The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing

Adrienne Haberfield Obituary - 20th Dec 2014


On Saturday 29 November, Adrienne was farewelled by her loving family, friends, and members of dancing societies, fellow Academy members and current dancers in a memorable and moving service. She was piped from the church by Jamie Hawke to Lord of the Dance as her casket was led through a huge guard of honour consisting of local highland dancers, and Adrienne’s modern and jazz pupils. Before the hearse left, Annabel Watts and ParisThormanperformed a Sean Triubhas.

Adrienne commenced Highland, Ballet and Tap dancing at age three and a half with Betty Washington (nee Carnochan (the first Director of the Technical Committee). When Miss Carnochan moved overseas, Adrienne studied and completed her examinations with Miss Muriel Waugh and Mrs Jeanie Paton. I am sure it was these early teachers who inspired Adrienne to be the active member she was.

Adrienne belonged to many dancing organisations throughout her life, either in a teaching or administration role. She served as President and Secretary of the Balmoral Club; she was Life Member and Current Patron of Canterbury West Coast Centre Piping and Dancing Association, and had previously held the role of President, and Life Member Canterbury Caledonian. And, Adrienne had been a member of the New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing for 54 years.

Adrienne first became a member of the executive in 1984-86, and then again from 2001 until her passing. The last Executive Meeting was at the beginning of November, and although unwell, Adrienne in her true stoic manner still made a valuable contribution.

A phrase Adrienne often used was - she was privileged to serveon Executive – it was us as Academy members, who were privileged to have Adriennein that role. She was always very well prepared for our long meetings, and never shied away from undertaking any resultant work or projects. Her knowledge of the Academy and its members past and present was extensive and so helpful to all of us on many occasions.

Adrienne continued her love of all forms of dance throughout her life, and still had a school of over 60 pupils. Adrienne was a passionate advocate of dance andwas much admired as a teacher, mentor and friend to her many pupils, both past and present.

Adrienne was a giver in every sense of the word. She was gracious, had integrity, vibrant, enthusiastic, and respectful. If you asked anyone to describe Adrienne’s qualities – they would undoubtedly all come up with the same.

Adrienne had amazing energy and numerousqualities – many members having benefitted from them.
• Superb host – loved having members to stay and nothing was a bother.
• Never made a decision in haste – always considered and ensuring she had all the facts.
• Never a bad word to say about anyone.
• I’ve been told - the best camp mother ever at Summer School.
• Great baker and provider of food. Examiner’s lunches, and even coming to Executive Meetings in Wellington, she would bring soup and baking in her case. After a bumpy flight, she would say – I hope the soup is okay!
• Conferences – she loved attending these and catching up with old friends and on the Saturday night function - to dance and enjoy the moment. Even this year in Invercargill, she was on the dance floor.

Adrienne’s contribution to dancing was never for self-gain, rather it was to her, a duty to ensure a loyal, strong and unified future for highland dancing in New Zealand.

We thank the family for allowing us to share Adrienne over so many years – there will only ever be one Adrienne and we will miss her.

Christchurch Balmoral Club 50th Anniversary - 1st Dec 2014

Christchurch Balmoral members gathered to celebrate the club's 50th anniversary - a lovely evening of friendship, camaraderie and many laughs.
The Balmoral Club was established to offer support, guidance and encouragement to both teachers and judges in the Christchurch region. Half a century later, the club still stands for the same values.
We had the opportunity to honour life memberships of Mrs Colleen Cole, Mrs Joan Osborne and more recently Mr Brian North and Mrs Adrienne Haberfield. We know Adrienne was delighted to receive her life membership earlier this year in July, and we honoured her memory and contribution given to the club over the past years.
We look forward to the next 50 years of fostering the Academy's future judges and teachers.
Jacqueline Jones - President, Christchurch Balmoral Club

Adrienne Haberfield - 26th Nov 2014

It is with much sadness that we advise the passing of Adrienne. She was a special person who touched everyone with her kindness and sincerity and will be missed by so many. Our thoughts are with her family at this time.

Adrienne's funeral is in Christchurch on Saturday 29th November at 11.00 am at St Michaels Church.

Body Festival Christchurch - 10th Oct 2014

Well done to all those involved in the Body Festival, performing Journey of the Celts, which was held in Christchurch this week. The Review was first class and we congratulate everyone involved for making this so successful.

here is the link to the  NZ Dance news Review and the Canterbury TV review

Conference 2014 Report - 1st Oct 2014


This year, our New Zealand Academy members travelled to Invercargill for our 64th Annual Conference held over the weekend 19th - 21st September 2014.

