The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing

Conference 2016 report - 2nd Nov 2016

The Academy’s 66th Annual Conference was run by the Ghillie Callum teachers and judges club and held in Dunedin over the weekend of 23-25 September.
The solo seal examination was held at the Mayfair Theatre with candidates Neryda Duncan and Sarah Robson performing at the highest level of our examination system.   They were accompanied by piper, Jorden Caig who once again played with skill and professionalism.  The compere for the evening was our President, Annetta Cowie who completed the evening with a fitting quote, “We can’t always choose the music life plays for us, but we can choose how we dance to it.”
There was also excellent entertainment by the Highland Dance Company of NZ with “Blood on the Loch” and “Hardship”, a tap solo from Dunedin Dance Academy’s Briar Taylor, and a wonderful selection of songs from Gladys Hope who was also a highland dancer.  The programme, tickets, and gifts for the candidates featured their silhouettes which was a lovely touch from the Ghillie Callum club.  Youth members finished their evening with a game of laser tag!
Youth members met early on Saturday at the Southern Cross Hotel at a session facilitated by their representative Leighton Terry.  Leighton then presented a summary of the ideas generated at the AGM which ranged from thoughts on jig shoe inspections to the need for the Academy to have a greater presence on social media.
The AGM was opened by mayor, Dave Cull, who aptly referred to the Scottish history of Dunedin.  A constitutional amendment was passed allowing electronic voting at elections.
Following the AGM, members were presented with information on the nearly complete Technical Progression Scheme which will provide a pathway of increasing levels of qualification for members of the Academy.  Members shared ideas to strengthen teachers’ and judges’ clubs, generated ideas for growing the judges’ list and discussed whether or not Hebridean dancing should be added to the Piping and Dancing Bylaws. 
The Academy heads into the future with its past always in view and over the next few conferences, the intention is to present interesting historical insights into our founding and early members.  As conference was held in Dunedin, the focus was on Otago members. Jackie McBride presented a wonderful insight into the early days of the Academy through the lives of Doreen Casey, May Wilson and Daisy Horrell.
Members then enjoyed watching a video of the Highland Dancing Company of NZs recent performances at the Lorient Festival which attracted much interest from French media.
The inaugural “Blokes Forum” was held at lunch time.  Sam Tait then presented thoughts back to members on what we need to do to attract and keep boys and grow our male membership.  This was followed on Sunday by a two workshops focussed on teaching boys.
After lunch, the Dance Development Course commenced with guest speaker Ross Notman, Associate Professor of the University of Otago, presenting thoughts on teaching.  He explored the concept of motivation suggesting that the amount of effort invested is based on the chance of success multiplied by the likely benefit.  He also demonstrated the art of breaking physical movements down by teaching Leighton Terry to kick a football with his left foot.  Great kick first time Leighton!
The afternoon was completed by a look at jig and hornpipe tempos.  Many thanks to demonstrator, Maddie McBride, and piper James Wansink.                                                 .
The venue for the evening function was a mystery!  But it wasn’t long before we were all sure that we were headed for Larnach’s Castle for a special night with the buses winding their way up the hill into the mist! 
This year’s bar recipients were:
20 year bar:
Wendy Oakley, Dunedin
Kerryn Ferguson, Hamilton
Katie Mcdonald, Christchurch
Lee-Anne Anderson, Dunedin
Shannon Clarke, Dunedin
Fiona Cording, Auckland
Bridgette Manchant, Auckland
Heidi Boniface, Invercargill
30 year bar:
Heather Maree Allen, Christchurch
Helen Wilson, Nelson
Danitta Findlay, Christchurch
June Wright, Auckland
Elizabeth Smith, Christchurch
Jan Mckerrow, Auckland
Louise Caulfield, Dunedin
40 year bar:
Pamela Fleming, Auckland
Glenys Gray, Auckland
50 year bar:
Ann Corry, Otago
Margaret Newlands, Oamaru
Anne Marie Stent, Wellington
60 year bar:
Averil Bray, New Plymouth    
Yvonne Darling, Dunedin       
Mary Pat Hoare          , Dunedin        
Merle Hoare, Tauranga         
Johanna Lees, Auckland       
This year’s diploma recipients were (teacher’s name in brackets):
Victoria Wilson (Serena Laing)                      
Heidi Stolberger (Kaye Turrell)
Dawn Anderson (Jolie Hazley)                      
Ella Cameron (Serena Laing)
Madalyn Fox (Jacqui Seque)
Lisa Mccracken (Helen Mckay)                    

