The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing

Highland Dance Company of NZ - Germany Trip - 15th Jan 2014

13 members of the Highland Dance Company of NZ,  Dance company director Julie Hawke and Assistant Dance company director Robyn Simmons and 2 supporters leave on Tuesday 21st January to participate in the Germany Musik Parade
They will be performing in the parades as follows:

23 January – Koblenz
24 January – Koln 7.30 p.m.
25 January – Wetzlar 3.00 p.m.
26 January – Frankfurt 3.30 p.m.
27 – 30 January – Free days in Berlin
31 January – Leipzig 7.30 p.m.
1 February Magdeburg 2.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.
2 February Oberhausen 3.30 p.m

The Executive wish them a very successful trip 

A daily blog and photos will be published on the news page

Virginia Tattoo 2014 - 15th Jan 2014

The following dancers have been selected to travel to  Norfolk, Virginia to represent the NZ Academy of Highland & National Dancing in April 2014.

Dawn Anderson – Invercargill
Aine Blackman – Tauranga
Nicole Brocklehurst – Hawkes Bay
Leah Camell – Auckland
Lisa Claridge – Palmerston North
Hannah Copeland – Invercargill
Brenna Curran – Hawkes Bay
Nicola Dunnery – Tauranga
Chelsea Ellis – Ashburton
Rochelle Emmett – Hawkes Bay
Lexi Fleming – Auckland
Tessa Hiam – Auckland
Ashleigh Isaacson – Hawkes Bay
Beth Kennedy – Gisborne
Brittany Kirk – Tauranga
Eveline Levett – Invercargill
Jordan McIvor – Christchurch
Hannah McRae – Hawkes Bay
Jessica Miller – Hawkes Bay
Dayna Murrell – Hawkes Bay
Sophie Sangster – Invercargill
Mariel Schroder – Auckland
Kelsey Smith – Blenheim
Kendyll Taylor – Oamaru
Alex Vanden Brink – Palmerston North
Holly Webster – Nelson
Jessie Williams-Emmett – Hawkes Bay
Kate Woodd – Tauranga

Chaperones - Sherilyn Hall and Cushla Piesse.

Dancers leave New Zealand on April 17th and will  have 2 days of rehearsals followed by 5 days of performances at the "Scope arena". There will also be performances at local schools.
Once they leave Norfolk the dancers will have 3 days in Anaheim before returning home on the 3rd of May.

A daily blog and photos will be published on the news page to keep up with what they are doing in Norfolk.

Dancers required for Virginia Tattoo trip 2014 - 4th Nov 2013

We have 9 spaces left to fill for dancers wanting to go and dance with the Academy team at the Virginia Tattoo in April 2014.
The dates are 17 April to 03 May which is the April school holidays.

The criteria for eligibility is as follows:

Age 14 and to have passed Grade 5 Examination.

Costs are being finalised at the present time.

If there are more than 9 people interested in going a ballot will be held.

if you are interested in going with the team to Virginia  please email the Academy  Secretary:  by the10th November


Conference 2013 photos - 22nd Oct 2013

Conference photos are now available from the following link

Order form available from the downloads file

Dancers perform at CD Launch in Christchuch - 14th Oct 2013

Dancers perform at CD Launch in Christchuch On Friday 4th October Julie Wylie launched her new CD "Magical Musical Play".
With glorious weather, the Re Start Mall was a stunning location for Julie to advertise and present her CD along with the help of 22 students from the Jacqueline Jones School of Dance.
Pre Schoolers presented items from "Starting on the Right Foot" along with performing to two new tracks from the new CD - Pirates Sail the Deep Blue Sea and Roll up to the Circus . This was followed by a Highland Dancing display.
All was well received with large crowds enjoying the performances, and some children from the audience happily joined in to participate.
For any enquiries regarding purchasing Julie's new CD, Contact Jackie at

Conference 2013 Report - 9th Oct 2013

This year over the weekend 20th – 22nd September our New Zealand Academy members travelled to Tauranga for our 63rd Annual Conference.

The Solo Seal Examination was held in the Performing Arts Centre at Bethlehem College and the audience was treated to dancing from nine Solo Seal candidates – it has been many years since such a large number has entered this examination. This is our only examination where the public can attend and is our supreme award on our examination system. The candidates Niamh Blackman, Jessica Findlay, Emma Denney, Leighton Terry, Rachel Bates, Sarah Robson, Sarah Gluyas, Kendall Reid and Nicole Harding. Each candidate was accompanied with excellent piping from our own Academy member Mr Neil Baxter from Christchurch. This was a large undertaking by Neil and I am sure all candidates appreciated his very thorough and professional approach. Mr Doug Hendry was compere for the evening and the entertainment was provided by The Highland Dance Company of New Zealand who performed two excellent items – thank you to all Company members and Dance Directors for being so willing to perform for us.

