The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing

Margaret Thomas - 21st Feb 2011

It is with some sadness that we advise of the passing of Margaret Thomas from Auckland. Margaret will be remembered with fondness by our members. A full obituary will appear in the next newsletter.

Auckland Summer School - 8th Feb 2011

Auckland Summer School Aucklands 16th Annual Summer School held recently at the Auckland Academy of Dance's new

Studio in New Lynn was a very successful 4 days with dancers from Christchurch, Wellington,

Manawatu, Hawke's Bay, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Warkworth and Auckland areas attending.

Student numbers were well up on the previous year and seven Piping & Dancing members

attended for Judges Upskilling.

A performance of the Dance Class items was held in the Athletic Hall to an appreciative

audience of parents on the final evening.

Tutors at the 2011 school were Gaye Reid, Shelley Easton and Jan McKerrow.

See Gallery for more photos

Susan Douthett's wedding - 27th Jan 2011

Susan Douthett's wedding On 11 December 2010 Susan Douthett married Andrew Mackay in a ceremony held in St Oswald's Church in Wanganui.
See the Gallery for more photos

SUMMER FLING 2011 - BOARDERS - 25th Jan 2011

We had 27 staying in the boarding house, from Tauranga, Auckland, Wellington, Invercargill, Ashburton, Christchurch. All experienced at least 2 aftershocks during a couple of nights. Thanks to Emma Cropper who was “Camp Mother” for the week.
See Gallery for Boarders photos

Christine Paul's Christmas concert - 1st Jan 2011

For a Christmas finale a concert was held entitled “Everyone’s a Star” and they were!

Apart from our more traditional items each group had a choreographed piece, which was an extreme highlight.

Items included Hairspray, Loch Ness Monster, Pink & Blue Toothbrush, Shake ya Tailfeathers

Seven Little Girls, Highland Laddie & Barracks Johnnie.

The afternoon was a great success, also helping celebrate Heidi’s 16th birthday (the oldest member of the Dance School).

The concert culminated in an rendition of our dancing warm up “ Hop Scotch Polka” performed by all the Mum’s.

See the gallery for the photos from this concert

Christmas Concert in Christchurch - 20th Dec 2010

On Saturday 27th November the combined dancing schools of Julie Hawke, Katherine Kaynes, Danitta Findlay, Cushla Piesse, Adrienne Haberfield and Jamie-Lee Tuuta joined together to put on a spectacular concert called “Christmas Around the World” at the Ngaio Marsh Theatre. This concert was in aid to raise money for the upcoming New Zealand Highland Dancing Championships that Christchurch is hosting in July next year. It was a wonderful performance to a sell out crowd, which commenced with Santa in his workshop with his elves, fairies and other helpers putting the all the Christmas presents into the sleigh for the adventure they were about to embark on to see dance performances from all over the world. These countries included; Africa, India, America, France and much more. The final leg of Santa’s trip was to Scotland with Santa himself piping on all the Highland Dancers onto the stage for a Massed Highland Fling.
A huge thank you must go to all the wonderful dancers who participated and their dedicated teachers whom without their commitment the concert would not have gone ahead. Also a special thank you to Julie Hawke for her directorship towards this very successful event.

See the Gallery for the photos of this great event

Marlborough Dance Centre Concert - 20th Dec 2010

Marlborough Dance Centre's annual end of year production was this year an adaptation of "The Princess and the Frog". Dancers performed four shows from 3rd December to 6 December. Photos from some of the Highland items included in the show -
1. Birds in Mama Odie's Den - Grade 1 & 2 dancers
2. Dr Facilier, the evil Witch Doctor and her Shadow - danced by Sara Simmons and Danielle Pope
3. Fireflies in the Bayou - Grades 3 & 4 classes
4. Glow-Worms in the Bayou - Beginner Highland class
5. Louis the Alligator - danced by Caitlin Morris with one of the Jazz classes
6. Sailor Dolls - Level 2 class
7. & 8. Shadows - Senior dancers
9. Voodoo Masks in Dr Facilier's Emporium - Senior dancers
10. Waitresses in Tiana's Restaurant - Initial dancers

See the Photo Gallery for the photos


New Zealand Academy Performance Dance Group

As mentioned on the previous page, this is an idea which evolved from discussions at Joint Meetings and at Executive for some time. Our idea is to create opportunities for our senior New Zealand Academy dancers to perform in a non-competitive environment for the purpose of promoting highland dancing and quality dance entertainment. Develop a repertoire of items which are innovative and inspiring both for the dancers and the viewing audiences which can be put together at short notice when opportunities arise.

At our July Meeting, Executive agreed that we invite Mrs Julie Hawke, Technical Reserve, to prepare a proposal to be available for presentation at the November Executive meeting on the establishment of an Academy Dance Group. An excellent detailed proposal was received and discussed fully. Following a few minor modifications, Executive agreed to proceed with the concept.

In the first instance, this would be for dancers from the 14 & over age group who have passed the Grade 5 examination. This would provide our senior dancers, not necessarily the top echelon, an opportunity to keep dancing.

The intention is to have auditions in both islands to coincide with the completion of Summer Schools in Auckland and Christchurch. Applicants unable to attend an audition, will be required to forward a DVD (requirements will be listed on an Application Form which will be posted on the website mid-December). Following the auditions and receipt of DVD’s, a selection process will be completed by a panel, comprising the Performance Dance Co-ordinator, Assistant Co-ordinator and an appointed member of Academy Executive.

Initially, there will be a group of 30 dancers in the main group and those not selected within that group would then be offered a position as a member of a regional group. The Regional Groups would be formed with an approved Regional Co-ordinator and would be sent music and notes for a dance sequence.

For the main group, there will be two choreographed pieces—one a traditional Highland Dance performed in full highland dress, and the second a more contemporary piece using Academy technique. It is also our hope that we have an original piece of music which could be used– this of course is still very much in the planning stage. A time-line will be posted on the website early in the new year which will identify when and how rehearsals will be held.

This is an exciting chance for the Academy to raise its public profile throughout New Zealand. It also creates new opportunities for our current dancers and teachers and brings highland dancing to the forefront of everyone.

See Downloads Page for the application form

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