The Solo Seal Examination was held in the Centrestage Theatre and the audience was treated to dancing from four Solo Seal candidates. The Solo Seal being the Academy’s only examination that the public can attend and is the supreme award of our examination system. The candidates were Serena Sangster, Sarah Gluyas, Leighton Terry and Emma Cropper. Each candidate was accompanied by local piper Mr Jordan Caig. This was the first time Mr Caig has played for this prestigious event. Not only did he display excellent piping, Jordan is a former highland dancer himself. A stirling effort presented in a professional manner, with excellent quality of music being played for the candidates.

Mrs Kirsty Pickett was Compere for the evening and entertainment was provided by The Highland Dance Company of New Zealand who performed two excellent items “Blood on the Loch” and “Amazing Grace”. Thank you to the Director, Assistant Director and to all Dance Company members for being so willing to perform for us.

A social time was had by many of the members back at the Hotel, during which time the Youth entertained us with a fashion parade of Costumes made out of the empty pizza boxes from their Youth event following Solo Seal.

The Youth members met bright and early on Saturday morning at a session facilitated by the Youth Representative Miss Emma Cropper. Even though the overall numbers attending the conference were lower than in past years, there was a good number of youth attended. The Youth used this time to discuss matters they feel are relevant. A summary of the discussion was presented to all members during the Annual General Meeting.

The Annual General meeting took place at Ascot Park Hotel where Invercargill’s Mayor Mr Tim Shadbolt officially opened our conference. The formal requirements of the Annual General meeting were covered including the tabling of reports on various activities. A report from the Kiltie Club editor Nicole Harding was read, advising Conor Hendry has stepped down for the ensuing year. Our members wish to thank Conor for her effort and support given to Nicole in the role of editor.

Following the Annual General Meeting a discussion forum was held – this year the topics that were covered were:
• Degrees of Pass
• Examination Certificates
• Student membership
• Wearing of the Balmoral in public performances
• Irish Jig Shoes
• Report from Management Committee on Dance Company

After lunch members got into groups for the popular Quiz session.
The Dance Development Course commenced with the Music Box Dancer (presented by Jackie Jones and Julie Hawke). This session demonstrated how musical play can be experienced through dance and movement. Many member participated in this session with great enthusiasm.
The afternoon finished with members attending either the Judging Workshop (presented by Jackie Jones and Susan Edwards) or Capturing the Past (presented by Annetta Cowie).
Capturing the Past was an interactive session to capture members knowledge to enable us to record our history, including “who taught you and who taught them” so that we can build on the framework of the initial data researched and provided to us by the late Emma Brown, Jeanie Paton and Orma Smith.

The Saturday evening function was held at the same Venue, Ascot Park Hotel. It was great to have everything under the one roof with splendid Southland hospitality. The evening commenced with a happy hour leading into the photo session, followed by the address to the haggis.

Members of The Highland Dance Company of New Zealand and Dancers from the team who performed at the Virginia Tattoo were introduced to the members. This was a chance for some of the Academy members to put names to faces and to acknowledge the contribution these dancers are making to the Academy.

The Diploma and Service Bars and a Service to the Academy Award were then presented.
This years Diploma recipients were:
Diploma:                                    Teacher:
Larissa McKechie                    Enid Weir
Kateleen McWhirter                 Susan Harris
Sarah Moore                             Julie Hawke
Honours in Theory:
Larissa Banks                         Jackie Jones
Tessa Hiam                             Kaye Turrell
Brittany Hoare                          Elizabeth Smith
Tannah McLay                         Kimberley Mavor
Hannah Potter                         Kimberley Mavor
Charlotte Scott Lindfield        Jackie Jones
Georgina Scott Lindfield       Jackie Jones
Ashleigh Simpson                 Jacqui Seque
Kendyll Taylor                         Kimberley Mavor
MacKenzie Taylor                   Kimberley Mavor
Morgan Tompsett                  Christina Peet
Honours in Performance & Theory:
Laura Findlay                          Lynette Mitchell
Ellarose Hammond              Robyn Simmons
Bridget Karton                        Helene Karton
Serena Sangster                   Lynette Mitchell

Congratulations to all the above Diploma recipients and their teachers for this achievement.

