Cowal Highland Gathering Highland dancing
27th - 29th August 2020

Highland Dancing

© Photo by Ken Clark

Competitors  »  Highland Dancing

Highland dancing

Cowal Highland Gathering is host to the Scottish and World Highland Dancing Championships – the most important events in the highland dancing calendar. As a competitor you’ll be pitched against the finest dancers and perform in front of what’s possibly the most discerning dancing audience anywhere in the world. Are you aiming for the Cowal Gold Medal?

The dancing gets underway on Thursday with the Scottish Championships and the Qualifiers for the World Highland Dancing Championships which includes dancers from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Friday is the new home of the Scottish National Championships. And on Saturday it’s the finals of the World Championship.

We also hold competitions to encourage local, emerging highland dancing talent. If you’re a younger dancer at the start of your career, it’s a great opportunity to experience this great event and dance in front of the experts.

Highland Dancing Photos 2016

The dancing competitions at the Cowal Gathering kick off on the Thursday of the event with the Scottish Championships and the qualifiers for the World Highland Dancing Championships. Dancers from Canada, The United States, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa travel to Cowal to compete for the ultimate prize in the dancing calendar.

The Friday is the new home of the Scottish National Championships.This event is open to premier class dancers from throughout Scotland. As such it attracts the very best of our own home grown dancers to compete.

The finals of the World Highland Dancing Championships take place on the Saturday afternoon and see the 60 top dancers from across the world compete to be crowned World Champion.

The Saturday is also host to two local (confined) competitions including one which is specifically for the youngest dancers just setting out on their dancing career.

Below is the provisional running order for this year’s highland dancing championships held at Cowal. Please note the changes to the days that some of the championships are held.

The timings and platforms for the different age groups are provisional at this time and may have to be changed depending on final entries.


Scottish Championships & World Qualifiers

AM Session - 8.30am start
Event 8 (7/9 years) East Platforms
Event 9 (9 years) East Platforms
Event 10 (10 years) East Platforms
Event 11 (11 years) East Platforms
Event 55(Junior World Qualifiers) Main Platforms
Event 56 (Adult World Qualifiers) Main Platforms

PM Session -1.30pm start (approx)
Event 12 (12 years) East Platforms
Event 13 (13 years) East Platforms
Event 14 (14 years) Main Platforms
Event 15 (15 years) Main Platforms


Scottish National Championships

AM session - 8.30am start

Event J (17 years) Main Platforms
Event K (18 years) Main Platforms
Event A&B (8 & 9 years) East Platforms
Event C (10 years) East Platforms
Event D (11 years)East Platforms

PM Session - 1.00pm start (approx)
Event E (12 years) East Platforms
Event F (13 years) East Platforms
Event G (14 years) East Platforms
Events H & I (15 years & 16 years) Main Platforms

Main Platforms

(Argyllshire Championships)

Please Note the change to categories

8.45am Start

Event 51 for Premier dancers aged 7yrs and under 12yrs, resident in Argyll and Bute.

Event 51a - for Premier dancers aged 12yrs and 13yrs, resident in Argyll and Bute

Event 52 - for Premier dancers aged 14yrs and 15yrs, resident in Argyll and Bute

Event 53 - for premier dancers aged 16yrs and over, resident in Argyll and Bute.

Pre-Premier Competitions East Platforms - 10.30 am start

Please note that this all pre-premier competitions will begin at 10.30 am.
Registration for all pre-premier competitons will start at 10am.

Please note that this year the Pre-Premier competitions will take place on the East Platforms and not the West. This means it will be possible to purchase seats in the East stand to watch the Pre-Premier competition.
The East stand on the Saturday will be sold as an all day ticket.

World Highland Dancing Championships Finals Main Platforms

World Championships Trophy Presentations

March Past led by World Champions

No Information is available at present.

We are delighted to announce the judging panel for the highland dancing championships at the 2019 Cowal Highland Gathering;

Jacqueline Aird - UK
Lisa Barker - Australia
Sharon Farrar - USA
Eileen Graham - UK
Marlyn Halliday - UK
Lynne Lawrence - UK
Leona MacDonald - UK
Lena-Anne MacDonald - UK
Rebecca McKinnon - Canada
Mary Neill - UK
Heather Richendrfer - USA
Susan Robertson - UK
Jean Strachan - UK
Jean Swanston - UK
Jennifer Thompson - Canada

We look forward to welcoming the judges to Dunoon in August.