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 firstname.lastname@example.org or David Bridge at email@example.com
To celebrate that the Discover Scottish Dance efforts have been going strong for over a year, we thought we’d change up the dancers on the banner. Thank you for submitting 3rd rear aerial photos to bring our logo to life. Keep submitting photos to the Discover Scottish Dance Facebook Group photo album so that you may find yourself on the banner in the future. Enjoy all the photos that have been posted in the Facebook group so far and continue to share the group with your Highland friends so that they know to join. Thank you for all of your support in the first full year of DiscoverScottishDance.com.
- Sara Gilchrist
From coast to coast the June 22nd premier of Disney Pixar’s “Brave” brought with it the opportunity for dancers all over the nation to perform at their local movie theaters. The experience was rich and exciting for Highland dancers. Clementyne Vega wrote the following.
Highland Dancing has brought many interesting adventures and opportunities to my life. Most recently, dancing at the BRAVE Hollywood Premiere After Party. It was an exciting and rewarding experience. We arrived in Hollywood early and walked up and down Hollywood Blvd. We watched the crew roll out the red “green grass” carpet and erect a castle in front of the theater. All of the dancers met up for dinner and then we headed up to the green room to prepare for rehearsal and the grand performance.
The ballroom we performed in was amazing. It was decorated in true Disney fashion. They created a Scottish highland forest theme, complete with fire pits and trees. While we were on stage it was exciting to know that the movie cast and many celebrities were watching us dance! I recognized several famous faces in the audience and was thrilled to be a part of this event. It was a night I will always remember. A night where I got to do what I love most, Highland Dance, in a truly awe-inspiring venue. I am thankful and grateful to have been included with such a fine group of dancers.
The Minnesotta Highland Dancers were on T.V.! The video is below and the full article follow this link: http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=980308.
The Discover Scottish Dance Facebook Group provides a great place to upload your own photos. You can share your own experiences there or in the comments section below.
by Jo Kalat
On April 11, in celebration of Tartan Week, we have partnered with Applebee’s Dining to Donate program. FUSTA members who would like to participate will receive flyers that they can distribute to their students. Anybody showing up at Applebee’s all day on April 11 with a flyer will receive a 10% discount on their bill and additionally, 10% will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Association! Dancers will be invited to do highland reels at their local Applebee’s. This is a win/win/win! Our dancers get to have the wonderful feeling one has when doing community service, highland dance gets publicity, and the Juvenile Diabetes Association gets a donation. And you get a discount on your meal. All you have to do is hand out flyers to family and friends and show up at your local Applebee’s.
Megan Monroe is handling this project for FUSTA. Please see the Letter to Dance Teachers for more information, speak to your dance teacher, and contact Megan by March 11th to participate and support this worthy project.
Dancing with Diabetes
First comes the blurry vision followed by extreme fatigue, hunger and weight loss. Later comes the devastating thirst as your body begins to shut down. Then the diagnosis – juvenile diabetes. This diagnosis is followed by a rigorous schedule of insulin injections, diet, exercise, and worry.
I have had two dancers and a son with Juvenile Diabetes so I know the routine well. At least 3 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes. The rate of diabetes in children under age 14 is projected to increase by 3% yearly world wide. Insulin is a treatment, not a cure. We need a cure for this devastating disease.
Prior to my son getting diabetes, I remember vividly thinking – “Diabetes is not so bad – you just have to take a shot every day and you are fine.” I later so regretted this thought. Living with diabetes requires constant work and management. You have to monitor your blood sugars with multiple blood tests (think finger pricks 4 times a day!). Then you have to order your life around your insulin.
If you are a highland dancer, so much more is required of you than of your competitors. Shannon Anfindsen, a two time USIR champion, says this about competing with diabetes:
A day that was supposed to be about me focusing on dancing my very best would also consist of me worrying about my blood sugar levels. While other dancers only had to worry about touching the sword, or doing perfect hi-cuts, I had to make sure that my blood sugar was perfect. The slightest difference in blood sugar level would translate to whether or not I could make it through a dance with adequate energy. During competitions, I would have to test before and after every dance, while giving myself enough time to allow for corrections. Highland dancing is hard enough without the added stress of dealing with diabetes. Please donate to JDRF so that a cure can be found.
If you are a dancer with diabetes and you have a story to tell, I invite you to contact DiscoverScottishDance@gmail.com so we can share it.
