Sophie Stephenson

Sophie Stephenson is a traditional musician and step dancer from Fort Augustus, in the Scottish Highlands. Introduced to step dance by Harvey Beaton at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye, Sophie continued to build on her repertoire of steps, learning from dancers including Donal Brown, Frank McConnell, Deirdre Graham, Jane MacNeil and Margie Beaton.

Website -

Stemming from an upbringing in Highland culture, Sophie has a passion for traditional music and dance which she has pursued through academic study. Research into performance contexts and the traditions of the Taigh Cèilidh in Scotland and Canada formed part of her honours degree in Scottish Literature and Scottish Ethnology, with the School of Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh. In 2013 Sophie was awarded the Lisa Ullmann Dance Scholarship which allowed her to follow her interest in emigrant traditions across to the Canadian Maritimes. She travelled to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia to meet with dancers and explore Cape Breton and Acadian dance traditions within their community context. 

Sophie is particularly interested in the rhythmical relationships between language, music, song and dance. She is the founding member of trad group Huradal in which dance is an integral part of performance both as a percussive response to the music and also a rhythmical impetus behind the musical arrangements. Sophie has also developed TradBeats, a project which brings together the core elements of voice and movement through rhythm, with Gaelic mouth music, beatboxing, step dance and body percussion. 

Sophie is dedicated to promoting and passing on the tradition of step dance and set up Sophabulous Steps to teach step dance whilst living on Isle of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland where she studied traditional music at Colaiste Bheinn na Faoghla. Since then Sophie has collaborated on a number of projects which have led her to teach and perform throughout Scotland and internationally at camps and festivals including Celtic Connections (Glasgow); Ceòlas(South Uist); Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (Isle of Skye), Belladrum Festival (Inverness); Blas Festival (Scotland); Best of the West Festival (Inveraray); TradFest (Edinburgh); The Fringe (Edinburgh); Womad (England); Champlain Valley Percussive Dance (Burlington, Vermont); Rollobay Fiddle Festival (Prince Edward Island, Canada); P.E.I Fiddle Camp (Charlottetown, Canada); Re-Jigged Festival (Nova Scotia, Canada) and UKM Arctic Art Impulse (Troms, Norway).

Sophie is currently involved in various creative projects including THREADSTradBeats and Huradal and is also a regular tutor with Fèisean nan Gàidheal.

A few steps down by the pier at Lough Leane before hopping on a plane back to Scotland after a cracking weekend at Oireachtas Na Samhna in Ireland! Melodeon: Conor Moriarty Steps: Sophie Stephenson (Filming: Christina Stephenson)
Scottish Step Dance Workshops & Short Courses led by Sophie Stephenson: Sophie is a dancer from the Highlands of Scotland. Sophie specialises in a close to the floor style of percussive step dance which has origins in Scotland, although the tradition was carried forward by Scottish emigrant communities in Eastern Canada.