girl, this one was my favourite. Maybe because I reached the podium in it the last year I danced competitively. I should add, it was the only medal I ever won.
Yes, those are real swords. Yes, they are sharp. My cousin can attest to that. She cut the end of her big toe at dancing lessons one night when she got a bit to close to the point.
It was the summer of ’69 (and not the song by Bryan Adams) that I competed for the last time. My father had died in the spring of that year and after that, Highland Dancing didn’t hold the same appeal anymore.
Here we are posing with our medals – me on the left with my silver, my cousin on the right with her bronze, and our little cousin from Florida who came up with our aunt for a few weeks holding Leslie’s other bronze that she received in The Highland Fling.
1969 was the only year that I’m aware of where the medals were this style. It was also the only year they held a Highland Games at this venue near the International Bridge between Canada and the US.
I still have my Robertson tartan kilt from back in these days. It needs new straps (the leather became brittle and tore) and buckles but otherwise is in almost the same condition as when I wore it back then.