by Jo Kalat
Starting out this choreography project was very intimidating to me! The plan was to create choreographies that could be learned by any premier dancer to use with visiting performing artists. It seemed like a great way to use an existing resource to promote highland dancing. Different schools could work together on the same choreography. Much good could come of this project. But the thought of creating something to be approved by the FUSTA board and used across the United States? I wasn’t sure I was up to that!
But my choreography committee is up to the task. The committee is composed of Kate DeGood, Kathleen Hall, Trish MacConnell, and Laura Hester Madden. What a joy and an eye opener it has been for me to work with these motivated young ladies. They have shown me what the new generation can do and how to use technology to bridge the geographical gap of highland dancers. These dancers are dedicated to the cause of highland dancing. They have devoted a great deal of time and energy to this project. I want the highland dance world to know more about these young leaders.
Kate DeGood’s competitive dancing career has brought worldwide championship success in every age category. She is the holder of over 80 major championship titles throughout the United States, Canada, Scotland, and Australia. She is a 7 time US champion, 2 time World First Runner-up, 10-time World Finalist, having placed in the top 6 in the World Championships 7 times. Kate is a Fellow of the BATD and SDTA, Chairperson of the BATD Great Lakes Region, and Coordinator of the North American BATD New Professionals Forum. She is an S.O.B.H.D. Judge, passing the exam at the youngest possible age of 21. An active member of FUSTA, Kate is involved in the “Discover Scottish Dance” campaign. In addition to instructing at Alma College, she is director at the Kate DeGood School of Dance at the Detroit St. Andrew’s Society’s Kilgour Centre in Troy, MI. Kate also judges, lectures, and performs throughout North America.
Kathleen Hall has been a highland dancer since 1991, when she started dancing with the Jo Moore Kalat Scottish Dancers in Raleigh, NC. She is a member of the BATD, FUSTA, and ScotDance Canada. She has danced and taught with a number of different studios, including the Edinburgh University New Scotland Dance Society, the Columbus (OH) Scottish Highland Dancers, the Weaver Highlanders (St. Louis, MI), the Reid School of Scottish Dance (Philadelphia, PA), and Charlene Ward’s highland dancers (Vancouver, BC). She co-founded a group of premier-level performance highland dancers, Shot of Scotch, in New York City. In her non-dancing life, she is a linguistics professor at the University of British Columbia.
Trisha MacConnell began dancing in 1991 at the San Jose School of Scottish Dancing in San Jose, CA under the direction of the late Norine Harmon. She is a five-time Western Regional Champion, a 13-time USIR finalist, (finishing in the top six at the USIR ten times) and a two-time World Championship finalist. Outside of highland dancing, Trisha holds a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Duke University in Durham, NC. She now practices as an orthopedic physical therapist for Providence Health Systems in Portland, OR, specializing in treating musculoskeletal pain.
Laura Hester Madden has been Scottish dancing for over 20 years and hopes that there are many more years to come! In her earlier dancing days, Laura had the honor of being an Ontario representative for several years, winning the Canadian Championships during that time. After college, Laura started back up dancing and has been fortunate enough to represent the southeast region at the USIR for the past 4 years. Laura now lives in Michigan and is enjoying being a part of the Midwest region. She has a special love for choreography and was thrilled to be asked to join this FUSTA committee.
My thanks to this wonderful committee. And also to all of those local teachers who have taken their time to utilize this resource. Look for more exciting projects to come. The future of FUSTA is bright with these leaders on the horizon.
Following the success of the past two years events, I am pleased to advise we have just launched the 2013 International Gathering of Scottish Highland Dance, which will see the event take place over the weekend of 23rd November 2013, with standard arrivals from Thursday 21st November for 4 nights or Friday 22nd November for 2 or 3 nights, all accommodation packages include continental buffet breakfast on each day. The 3 and 4 night packages also include 3 day hopper park passes, and the 2 night packages include 2 day hopper park passes, these passes are valid in the Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studio each day allowing you to visit both parks multiple times each day should you choose to do so. For groups coming from overseas extended packages can be offered to incorporate for example, visits into Paris and onto London or Scotland.
