The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing



Q.     What is the New Zealand Academy's website

Q.     What is the best way to contact the Academy Secretary
A.      Email: or Box 5470, Palmerston North

Q.     Can all financial senior members vote for both North and South Island Representatives irrespective of which Island they live in.
A.      Yes

Q.      Where can young/new teachers source information on "How to get started in teaching"
A.      Academy have a "Starter Pack" available - contact the Secretary


Q.     To be eligible to NZ P & D Judges List, do you have to be a financial member of the NZ Academy
A.      Yes

Q.      How is communication maintained between the Academy and P & D
A.      P & D appoint two liaison officers at the AGM of the NZ P & D Assn to represent Academy's interests and associated business


Q.     Where can examination entry forms be sourced from
A.      Available upon request from the Academy Secretary, Box 5470, Palmerston North or download from the Academy website -

Q.     How are candidates expected to stand when answering theory questions
A.      First flat and Akimbo or First flat and arms relaxed at sides or in a manner that maintains composure and respect which has been instructed by the Examiner

Q.    Are candidates permitted to do a small warm up prior to Elevation and Dance sections
A.     Yes - this is encouraged provided this is not distracting to the Examiner or disrupts the timing of the Examination.

Q.    Are candidates permitted to converse with each other during the exam
A.     Definitely NO - strict Examination procedure must be adhered.

Q.     Should Examiners be made aware of any exceptional medical conditions (conditions qualified in writing by a Health Professional) that may disrupt the conducting
         of the Exam
A.      Yes - state on entry form - however this does not mean special consideration will be given.

Q.     What is the protocol for the use of inhalers during an Examination.
A.     Examiners to be informed on entry to exam room or before, and candidate to use when required with minimal disruption.

Q.    Are drink bottles permitted in the Exam Room
A.     No - clean cups/glasses and water will be provided by the organiser to use when necessary

Q.    Can you alter the order of dances you perform in Medal Test Examinations
A.     Yes

Q.     Is it optional for boys to wear a sporran in the Exam room
A.     NO

Q.    Can boys wear a short sleeved white shirt in the Exam room
A.     No

Q.    What is the minimum age required to enter Advanced Examination
A.     Candidate must haved turned 17 by 31 December in the year in which they sit Advanced.

Q.     Can a dancer progess to a higher Major Practical examination without having passed the Theory examination of the previous grade
A.      Yes


Q.     Is it compulsory to perform the Senior Introduction for the Seann Triubhas in the Under 16 years age group
A.     Yes - this includes competitors choosing to dance up from the Under 14 age group

Q.     It is compulsory to perform the Senior Introduction for the Sailors Hornpipe in the Under 16 years age group
A.     No - either introduction can be performed

Q.     Can the Crossover step performed in the Highland Reel be danced in the Highland Fling
A.      No

Q.     Can the Huntly Step be danced in Strathspey time in the Highland Reel
A.      Yes - it is a Highland Fling type step

Q.      Can steps with Movements such as Shak a Fit and Rock be danced in Strathspey Time in the Highland Reel
A.       Yes - Highland Fling steps

Q.       Can steps with Highland Fling turn be danced in the Quick Time of the Seann Triubhas
A.        No - the only exception is the set step specified as a last step for Seann Triubhas with Shak a fit, turn shuffles and entrechat

Q.      Must the Side and Forward Crossing Step commence with a Single Crossing
A.      No - may commence with Side & Forward Crossing and complete with four counts of movements of own choice - e.g. 4 spring points

Q.     When performing Parrallel High Cutting can you use a "Lead In" for the first movement then 3 Parallel High Cuts
A.      No must show the Parallel Position (both legs equally extended) on the first movement

Q.     Can Pas de Basque with Extension be performed under 14 years
A.     It is optional under 14 years but expected 14 years & over

Q.     What types of High Cutting may follow the Ensemble when using the 18 & over Movement in the Opening Step
A.      Winging or Parallel High Cutting Only (not High Cutting)

Q.     Where does the Senior Progessive Cutting Movement end prior to executing the Senior Ending in the Highland Reel
A.      3rd Aerial prior to unfold in 2nd Aerial.

Q.     Must a lead in from the direction of 2nd Aerial be used to commence Heel & Toe/Toe & Heel Side Travel in Seann Triubhas
A.     Yes

Q.     How many steps are recommended to take up position in the Rectangle
A.      No set number but keep to a minimum (approx 3 or 4) and avoid shuffling around - be decisive.

Q.     In Initial and Preparatory Ankle & Instep exercises - is floor pressure used over the 2 counts or take position on 1 count and hold the 2nd count
A.     Show floor pressure slowly over 2 counts - out to and in from open positions

Q.     Initial/Preparatory Exercise for Sword Dance Pas de Basque - is the rear foot stretched on the beat
A.     No

Q.     Can head alignment be used for full plies and rises
A.      Yes

Q.     Can floor pressure be used in Deportment and Poise exercises
A.      Yes it is optional

Q.     Advanced Deportment and Poise - is the step back Turn taken on the ball or flat position
A.      Either is correct


Q.     In Single Time Irish Jig must all steps finish at starting point
A.     Yes with the exception of Shillelagh Jig Steps - Donnybrook and The Slip

Q.     Must a stationary step be the final step in all Solo Irish Dances
A.      No - but the recommendation is a centre step - this can travel but returns to centre for each half step

Q.     What is the difference between Triple Release and Batter Release and can both be danced in Single Time Irish Jig
A,      Triple Release commences with a Triple (beat Batter) on count 1 followed by a release movement
          Battery Release commences with a Batter on counts 5 6
          Triple Release can be danced in both Single and Double Times but Batter Release can only to danced in Double Time Irish Jigs

Q.      What is the recommended tune for the Irish Reel
A.      All pipers encouraged to play "Mrs McLeods Reel"

Q.     Can the alternate step for step 4 in the Irish Reel be danced by all age groups
A.      Yes

Q.     Can Promenade movement be constructed into steps other than the Opening Step in Double Time Irish Jig
A.     No


Q.     If a lead in arm action through the oblique line is used prior to a Break in one Step must you use it in all steps throughout the dance
A.     No

Q.     Can you change the order of quarter and half turns for the Bucket Haul Step.
A.      No this must be executed as set out in Stage 2 Sailors Exercise - just add Break.
         It is not documented as a Set Step

Q.     If Low Side Cutting is used prior to Break, can the last Low 2nd aerial be omitted for an easier connection into the Break
A.     No - must show true line of 2nd Aerial on Time Count - then beat 5th Ball on following "&" count.

Q.     Can Polka Movement be used in steps through the dance
A.     No - only to be used in Polka Clearing the Deck (set step)

Q.     Can a hop side travel movement commence with a back step
A.      No - Must use straight lift to 2nd Aerial as written for Hop Side Travel and Hop Weave Side Travel - Stage Two Sailors

Q.     Can 3 cheers Break be used in place of Hoisting Sails in Senior Farewell Set Step
A.      No

Q.     Can Parallel High Cutting be danced in Senior Farewell Set Step
A.     Yes
The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing Inc., PO Box 5470, Palmerston North
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