Highland dancers return to the stage in Port Alberni

Paisley Barolet of Port McNeill, front, and Allison McBride of Nanaimo perform in the Premier Under-16 sword event at the 42nd Port Alberni Highland competition Saturday, April 9 at the Alberni Athletic Hall. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Paisley Barolet of Port McNeill, front, and Allison McBride of Nanaimo perform in the Premier Under-16 sword event at the 42nd Port Alberni Highland competition Saturday, April 9 at the Alberni Athletic Hall. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Rose O’Brennan of Courtenay, left, and Amy Clark of Port Alberni perform a sword dance in the Intermediate class during the 42nd Port Alberni Highland competition on April 9, 2022 at the Alberni Athletic Hall. It was the first time in two years the competition was able to be held in person. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Rose O’Brennan of Courtenay, left, and Amy Clark of Port Alberni perform a sword dance in the Intermediate class during the 42nd Port Alberni Highland competition on April 9, 2022 at the Alberni Athletic Hall. It was the first time in two years the competition was able to be held in person. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Meagan Batt, left, of Port Alberni and Taryn Neligan of Victoria compete in the Premier over-16 sword event in front of judge Wenda Crawford, Saturday, April 9, 2022 at the Alberni Athletic Hall in Port Alberni. The dancers were competing at the 42nd annual Port Alberni Highland Competition. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Meagan Batt, left, of Port Alberni and Taryn Neligan of Victoria compete in the Premier over-16 sword event in front of judge Wenda Crawford, Saturday, April 9, 2022 at the Alberni Athletic Hall in Port Alberni. The dancers were competing at the 42nd annual Port Alberni Highland Competition. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Rose O’Brennan of Courtenay, left, and Amy Clark of Port Alberni perform a sword dance in the Intermediate class during the 42nd Port Alberni Highland competition on April 9, 2022 at the Alberni Athletic Hall. They were two of 12 dancers competing in the intermediate class. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Rose O’Brennan of Courtenay, left, and Amy Clark of Port Alberni perform a sword dance in the Intermediate class during the 42nd Port Alberni Highland competition on April 9, 2022 at the Alberni Athletic Hall. They were two of 12 dancers competing in the intermediate class. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

The plaintive sound of bagpipes paired with the soft staccato of dozens of dancers’ feet as the Port Alberni Highland Dancing competition returned to the Alberni Athletic Hall on Saturday, April 9.

The 42nd annual competition, hosted by the Port Alberni Highland Dancers, took a two-year pause during COVID-19 restrictions.

More than 40 beginners and novices spent the morning performing pas de basques, highcuts, flings, sword dancing and Seann Triubhas (pronounced “shown trews”) in front of judge Wenda Crawford, who came to Port Alberni from Nanaimo for the event.

The afternoon was reserved for more than 20 intermediate and premier dancers performing flings, sword dances Seann Triubhas, Barracks Johnny and Laddie.

Dancers came from as far south as Victoria and as far north as Port McNeill and Port Hardy on Vancouver Island, as well as Surrey on the Lower Mainland.

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