Our standard accommodation packages are offered at Hotel Santa Fe, Hotel Cheyenne and Sequoia Lodge, however, we can also tailor a package to suit your needs to include additional extras such as half board options, additional park passes, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. These hotels are within walking distance of the parks and the Disney Village which offers dining, souvenir shops and entertainment opportunities throughout the day without using a park ticket, each hotel also offers a complimentary return shuttle bus service which operates approximately every 10 minutes directly to the bus station which is centralised between the Disney Village and parks. The hotels also have Disney character presence at various times each day giving plenty of photo opportunities!
Please note, in terms of pricing adults are aged 12 and over, children are aged 3-11 and infants are 0-2 and are not chargeable. Rooms can occupy a maximum of 4 guests plus a cot and by maximising room occupancy the price becomes more cost effective per person. Places can be secured with a £50 non-refundable deposit per person, with final balances being payable by 30th August 2013. Please note, inclusion within the International Gathering of Scottish Highland Dance event is only available as part of any accommodation package purchased through Take Us 2 The Magic Ltd.
Moving on to the performance opportunities which are aplenty, at no additional cost each school will be offered the opportunity to take part in a Disney Performing Arts workshop giving your dancers the unrivalled opportunity to learn from Disney professionals! Each school who has a minimum of 10 performers aged over 5 can also apply to perform on one of Disneyland Paris’ stages within the park, offering a fantastic experience for your dancers to perform for between 20-30 minutes to an audience of Disneyland Paris park guests. There will be a further amazing opportunity for your dancers to take part in a pre-choreographed pre-parade performance along Main Street, USA within the Disneyland Park, this opportunity is offered to performers aged 8 and over and is subject to weather conditions and minimum performer numbers.
Finally, in conjunction with Grampian Festivals I am pleased to advise, again at no additional cost, each school can enter and compete in the SOBHD registered Highland Dance Competition (reg no.A2). You are able to compete in as many divisions as you wish including Highland Fling, Sword Dance, Seann Triubhas, Half Reel or Tulloch, Trophy Fling, Barracks Johnnie, Scottish Lilt, Flora Macdonald, Village Maid, Blue Bonnets, 16 pas de Basque and Pas de Basque and Highcuts. There will also be an awards ceremony with trophies and medals, together with special Disney competition guest!
We aim to offer you and your school a fun filled weekend where you can experience the magic of Disney whilst having many performance opportunities creating memories that will last a lifetime; we will therefore work with you to create your perfect trip and aim to make it as stress free as possible!
The information flyer with pricing sheet giving some further information is downloadable above by clicking the link above the image. You may also wish to visit the following websites:
• See some footage from a Gaelic documentary filmed by Alba TV during the 2011 event www.takeus2themagic.co.uk and click on the Scottish Highland Dance link.
• Here is a link to a performance of a previous school attending http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLCwYap_N4g
• Furthermore, the following You Tube link with pre-parade footage viewable from 2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwMIwggMa6U
• Lastly, please keep updated by ‘liking” the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Gathering-of-Scottish-Highland-Dance-at-Disneyland-Paris/171994822897211 and also join the facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/119588584837554/
If you have any questions once you have had chance to digest all of the information, please contact Greg Davidson at email@example.com or David Bridge at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kids in Kilts, run by dancers Megan and Devon Watson from the Farrar School of Dance in S. California, held a food drive in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. The food drive was very successful, collecting 559 items of food for the Manna Food Bank in Thousand Oaks. We were accompanied by Amanda Morris, also a student of Mrs. Farrar; Charlie Morris, former dancer and now piper; and Poppy, grandfather to all of the dancers. Because of the success, we are looking forward to our May food drive.
We thought you’d enjoy this photo of Alasdair Frasier at Alasdair Fraiser’s Fiddle World! FUSTA dancers have been thrilled to perform with Alasdair Frasier this year. His rhythms and love of the music truly bring out the spirit of the dance.
The USA Scottish Highland Dancing version of “Off The Platform” was recorded by Annika Strolle in Hunt Valley Maryland at the United States Inter-Regional Championship. USIR was hosted by the Eastern Region from July 19-22, 2012. “Off The Platform” is based on the “Outside the Circle” videos done by Pipe Bands. There are Australian, British and Canadian versions! Enjoy the video and please, share it!
Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin, surly Lord Macintosh and cantankerous Lord Dingwall. Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.
If you are a FUSTA dance instructor and are interested in collaborating with Disney*Pixar and the release of “Brave” contact the FUSTA Board of Directors.
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