This years Bar Recipients were:
20 year Bar:
Raylene McEwan Christchurch (not at conference)
Vicki Jamison Oamaru

30 year Bar:
Catherine Flynn Auckland (not at conference)
Phillipa Taylor Oamaru
Jacqueline Seque Dunedin

40 year Bar:
Roie Davenport Lower Hutt (not at conference)
Anne Marie Williams Christchurch (not at conference)
Avalon Moffatt Wellington
Christina Peet Tauranga

50 year Bar:
Jean MacNicol Arrowtown

60 Year Bar:
Enid Weir Dunedin

Our Academy President Mrs Annetta Cowie gave a presentation, followed by a wonderful insight of Mrs Weirs’ dancing life history by her daughter, Mrs Jackie McBride. Mrs Weir was thanked for her continued interest in our organisation.

Congratulations to all of the above members who received their service bars.

Service to the Academy Award:
June Wright from Auckland received an award in appreciation of ‘Loyal and valued service to the Academy’. This was awarded in recognition for her service at the Exam sessions in the two Auckland areas with piano playing and the nurturing of up and coming pianists.

During the course of the evening a mock election was held with each of the tables having a specific political party banner on it. A couple of new parties were formed during the evening and after the initial count the “Tartan Terrors” formed an alliance with the “Happy Party” but unfortunately because they had not registered there parties in time, National won. A wonderful evening was had by all with a beautiful meal and music from the Band called Southern Knights. The dance floor was full all night!

The Dance Development Course continued on Sunday morning with a warm up session – members broke up into groups, choreographed their own warm up then demonstrated their ideas to all members. It was great to see everyone participating.
This followed with practical informative workshops –prepared and presented by our Technical Committee members. The content was varied and something for everyone.

Workshops were:
Building up to Intricate Movements Workshop (presented by Sherilyn Hall and Adele Swanson) – movements covered in this workshop were Entrechat, Low Side Cutting, Winging, Parallel High Cutting and Senior Progressive Cutting.
Basics for Beginners (presented by Cushla Piesse and Susan Edwards) – this covered Initial, Preparatory and the Highland Fling.
Deportment and Poise (presented by Elizabeth Smith and Sue Gill) - This covered the application of Balance, Carriage and Bearing and core technical work from the Syllabus.
Irish Basics (presented by Pamela Fleming and Robyn Simmons) – this covered difficult movements from the Irish Syllabus, including Promenade, Ball and Heel and clearly showing the difference between a batter and a triple.

After Lunch we were priveledged to have four of the local dancers who performed at the Virginia Tattoo perform and teach us “Norfolk Ladies” with the support of Sherilyn Hall and Cushla Piesse.

The Dance Development course concluded with:
Geometry of Dance (presented by the Technical Committee) – This was a main group session and covered circles, squares, figures of eight and diagonal used in our dances.

Congratulations to Mrs Sherilyn Hall and her team - many hours of work goes into the preparation of these workshops and the attention to detail was evident and presented in a very professional manner.

Our guest speakers were Rachel Crampton, who comes from a background of a variety of dancing genres including highland, jazz and ballet along with Laupepa Karalus (Pep) who is a sports podiatrist. Pep has had the privilege to work with elite athletes including players from the Highlanders, Black Caps and the All Blacks. He shared his knowledge and expertise alongside Rachel with our members. Both spoke of the prevention of dance specific injuries. Rachel shared with us her development of a highland dance screening tool to assess and address risk factors for both teachers and dancers. Very informative and knowledgeable speakers.

A huge thank you to the Southland Teachers & Judges Committee for hosting such a friendly and relaxing weekend. The hospitality was amazing and the venue was so accessible for all new and old members to mix and rekindle friendships.

We look forward to our 2015 Annual Conference at the Brentwood in the Capital City, Wellington.

Conference 2014 photos - 1st Oct 2014

Conference photos are now available from the photographers website as follows:

Congratulations to Serena Sangster - 27th Sep 2014

It is with pleasure that we announce that Serena Sangster was successful in passing the Solo Seal Examination, held in Invercargill Friday 19 September. Serena performed the Highland Fling, Sean Triubhais Sailors Hornpipe, and Irish Jig Double Time. An excellent effort Serena - well done.

Youth Activities at Conference - 25th Sep 2014

Here is the link to the video showing what the Youth members got up to at conference

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