I am with the Piedmont Highlanders, a non competitive Highland Dance class located near Oakland, California. We teach all of the dances to a correct and high standard, we just have a different focus than competing. It's more of returning to the roots of the dancing when it was still a contemporary dance form. Many of our dancers do it for exercise and the pure joy of it and some don't even dance outside of class, though we also have those who do perform with both the class and/or other performing groups. We actually do have a couple of people who compete in the Advanced Level class, but once again the focus of the class is purely on dancing Highland and National dances with out being pressured to compete by the instructors. There is so much more to dancing than the competitions, plus we provide a place where people who have worked their way up through the levels of competition can still dance after they stop competing. Dancers put many hours over a period of years developing themselves, why quit dancing when you no longer wish to compete? The experienced dancers have so much to share with the newer dancers. We put on a traditional ceilidh once a year which attracts two pipe bands, solo pipers, Scottish and Irish Musicians, singers and dancers. The evening is filled with both the solo and social dances of Scotland and Ireland, songs, poetry and music from all of the Celtic Nations. No two ceilidhs have been the same as we keep to the tradition of spontaneity and do not over plan or arrange, believe it or not it's hard work to make it so, but totally worth it. The mass Fling danced in a circle for all who wish has grown so large inner and outer circles are required to accommodate all who want to dance. It is truly a magical evening, expatriate Scots attending for their first time have come up afterwards and told us they never expected to experience such a thing outside of Scotland.