Bobby Watson



Bobby Watson


Bobby Watson was involved with Highland dance for 81 of his 83 years.

Robert "Bobby" Watson started in the art form of Scottish dance at the age of two. In fact, he won his first medal at the age of three. "Bobby" -- even the usage of his name tells you how reachable the man was. He taught up until last year and his expertise was in demand as far away as Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.

Indeed, his funeral in Aberdeen saw tributes from Scottish Country dancers and Highland dancers from all over the world. Accolades in abundance throughout his 83 years.

He taught thousands of children through the years, winning hundreds of titles, two television shows, the 1988 bicentennial celebrations in Australia (Grand Australasian Highland Dancing Championship), and of course he was a World Champion.

Bobby was not only a champion Highland Dancer and leading teacher and judge but also one of Scotland's cultural ambassadors. The late King George VI, who requested Bobby to instruct the local children in Braemar and Ballater areas to maintain the tradition, recognized indeed his expertise in performance and teaching.

The world has lost another champion and dance has lost a "Champion of Highland Dancing." Bobby died in February of 1998.

Dances Bobby taught include The Camp of Pleasure, Circassian Circle, Come Ashore Jolly Tar, The Dashing White Sergeant, Duke of Perth (Broun's Reel, Clean Pea Strae), The Eight Men of Moidart, Eightsome Reel, Gae Gordons Jig, The Glasgow Highlanders, Gramachie, Highland Schottische, Jenny's Bawbee, Jessie's Hornpipe, The Long Chase, Long Live the Queen, Maggie Lauder, Miss Murray of Ochtertyre, The Reel of the Fifty-first Division, Rakes of Glasgow, La Tempete (The Tempest), and Waverly (Fergus McIver).

Adapted from an article by Loraine Ritchey