The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing

Award for Robyn Simmons - 12th Jun 2012

The Academy congratulates Robyn Simmons on receiving a QSM in the recent honours announced at Queen’s Birthday. It is great to see highland dancing feature

Academy Raffle Books - 11th Jun 2012

Just a reminder that raffle books are due back to the Secretary by 15 June. Can you please foward asap - whether sold or not to The Secretary, Box 5470, Palmerston NOrth

NZ Academy Raffle - 29th May 2012

Just a reminder to members that Raffle books are due back to the Secretary by the 15th of June.

If you are unable to sell your book please send back to the Secretary so it may be reallocated.


Virginia - A back stage video - 9th May 2012

Check out - NZ Highland dance USA trip 2012

A back stage video made by the Highland Dance Company of NZ at the Virginia Tattoo

Virginia Tattoo Trip Day 10 - 2nd May 2012

For most of the girls the day started unpleasantly with a fire alarm causing a panic and a run to the meeting area outside the motel. For the boys however, they just slept on through. Most had mixed emotions about today, sad that the Tattoo was coming to an end but happy that they didn’t have to stand still for 20 minutes in the finale anymore. We started with our choreographed dances, Dancing Feet and Thistle and the Fern. One bystander proclaimed that we were “borderline brilliance” and a lot of Americans were wondering where we were from. After the success of the Hullabaloo show we proceeded to the tunnel for our final performances. This is where disaster struck. Within the first 32 counts of 51st Highlanders, Nicole Harding sprained her ankle in a parallel. She bravely continued the rest of the dance but ending up being our first and only casualty of the trip. Since then Nicole has been carried around either on the shoulder of one of the strapping young men on the team or by wheelchair. After finishing the final tattoo performance to an appreciative audience, The NZ team signed autographs for their adoring fans.
With excess food vouchers in hand the team headed to Outback steakhouse to order up large. The meals were awesome and it was nice to share this time with our hilarious adopted mom and dad, Nina (Sparkles) and Duffy. After gorging on Steak and Lobster tail, the team said farewell to Duffy, Nina, Mrs Unger, the Aussies and the American dancers.
We met up back at the hotel for our final party before packing. Awards were handed out to everyone on the trip for hilarious antics that we got up to. Then Daniel cranked out the pipes and tag team Jigs, Irish Reels, Irish hornpipes and Sailors were danced. Later the team went to the beach to set free their pet hermit crab (named Emma Cropper) to Amazing grace on the pipes. We then bid farewell to Elizabeth, Jamie and Daniel who will be sorely missed by the team. Now we are back in our rooms packing our bags, some of the girls bags look like they are bursting at the seams.
God Bless America,
Jayden Withington

Virginia Tattoo Trip Day 9 - 1st May 2012

Virginia Tattoo Trip Day 9 Today we had a free day so we took the opportunity to have a good sleep in. Many of us had a big feed at the familiar Pocahontas Pancakes before doing a spot of shopping along Virginia Beach. Many last souvenirs were bought, including a hermit crab affectionately named Emma Cropper (who made some curious noises during the night in our room!). We went into Norfolk mid-afternoon to do our last shopping outing at the mall near the arena, an event that caused a lot of panic buying by the team.
We performed again tonight and then we all attended the cast party. We were a little disappointed that it was only us (the dancers) who made an effort to dress up but that didn’t stop us having a good time. Most of the team was up on the dance floor all night and we danced until the DJ stopped playing his music.
Another late night tonight but tomorrow we can have a small sleep in!
Lewis Gibson

Virgina Tattoo Final Report - 1st May 2012

As we sit in LA airport on the final leg of our journey home and reflect on this inaugural trip for the Dance Company, we are immensely proud of this team of inspiring young dancers.

They have represented our Academy superbly. We received wonderful feedback on the quality of our performances , both for the Tattoo items and especially for our own choreographed pieces in the Hullabaloo Fest.

Offstage our dancers bonded together as a team supporting each other and formed new friendships with the American, Australian and Canadian dancers. Eleanor Unger was complimentary of the Company and both Eleanor and Scott Jackson, the Tattoo Director , have indicated we will definitely be receiving an invitation to return to Virginia in the future.

PS Slightly stressful check-in this morning at Norfolk Airport..... a count up revealed a total of 55 new pairs of shoes purchased which resulted in quite a bit of re-packing and juggling of luggage to avoid excess baggage charges !!!!

Robyn Simmons & Julie Hawke

Virginia Tattoo Trip Day 8 - 29th Apr 2012

lot out of us! But we're still going strong!

We started out with the matinee performance at the scope for the main tattoo. Although many of us were stiff and sore, we managed to pull it together for an awesome performance. The crowds over here really get into it and walking out onto the smokey stage with that amount of cheering really gave us the boost to put on a spectacular performance(if we may be so modest!)

Then it was a small amount of sushi for "lunch" (most of us got seconds later) and off to the Nauticus museum. (check it out at ). The absolute highlight of the trip had to be getting a picture on the boat that was docked there and of course shopping in the gift shop.

And then it as right back to the scope. This time however we performed outside on a (very!) small stage for the hullabaloo festival. We performed our own "Dancing Feet" and "the Thistle and the Fern" dances to a great response.

Finally it was back to scope for the evening performance. We were all knackered by the time we got to the finale; "the lone bagpiper playing Amazing Grace brought tears to my eyes. It was absolutely beautiful" - Isabelle.

And so with a late night we must say good night xx

-Niamh Blackman & Isabelle Merwood

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