The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing

Virginia tattoo day 5 - 23rd Apr 2014

Virginia tattoo day 5 Day 5
Today we had a pretty chill morning with free time till one o’ clock. Some headed off to the mall to shop even more while others took a cute little boat trip to Portsmouth. The dancers on the boat enjoyed their little excursion and put on a small performance for the other passengers. Meanwhile, the girls shopping went a bit crazy, maxing out their credit cards even more.
At two o’ clock the girls gathered in the lobby and headed to the Virginia Arts building to practice our routines for approximately three hours making a few adjustments before taking a dinner break. It was hot. So hot.
Following a nibble we danced again from six till ten, brushing up on the opening and finale performances with the entire cast of the Virginia 2014 Tattoo. There are still a few things that need to be fixed but hopefully tomorrow we will pull it off for our first show. How exciting!
On the agenda for tomorrow we have a very busy schedule- two performances and a school visit. No time to spare!
Written by Brittany Kirk and Beth Kennedy (same initials)

Virginia tattoo day 2 - 23rd Apr 2014

Sleep came easy after having a full nights sleep in a bed of luxury (instead of trying to sleep upright in a plane or on the airport floor.) We had a wake up call at 7:00am, although two team members (Tess and Nicole) didn't receive the call, therefore they slept in (this was because their room number was left off the list). The rest of the team made their way to the school gym where we had our very first rehearsal, meanwhile the other two got ready in 2 minutes flat and arrived shortly after. Firstly we met the American dancers who were very welcoming, bright and bubbly. We finally managed to piece together and learn two full dances "Norfolk Ladies" and "The Gael" after eight hours of practice with a few adjustments to the dancing language.

We experienced our first supermarket shop where some girls decided to go a little crazy with the bargains (e.g a 24 pack of bottled water for $3) and later that evening we walked down to a three story mall accompanied by our adopted parents (Duffy and Nina) for both shopping and dinner,which was AMAZING!! While Mrs Hall and Mrs Piesse stayed to enjoy a few drinks.
Anyway, it is now 11.05pm so I think it's time for bed. What a busy day!

Written by Nicole Brocklehurst and Rochelle Enmett.

Virginia tattoo day 1 - 21st Apr 2014

Virginia tattoo day 1 Many of us traveled far and wide to meet the team at Auckland Airport, aside the 2 dancers that missed their flight from Nelson due to the horrible weather conditions. After 12 long bumpy hours we finally reached our destination, Los Angles. Everyone boundered out of security in excitement to see what LA had to offer. After two hours of waiting the two girls from Nelson walked through the security doors to our relief. Turns out we were stuck inside the confinement of LAX ‘prison’ for 10 long hours, yay. Thank god for wifi. The trip continued to Chicago where Mrs Piesse took a wrong turn had a wee whoopsy with security and was subsequently trapped without a passport to verify her identity, thankfully Mrs Hall came to her rescue, in the end….. As the team cautiously approached the very small plane, emphasis on small, we were all relieved that we would be at our final destination in a couple of hours. As the time flew by, no pun intended, everyone became increasingly excited. Nina and Michael Duffy, two professional clowns, introduced themselves as our adopted parents and drove us to the next destination. Once the team arrived to Virginia, we all meet Eleanor, the head honcho, and preceded to get our costumes fitted. Tired and bedraggled we hurried back to the hotel to get some much-needed sleep.


Virginia Tattoo Day 3 - 21st Apr 2014

By day three we are getting used to cruising down the highway with an absence of indicators and drivers on the opposite side of cars.

We start back at the school of the bull dogs and begin to sharpen the dances we have learned, and by the end of our practices we began to feel more confident.

With a lunch of subway (yummers). We had time to kill with a long break and we decided to take a tiki tour down to the Norfolk naval base.

We entered the base where beached ships are as large as several houses and people on board look like ants. Around the base there are apartments for sailors, shops and even large strangely shaped helicopters.

Later we arrived at the "scope" the place we are performing to free wifi and a great dinner. All the pipe bands from around the world practised including Oman, Australia and military bands. After watching them play and their different take of drumming in an enclosed space, the sudden loudness sent the girls into squeals. We enjoyed the excitement of rehearsing to the pipe bands with our props and saw what it would look like as a show. Finishing at 10pm we tiredly dragged ourselves back to the hotel with our chorus of high school music in the bus.

Written by Tess (Auckland) and Jessie (Hawkes Bay)

Virginia Tattoo - 17th Apr 2014

Executive wish all dancers travelling to Virginia today, safe travels, best wishes and we hope that you enjoy representing the Academy at the Virginia Tattoo, have a great time and we look forward to reading the daily blogs and seeing all the photos.

New Merchandise - Highland Dancer Window cling - 3rd Apr 2014

New Merchandise - Highland Dancer Window cling New product - Highland Dancer Window clings available now for $4

These will make great gifts to dancers and parents.

See store for details

Conference 2014 - 19th Mar 2014

The Academy Conference this year is being held in Invercargill 19-21st September.
The April newsletter  will have the details of the venue, accommodation options and Dance Development workshop topics.


Highland Dance Company of New Zealand - applications for 2014 - 19th Mar 2014

The Highland Dance Company of NZ is taking applications from new dancers who would like to audition to be part of the 2014 Dance Company.
See Downloads for the application forms

Also See downloads for the application form to rejoin the Dance company and application form for dancers who have previously been in the Dance Company who wish to reapply after leave of absence

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the Academy Secretary:

All applications close 04 April

The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing Inc., PO Box 5470, Palmerston North
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