The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing

Ghillie Callum Club - Judging seminar 6th April - 12th Mar 2014

The Ghillie Callum Club in Dunedin is conducting a Judging seminar on the 6th April with Mrs Julie Hawke as the facilitator.

The entry form and further details are available from the Downloads page

Teacher Training Seminar - Christchurch report - 4th Mar 2014

Teacher Training Seminar - Christchurch report The Canterbury Caledonian Society held a Teaching Seminar in the Scottish Society Hall on 2nd March 2014.
Tutors Sue Gill and Julie Hawke devoted most of morning session discussing the setting up of a private dancing school and the sense of achievement that comes from tutoring young children in the art of highland and national dancing. The majority of the attendees are tutors or assisting teachers from the Caledonian Society Dance Classes with once dancer from Ashburton also attending.
During the afternoon session Julie Hawke with a number of her younger pupils demonstrated a class with the children, following which our young members took them thru various basic movements of the Highland Fling, Irish Jig and Sword Dance. The aim of the seminar was to encourage the establishment of new dancing schools by our younger members and those attending happily showed great enthusiasm in both the discussion and practical sessions. I am sure they will all want to continue their involvement through further learning and the promotion of highland and national dancing.
Colleen Cole
Vice President/Tutor
Canterbury Caledonian Society

Exam entries closing date reminder - 20th Feb 2014

Exam entries close on 01 March.  Entry forms are available from the downloads page.

A reminder that Executive have implemented a $10 late fee per candidate for entries received after the closing date. NZ Post is extremely slow at present so please ensure your entries are posted well before the closing date.

Teacher Training Seminar - Christchurch - 17th Feb 2014

The Canterbury Caledonian Society is conducting a teacher training seminar on  Sunday 2nd March in Christchurch

instruction is aimed to give our younger members guidelines and confidence to set up their own school of dance, all members are welcome. Students intending to sit their Grade 5 examination during May 2014 are also encouraged to attend this seminar. Attendees should bring any exam syllabus they possess for possible reference plus note taking materials

For further information please contact Colleen Cole:

See Downloads for copy of entry form

Highland Dance Company of NZ Germany trip - 10th Feb 2014

If you would like to view the performance of the Dance Company of NZ in Germany click on

Highland Dance Company of New Zealand Germany Trip - day 11 - 4th Feb 2014

Today we got back in to the swing of performing in the Musik parade. We had an amazing time in Berlin but we were eager to get back to the hustle and bustle of show biz.We left our hotel in Hoppengarten bright and early and headed for Leipzig. The team has embraced the long bus hauls by adapting the team’s favorite game ‘Mafia’ to the coach setting. After several rounds of ‘Mafia’ we arrived at the days arena. The team only needed short rehersals as there were newcomers performing in the show.
There was quite some downtime before we performed so the team took the chance to film some clips for the Germany video, stay tuned.
Tonight’s show was a sell out! The dance company was an instant hit receiving outrageous cheers and whistles.
At dinner the company re-enacted the cup scene from the movie Pitch Perfect, this attracted a lot of attention from the other country’s present at dinner. This was followed by the musical instruments game showing other teams that we know how to have fun.
Then came the finale section. The company had previously carried torches and then waved flags. Today we only carried torches but for the duration of the finale, our flag waving skills were passed up for those of ill qualified Polish cheerleaders. The rapid burning sticks led to distressed dancers as ash from the torches blew off and directly into our faces.
Although we arrived very late to our hotel for the night we are chuffed with the quality of it, it is the flashest yet.
We end the day looking forward to two performances tomorrow.
Leighton Terry and JaydenWithington

Highland Dance Company of New Zealand Germany Trip - day 10 - 3rd Feb 2014

We are well & truly back into the swing of the travelling Musikparade roadshow with a late night after last nights show in Leipzig as we traveled to today's venue, Magdeburg. There are some new acts in the show this weekend, so rehearsals are a bit slow-going as they fit into the production - thankfully we seem to fall into place pretty seamlessly at each change of venue. (The boys don't seem to mind helping the Polish cheerleaders learn the ropes!)

