Jennifer Stephenson started her dance career at age six and competed for over twenty years. She has performed throughout North America and in Scotland, and represented the province of Quebec numerous times at the Canadian Championships. Jennifer started the Stephenson School of Dance in 1977, and many of her students have gone on to establish successful schools of their own. She has trained a number of champion dancers, and her students compete regularly across Canada and the United States.
She is a member of the Scottish Official Board Adjudicator's Panel and a Fellow of the Scottish Dance Teachers' Alliance. Active in all aspects of highland dance, Jennifer is currently a delegate for ScotDance Quebec and an active member of the Montreal Highland Dancing Association. She has also served as Treasurer of ScotDance Canada, Vice-President of the Professional Highland Dance Association (Ottawa, Cornwall, Montreal), Chairperson of Interprov' 93 (Canadian Interprovincial Championships) and the ScotDance Canada Championship Series 2001, and most recently, the Chairperson of the 2013 ScotDance Canada Championship Series.
Scottish highland dancing is one of the oldest forms of folk dance. The stories of each dance have been passed down from generation to generation. There are two styles of highland dancing, the traditional highland dances and the Scottish National Dances. Highland dances are performed in a kilt and are a series of swiftly and precisely executed steps. These dances are said to be traditional dances performed by soldiers either before a battle or following a successful battle. Scottish National Dances are mostly performed in a white dress or Aboyne (tartan skirt, vest, and plaid); these are more flowing, balletic dances said to be of a more social nature.


Traditional Highland Dances

The Sword Dance is one of the oldest known highland dances. Stories say that soldiers would place their swords on the ground and dance over them prior to a battle. Completing the dance without knocking the sword meant that a successful battle was on the horizon, touching the sword was a bad omen.

The Seann Triubhas, Pronounced 'Sean Trews', is a dance that represents a time in Scottish history when Scots were forbidden by the English to wear kilts. The beginning of the dance represents how the trews or trousers restricted movements. Many steps have a shaking motion symbolizing the kicking off of the trews with the last steps, beginning with a clap, representing the freedom of movement felt with the kilt.

Flora MacDonald’s Fancy: This dance is in honour of Flora MacDonald who aided in the escape of Bonnie Prince Charles

The Highland Fling: As with the Sword Dance, this is probably the oldest of the traditional dances of Scotland - signifying victory following a battle. It has been said that warriors danced the Fling around a small round shield called a 'targe'. Most targes had a sharp spike of steel projecting from the center, so dancers learned early to move with great skill and dexterity. Another interpretation has the dancer celebrating a successful stag hunt, the upraised arms and hands representing the antlers of a deer.