In my competitive days, (a very long time ago), it took a long time to master the art of backstepping in Highland dancing.  The aim was to perform a very smooth backstepping action with all required positions reached at the right time.  Backstepping back then truly was a magnificent step to watch and a very demanding one to perform well.  But it was worth the effort it took to achieve some of the smoothest backsteps in town. When I see backsteps being danced today, I feel uncomfortable. Instead of a lovely smooth action, today’s backsteps are danced with such a staccato, jerky action that they no longer look like backsteps at all. And they do not have the aesthetic quality of the backsteps danced in my day.

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