Several Port Alberni highland dancing students at MacKenzie School of Dance were recently recognized for their achievements.
Each year, dancers who have shown exceptionally high standards in their highland grade examinations are nominated by the Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance (SDTA) examiners to take part in the North American Scholarship Competition and Conference.
The event alternates between Canadian and USA cities, and between eastern and western locations. This year’s conference was planned for Nova Scotia, but instead took place virtually due to COVID-19.
Candidates were required to submit videos of a set solo dance, as well as a choreographed solo dance. Additionally, they sat for an online, written exam covering dance theory. A panel of examiners from Scotland adjudicated the entries and an online presentation of awards took place.
Port Alberni dancers who were nominated to attend included Julie Brack, Esme Saxton and Ella Standley in the juvenile cateory, Amy Clark and Alexandra Gross in the junior category and Meagan Batt in the senior category.
Julie Brack was also recognized with a judges’ honorable mention medal for her solo choreography entry.
According to Kristine Clark, president of the Port Alberni Highland Dance Association, simply being nominated to attend is a huge honour and to receive an award at the event is a great accomplishment, given the scope of the competition.