Port Alberni’s highland dancers will be hosting their annual dance competition for the first time in two years.
The Port Alberni Highland Dancers Association’s Open Highland Dance Competition will take place on Saturday, April 9 at the Alberni Athletic Hall.
The annual competition is a chance for local dancers from MacKenzie School of Dance—as well as other visiting dancers—to show off their technique and choreography in front of a live audience. Both the 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kristine Clark, president of the Port Alberni Highland Dance Association, credited Patricia MacKenzie for keeping the MacKenzie School of Dance running throughout the pandemic.
“She just pivoted and learned how to to teach on Zoom,” said Clark. “And credit to all the kids for dancing at home and keeping up with their training.”
During the pandemic, students have performed in events like the Robbie Burns Supper by video. Students have now gone back to in-person classes and are eager to perform in front of a live audience.
“It’s what they work for—to have people watching,” said Clark.
Doors for the show open at 9 a.m. and dancing begins at 9:30 a.m. The schedule starts with beginners in the morning, followed by intermediate and premier dancers in the afternoon. The cost for entry is $6 at the door.