The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing

Technical updates

Technical Talk 2016

Points for teachers and candidates to remember:
All examinations that the NZAHND (inc) hold follow a formal examination process.
  • Always arrive well in advance of your set examination time.
  • Refer to the December 2015 Newsletter for the new entry procedure into the examination room.
  • Candidates should avoid any unnecessary fidgeting, talking or whispering.
  • Make up is not part of the examination and is to be discouraged in all grades.
  • Drink bottles are not permitted in the examination room.However, water will be provided for all Grade Four and above examinations including Step Dance.
  • Candidates in Elementary to Advanced are able to bring a towel into the examination room and are also encouraged to bring a Cardigan/Jersey to put on at the completion of the practical section while the Theory section take place.
  • For the candidates’ comfort and optimal performance, check that waist coats/long sleeve jackets are not fitted too tightly.Refer to the front of Examination Syllabuses for alternative Examination dress options.
With so much to think about often the finger grouping can be overlooked and the strain can be channeled into the fingers.  Care with attention to detail is required.  The thumb is placed lightly on the first joint of the second finger, other fingers are softly grouped in a slightly higher setting.
HIGHLAND REEL – Line Setting
Entry onto stage and for Grade Three Highland Reel Section
Avoid standing too close together prior to turning into the set.  If the spacing is correct upon entry, then it will not be necessary for dancers to take a step backwards when turning into the set.
While there is a slight pull up during the transition through the Rear 5th Ball, the knees do not brace.  This is a gliding movement and should be executed smoothly.
Exercise (a) Pas de Basque with Extension, Assemble & High Cutting
Following the P d B with Extension, the Assemble should travel back to line of dance to perform the High Cutting.
Step 4 - Following the Spring Side Travel, Count 5 has a natural release to commence the High Cutting.
Cutting – Clearing the Deck
Following the step and straight Lift, the travel is even on the two Front Cutting actions. (The travel is not on the spot nor over extended).
  • Dress, Deportment and Poise are not just for the competitors.  As an adjudicator you should be professional in everything that you do.  Believe it or not people are watching you as well as the dancers.
  • Always dress in a dignified professional manner.
  • Avoid a wandering eye line or looking down during a competitor’s performance. You may miss something that could affect the outcome of the result. 
  • Give all competitors your full attention regardless of their ability and always look interested,
  • You may not be able to place all competitors but your full attention and a smile at the completion of a performance lifts a dancer’s spirit.
  • Cell Phones should never be seen on the judge’s table.  This is unprofessional. Cell phones should be tucked away from the time you arrive at your adjudicating appointment until after you leave.
The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing Inc., PO Box 5470, Palmerston North
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