Honours in Theory                                                                                                  
Morgan Vile (Robyn Simmons)
Kelsey Smith (Robyn Simmons)
Rebecca Healey (Robyn Simmons)  
Jenna Mikkelson (Gaye Reid)                       
Isabel Clarke (Serena Laing)
Caitlin Davies (Elizabeth Smith)
Lauren Mclellan (Lynette Mitchell)
Jordan McIvor (Cushla Piesse)
Hannah McRae (Gaye Reid)
Beth Stewart (Susan Edwards)
Emma Tod (Julie Hawke)
Holly Webster (Helen Gilchrist)
Ruby Wills (Julie Hawke)
Honours in Practical                                                                                                
Christina Cotton (Christine Morris)
Honours in Performance & Theory                                                                                   
Lexi Fleming (Pam Fleming/June Wright)
Grace Owen (Robyn Simmons)
Rosemary Armstrong (Jackie Jones)            
The evening contained many highlights.
  • Sarah Gluyas was presented with her Solo Seal Certificate after successfully passing this prestigious examination in 2015.
  • The Academy also began presenting specially designed Solo Seal medals for the first time and this will continue to be done at each conference.Previous successful candidates were presented with their medals:
Cushla Piesse (1971)
Barbara Tait (1974)
Pamela Fleming (1976)
Glenys Gray (1980)
Jacqui Seque (1989)
Serena Sangster (2014)
Sarah Gluyas (2015)
  • Beckie Rout became our first member to reach 65 years of membership.
  • Foundation member Doreen Casey’s daughter, Mary Pat Hoare received her 60 year bar while Mary Pat’s daughter Louise Caulfield received her 30 year bar.It was fitting for this to happen in Dunedin and is an example of the family history that is so strong within our Academy.
The cakes (no less than 3!) were cut by Life Members of the Academy, Beckie Rout, Joan Osborne, Enid Weir, and Sherilyn Hall. 
The night was topped off with some wonderful live music from Catgut and Steel with the dance floor full until it was time for Auld Lang Syne and for the last bus to leave the castle.
The dance development course continued on Sunday morning with members enjoying exercises from the draft Highland Pump syllabus to warm up.
Practical workshops prepared by our Technical Committee members and trainees followed.  Workshops were:
‘Passing on the Passion – teach as a hobby, teach as a business’ (Robyn Simmons, Jackie Jones), ‘Grinding out the Basics Rhythmically’ (Elizabeth Smith, Adele Swanson), ‘Tips for Making a Difference’ (Sue Gill, Pamela Fleming), ‘Learning Theory’ (Cushla Piesse, Julie Hawke), ‘Boys in Dance’ (Sherilyn Hall and Jacqui Seque).  There were also then senior and junior judging workshops which were well received.  Thank you to the local dancers, Abigail Gilfedder, Sophie Low, Maddi McBride and Ruby Scott who came to dance at the junior workshop.
After lunch we were treated to a fascinating workshop of conditioning exercises from Sofia Kalogeropoulou.  This was followed by learn a dance with an attempt at the particularly challenging ‘Crossing the Minch’! Thank you to Sarah Robson who was the demonstrator.
Running conference is a massive undertaking.  A huge thank you to the Ghillie Callum Club and conference coordinator Jackie McBride for a fantastic weekend. 
We all look forward to our 2017 Annual Conference to be held in Napier.

See the Galley for more photos from conference

2017 Summer Fling - 5th Oct 2016

The 2017 Summer Fling Schedule is now available from the downloads section

Conference photos - 30th Sep 2016

Here is the link to view and order photos from Dunedin conference

2017 Auckland Summer School - 26th Sep 2016

Auckland Summer School Information
Dates: 14th - 17th January 2017
Venue: Auckland Academy of Dance - New Lynn
Tutors:  Mrs Christine Paul - Tauranga and Mrs Kylie Allison-Miller - Wellington

Enrolment form available from the downloads section

Conference information for Solo Seal bus and Saturday night function - 17th Sep 2016