The Youth members met bright and early on Saturday morning at a session facilitated by the new Youth Representative Miss Emma Cropper. There were 50 of our Youth Members in attendance which is an excellent number of our young members who are so enthusiastic about Highland Dancing and our Academy. The youth use the time allocated to them to discuss matters they feel are relevant and then a summary of these discussions are presented to all members during the Annual General Meeting.

Tauranga’s Mayor Mr Stuart Crosby officially opened our conference at the beginning of the Annual General Meeting. Our meeting then covered all formal aspects relating to the Academy with reports tabled for various activities. Our new Kiltie Club editors Conor Hendry and Nicole Harding gave an excellent presentation - they have worked extremely hard researching ideas to try to grow the membership numbers in this area – Executive is very grateful for their passion and enthusiasm in dealing with our young members.

Following the Annual General Meeting a discussion forum was held - this year the topics that were covered were:
• 18 years and over cutting movement
• Degrees of passes for examination grades
• Retention of candidates in our examination system
• Colour of underwear being worn under kilts
• Late payment fee for late examination entries
• Children’s Book update
• NZQA and the process review

The Dance Development Course commenced after lunch on Saturday with our first guest speaker Diana Bomford – we are extremely grateful to Diana for agreeing to speak to our members at very short notice due to the unfortunate unavailability of our scheduled guest and members were appreciative of her time and the sharing of her knowledge. The Technical Committee had organised a quiz which all members who participated enjoyed There was fierce competition between teams and a great way to get to know members. This was followed by a Nostalgic session showing old photos in a power-point presentation – how fashion’s change …….….I wonder what we will say in 20 years time as we look back on this weekends photos!!

Our Saturday evening function was held at Mills Reef Winery – what an amazing venue with splendid hospitality. The evening commenced with the members of the Highland Dance Company of New Zealand being presented – a chance for some of the Academy members to put faces to names and so we can all acknowledge the huge contribution they are making to the Academy. The Diploma and Bar Awards were then presented. This year we had two members receiving their 60 year memberships – it is amazing for us to have people who have been a member of our organisation for 60 years. Mrs Margaret Daines was not in attendance but a dancing friend, and one of our Life Members, Mrs Enid Weir spoke and gave everyone an in-site into Margaret’s dancing life and also spoke of the significance of friendships made through Highland Dancing. Our Academy President Mrs Annetta Cowie gave a presentation for Mrs Verna Dougherty for her 60 year membership – it is always interesting to hear of these members experiences and the contributions they make. A presentation was made to Mrs Janet Allison who has recently resigned from our Technical Committee – it was an opportunity for us to acknowledge Janet’s contribution to Technical and we thank her for her many years of service. The final presentation of the evening was to Mrs Kay Grout. Kay has been made an Honorary Life Member of our Academy – a very deserving recipient of this award. Thank you Kay for your continued interest in our organisation.

The Dance Development Course continued on Sunday morning with a warm up session – learning the Lochaber Broad Sword – there were a large number of our members up dancing at 8.45am! There were many interesting and informative workshops held – these were prepared by our Technical Committee members. The content was varied and something for everyone. Congratulations to Mrs Sherilyn Hall and her team - many hours of work goes into the preparation and the attention to detail was evident.

Our second guest speaker was Sir Gordon Tietjens who spoke on a large variety of topics including the importance of team culture, discipline, nutrition and training. WOW – how lucky we were to have Verna Dougherty’s nephew agree to come and talk to us. Sir Gordon was so generous with his time – a very humble man who shared his knowledge and views on a wide range of topics. I am sure if you look carefully at the television coverage at next years Wellington Sevens you will see Academy members in the crowd.

Thank you to the Bay of Plenty Teachers and Judges Committee for hosting such a superb weekend. The hospitality was amazing (the baking tremendous!) and Bethlehem College was a great venue making it so easy to renew old friendships and forge new ones.

We look forward to our 2014 Annual Conference in the deep south in Invercargill.

Summer School Schedules available - 6th Oct 2013

The Summer Fling Schedule and the Hawkes Bay Summer School schedule is now available under Downloads

Youth at conference - 6th Oct 2013

Group 1 Human Pyramid
Youth Representative Emma Cropper set the Youth a photo challenge over the weekend.

Each photo was worth points and the team with the most points won over all.

The winning group was team five:
Sara Simmons
Kate Wills
Jessica Findlay
Emma Denney
Lexi Fleming
Stafford Horman
Sarah McQueen
Leighton Terry
Brittany Kirk

All Black Dominic Baird and Crusader Luke Whitelock judged the overall best photo which went to the pyramid by team one and second place was the human sword by team five.

See gallery for the photos

Also click on the links below to see their videos
Youth Flash Mob

Tauranga Conference Video to MTKO Classic

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