Today we haven't seen anything except for the inside of the Magdeburg arena as today was a 2-show day. With each venue we are astounded by the size of each stadium, the number of people who brave the winter snow to come and see us, & the slick moves of the production team. Given there are 400+ performers changing venues each day, it is a real feat for them to set up, pack down and get all the sound and light cues right every night! They certainly are the unseen stars of the show.

Our item is improving every night, we have now done 7 performances not counting the rehearsals each day. Julie and Robyn have been recording us each night which allows us to fix our spacing and lines and aim for that perfect run!
Sara and Kate

Highland Dance Company of NZ Germany trip - Day 12 - 2nd Feb 2014

FInal Blog :
Well, we are at Singapore half way home and reflecting on an amazing Germany experience for the Dance Company. Our two weeks seem to have flown by as we packed in 8 performances in 7 different cities in huge and impressive arenas to an overall audience of over 25,000 people and between weekends managed to fit in 3 days of sightseeing (and, of course a spot of shopping) in Berlin..

We really did feel like a touring Company with packing up every morning to board our bus , arriving at the next arena in time for a rehearsal and re-spacing at the venue before enjoying a dining hall meal with the other 400 performers prior to the show. After each show it would be pack up the costumes again (we had this down to a very slick system) and then back on the bus to travel to the next city , usually arriving around 1am which meant a normal bedtime of 2am by the time we sorted check-in and room allocation. As you can imagine it has been an exhausting schedule but everyone has coped incredibly well and still laughing and having fun by the last day.

Our last show was a Sunday afternoon performance in Oberhausen. We watched with pride as the dancers, the pipe band and Crystel delivered a final flawless performance. There was much photo taking with other groups as good byes were exchanged at the end before we left for our hotel in Bochum where we had a great evening full of hilarity as Jayden and Leighton presented the "Schnitzel Awards".

Niamh and Jayden said goodbye to the team at the end of the night..... With Niamh due to train to Brussells the next morning to stay with her many relatives abroad, and she will arrive back home in time for the university year late February. It was a sad goodbye to Jayden, as he officially announced his retirement from dancing as he embarks on a 2 year OE commencing in London. Jayden has been such a valuable team member, and has been in the dance company from its inception in 2011. We will all miss Jayden's bright happy personality, and we sincerely thank him for all his hard work, dedication and passion he has given to dancing in the company, and we wish him all the very best for his career in this next exciting chapter for him!

The invitation to Musikparade was initiated by Crystel Benton through her contacts with Andrea D'Erme who is an agent for performers in Europe. It has been a fun-filled experience having Crystel join us for the tour. She has been extremely helpful with her prior knowledge of Germany and the Musikparade and has kept the team entertained with her backstage antics as well as delivering stunningly beautiful renditions of Pokarekare Ana each performance which has added a special extra dimension to our item.

On leaving our hotel in Bochum at midday on the 3rd February ready for a 3 hour drive to Frankfurt Airport, the company and pipeband presented Andrea with a gift and all then performed a Waiata to him, which he was clearly moved by. Andrea was extremely complimentary of our whole group's performances during the tour, commenting on our professionalism, and very high dance and musical quality. He especially loved the creativity of our item telling "a story" linking our New Zealand culture and heritage to our forefathers from Scotland.

Working with Andrea and the Musikparade team has been a valuable promotional and networking opportunity for the Dance Company with introductions to several event promoters and agents which we are hopeful will open up further European opportunities for the Dance Company in the future.

Keep checking the website for the next few days as we add more photos to the gallery and we will also add a link to a video of a performance once we are home and able to upload.

A big thank you from the Company to our management team and Executive members for your support and assistance in preparation for this trip.

Julie and Robyn

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