For those staying at the Southern Cross who are bringing vehicles there is a charge of $13.00 per night.
Solo Seal - the bus to Solo Seal will leave the Southern Cross at 6.30pm - please be ready by 6.15pm.  There will be a cash bar operating at Solo Seal (one complimentary drink will be provided).
Saturday evening function - you will need to be at the Southern Cross Hotel foyer, High Street, Dunedin  by 5.15pm on Saturday evening as the bus will be leaving from there..  For those where it is more convenient there will be another pick up at the Edgar Sports Centre, Portsmouth Drive, Dunedin at 5.40pm.  For those who wish to be picked up at the Edgar Sports Centre please ensure you advise Jackie McBride by text on 027 3184766 by Friday 23rd September.  You need to be on time for the pickup, we do not want to be in the situation of anyone being left behind.  There will be a cash bar operating (and eftpos) for drinks, with some wine provided on the table for the evening meal.
Bus to airport  - there will be a bus available to transport members to the airport on Sunday afternoon. The cost for this is $5.00 per person - to give us an indication of numbers required can you please advise the Secretary by Wednesday 21 September if you would like to utilise this.  A sheet will be available at conference to book your seat.

Conference Registrations - 1st Sep 2016

Reminder that for the cheaper conference registrations, these close on Tuesday 06 September. Registrations received after this date will incur an additional $250 late registration fee.

Dance development course options are also due to the secretary on Tuesday 06 September

Lorient Final blog - 20th Aug 2016

Lorient Final blog Well , we come to our last day in Paris and the end of what has been a truly amazing trip that is full of unique experiences that we hope will give our dancers many fond memories to look back on.
To fit everything in that the team left in Paris wanted to squeeze into the last day, we divided into two groups and so this blog will be in several parts.
The young and the young at heart amongst us decided they would like a quick jaunt out to EuroDisney for the day so thanks to Susan and Johnny Moore who lead the group out there.The Disney adventurers will add some photos and report on their exciting last day.
The more sedate members of the crew, Robyn and Colin, Julie and Richard, Sam, Aine and Megan decided to stay in the city and soak up a few more hours of Parisienne joie de vivre...a few last minute purchases from the beautiful Paris shops followed by lunch in the Latin quarter at one of the city's oldest cafes.
Aine and Megan left earlier in the afternoon to head off on their next travel adventures - bon voyage girls , happy and safe traveling.
Julie and I decided to end our time in Paris with a celebration glass of champagne at the Ritz ! What grandeur in the inimitable French style, we even had to photograph the toilettes 😉
A very big thanks to our dancers who have represented the Dance Company, our Academy and New Zealand in such superb style, both in performance and in behaviour, throughout our time away. We received so much magnificent feedback about you in Lorient and you were disciplined, respectful and fun to work and travel with. We feel very proud to have lead such a successful mission 👏👏👏
..... And then  after farewelling  Robyn and Colin as they headed to the Eurostar bound for London, the 3 Mouseketeers ( who are now wearing matching Mickey Mouse ears)  Lexi, Beth, Mae, Sam, Susan & Johnny Moore and Richard and myself headed to Charles de Gaulle airport by bus.
Liz, Greg, Gracie and Rowan McKay  Simpson joined our flight after their own 4 day jaunt around Paris so it was great to compare all the wonderful sights we had all taken in. Their holiday continues with a few days stop over in HongKong!
Richard is beating us home flying Emirates so now our travelling group has shrunk one final time to 10.....We are now in Hong Kong,  on a 6 hour stopover before heading to Auckland and without  trying to jinx anything we are confident that there won't be any typhoons to hold us up this time!
I too would like to say a massive thank you to our Lorient Team for your commitment and passion you put into all our rehearsals and performances, taking the hectic timetable in your strides. It was an honour for our Dance Company to perform in the Interceltique Lorient Festival alongside Liz McKay, the City of Auckland and Queensland Irish Pipe Bands and also to perform and showcase our own Celtic story with performances of Journey of the Celts onto the world stage, which we are all so proud of.
A very  sincere thank you to Raewyn, Executive, academy members, and all friends and family back home  who supported us all during our tour, we have so appreciated your encouragement and kind words.
Au Revoir,

Lorient Night Magic Show - 16th Aug 2016

The Night Magic screened on French National TV last night. Check out our item at about 20min. The link is only available for 6 days

Link n/le-grand-spectacle/diffusion -du-14-08-2016-20h55

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