The Celtic nations are generally the territories in western Europe where Celtic languages or cultural traits have survived.  The term "nation" is used in its original sense to mean a people who share a common identity and culture and are identified with a traditional territory.   The seven territories widely considered Celtic nations are Brittany (Breizh), Cornwall (Kernow), Wales (Cymru), Scotland (Alba), Ireland (Éire), Isle of Man (Mannin or Ellan Vannin) and Galicia.
While seven “nations” are represented worldwide and no doubt have their related types of dance, the vast majority of American Celtic cultural heritage is associated with the Irish and Scottish traditions.   Therefore the Bitterroot Celtic Society and our related festival, The Bitterroot Celtic Games and Gathering, emphasizes Irish and Scottish dance.
Scottish and Irish dancing
Many think the two Celtic forms are synonymous. In comparison to Scottish highland dance, Irish dancers rarely use their arms which are held beside their bodies (rather than raised above the shoulders), legs and feet are frequently crossed (not turned out at 45°), and frequent use of the hard-soled step shoes (compared to ghillies or 'pumps'). There is a greater use of choreography than traditional movements.
Highland dance or Highland dancing (Scottish Gaelic: dannsa Gàidhealach) is a style of competitive solo dancing developed in the Scottish Highlands in the 19th and 20th centuries in the context of competitions at public events such as the Highland games. It was 'created from the Gaelic folk dance, but formalized with the conventions of ballet and has been subject to influences from outside the Highlands. Highland dancing is often performed to the accompaniment of Highland bagpipe music and dancers wear specialized shoes called ghillies (shown below).

The Bitterroot Celtic Games and Gathering (BCGG) holds a sanctioned Highland Dance competition during the festival each year.  The sanction comes from the Federation of U.S. Teachers and Adjudicators (FUSTA) which is associated with the Scottish Official Highland Dancing Association (SODHD). We also have Highland Dance demonstrations and workshops.
Irish dance or Irish dancing is a group of traditional dance forms originating from Ireland, encompassing dancing both solo and in groups, and dancing for social, competitive, and performance purposes.  While the BCGG does not hold any Irish dance competitions, we have Irish dance demonstrations and teach social dancing usually associated with Ceilis (community gatherings).


August 2018 results

Gary Bladen - Dance coordinator 

Pas de Basques-  1st place: Phaedra Wingrove
PB’s & Hicuts-   1st place: Phaedra Wingrove
Fling –               1st place: Phaedra Wingrove
Sword-               1st place: Phaedra Wingrove
Fling-                 1st LilyAnn Van Dusan      2nd Rachana Harris            3rd Leann Clarke
Sword-               1st Maeci Thomas              2nd LilyAnn Van Dusan    3rd Isabella Rodriguez            
Seann Triubhas- 1st LilyAnn Van Dusan     2nd Amber Voss                 3rd Rachana Harris
Lilt-                    1st LilyAnn Van Dusan     2nd Rachana Harris            3rd Maeci Thomas           
Flora-                 1st Maeci Thomas              2nd Rachana Harris            3rd Amber Voss
Aggregate: LilyAnn Van Dusan

Fling-                  1st Kellan Miller                2nd Abigail Peck                3rd Sofia Shupe
Sword-               1st Sofia Shupe                   2nd Alexander Peck           3rd Kellan Miller      
Seann Triubhas- 1st Abigail Peck                  2nd Alexander Peck           3rd Kellan Miller      
Lilt-                    1st Sofia Shupe                   2nd Abigail Peck                3rd Alexander Peck 
Flora-                  1st Abigail Peck                 2nd Alexander Peck           3rd Sofia Shupe
Aggregate: Abigail Peck

Fling-                   1st Amelie Sligting            2nd Stefan Durrant            3rd Jessica Olsen       
Sword-                1st Amelie Sligting            2nd Stefan Durrant             3rd Madison Stevens
Seann Triubhas-  1st Amelie Sligting            2nd Jessica Olsen                 3rd Stefan Durrant 
Lilt-                     1st Amelie Sligting            2nd Madison Stevens          3rd Jessica Olsen
Flora-                  1st Amelie Sligting            2nd Jessica Olsen                 3rd Shelby Anderson
Hornpipe-            1st Amelie Sligting            2nd Stefan Durrant             3rd Madison Stevens
Aggregate: Amelie Sligting

Fling-                  1st Caelei Rosenvall           2nd Kya Durrant                3rd Mary Kaschmitter     
Sword-                1st Caelei Rosenvall           2nd Mary Kaschmitter       3rd Kya Durrant
Seann Truibhas-  1st Caelei Rosenvall           2nd Hannah Diffin             3rd Kya Durrant
Blue Bonnets-      1st Caelei Rosenvall           2nd Hannah Diffin             3rd Cierstei Rosenvall       
Village Maid-     1st Caelei Rosenvall           2nd Hannah Diffin              3rd Cierstei Rosenvall 
Hornpipe            1st Caelei Rosenvall           2nd Cierstei Rosenvall        3rd Hannah Diffin  
Aggregate: Caelei Rosenvall    

Bitterroot Celtic Games & Gathering
PO Box 1774 Hamilton MT 59840 US