I have always thought of highland dancing as a wonderful way for our young people to increase their fitness and to learn the drive for excellence. Isn’t it great that we now have a chance for it also to be an opportunity for our young people to serve their greater community and make a “reel” difference?
FUSTA is pleased to offer two college scholarships for dancers who have demonstrated a high level of participation and interest in the art of Highland Dance.
Applicants for the $1000.00 Harry Farrar IV Memorial Scholarship must be current-year registered dancers who are either high school seniors or high school graduates preparing to enroll in their first year beyond high school.
Applicants for the $1000.00 Eunice Baird Whittlesey Memorial Scholarship must be current-year registered dancers who are enrolled in college or graduate school.
Applicants for either scholarship must be current-year registered dancers, U.S. residents who are either members of FUSTA themselves or their teachers are FUSTA members in good standing. Completed applications materials must be postmarked no later than April 30.
Check out this neat video of a Full Tulloch performed at the Chicago Spring Fling Championship in February 2009! The reel chosen for championship Highland dance competitions varies from year to year. It is usually a combination of Strathspey, Highland Reel, and/or Full or Half Tulloch. As you can see in the video, rather than starting in a straight line, the Full Tulloch (and Half Tulloch, when performed alone) begins with the dancers facing one another in a square formation. In case you like the music, this particular reel tune is known as Kelsey’s Wee Reel. And don’t forget that this year’s Spring Fling will be held at the Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, IL on February 25, 2012!
Let us know what you think in the comments and please submit any videos you’d like to see posted here to DiscoverScottishDance@gmail.com!
By Jo Kalat, Choreography Committee
In 2011, we presented the Alien Ceilidh Choreography choreographed by FUSTA’s choreography committee and open to all FUSTA members to use in performances across the United States.
In 2012 we are pleased to announce that some performances on Alasdair Fraser’s tour have presented opportunities for dancers to join him on stage with our very own Alien Ceilidh Choreography!
Jocelyn Case took the lead and organized a group that performed with Alasdair Frasier on January 22 in Portland, Oregon. Alasdair was pleased and so are we. We’re including a video so you can all enjoy the show. Other performances are planned in East Lansing, Michigan, and Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. This is a great opportunity to showcase Highland dancing.
If Alasdair is not going to be in your area, there can still be opportunities for you to perform. A new choreography to Scotland the Brave is now on the website. This is very versatile and can be performed with any group. So keep your eyes open for any touring group in your area.
For those instructors who are current FUSTA members and are interested in teaching the choreography to their students the instructional videos are available on this site under the Video, Members section. The password can be obtained by emailing us at DiscoverScottishDance@gmail.com.
I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and to suggest making a New Year’s resolution of taking a highland theory exam this year!
Theory exams allow dancers to learn the meaning of Scottish Highland technical terms and ways of verbally describing them. One great way to study for theory exams is to use the highland theory website: http://highlandextension.com/. This website helps dancers study for BATD theory exams using interactive flashcards. The flashcards are broken down into the different examination grade levels one through elementary so dancers are only studying what is required of them for the exam they are taking. The website is built to be a study aid to be used in addition to studying with a teacher and the SOBHD highland textbook.
Studying for theory exams can be challenging. It is important to study ahead of time and to set study goals. You can fit studying in wherever you are: the school bus, the ride to dance class, or even during TV commercial breaks! Studying for and completing highland theory exams give dancers a stronger knowledge of basic positions and movements. It is my hope that the website will allow more dancers to consider theory exams and possibly a professional exam to continue their highland career past their competing years.
Happy dancing and good luck on your theory exams this year!
- Megan Ashworth
This year, we believe for the first time, one of the Miss America contestants is performing a Scottish highland dance choreography in the talent portion of the competition. Katie Levasseur, Miss Vermont, dances with the Saint Andrew’s Highland Dancers of Vermont and is a senior at the University of Vermont.
We can’t promise that they’ll show her choreography on national tv, but tune in tonight, Saturday, January 14, 2012 to support Katie as she competes for the title of Miss America! The broadcast will be at 9:00pm EST on ABC.
Legend has it that the initial Gillie Callum, more commonly known as the Sword Dance, was created by Malcolm Canmore, a Celtic Prince who fought a battle in 1054. Triumphant, he crossed his opponent’s sword with his own and danced over them celebrating his victory. It is also said that the warriors danced the Sword Dance prior to battle. If the warrior touched the swords, it was considered an omen symbolizing injury or death in battle.
We no longer have to worry about going into battle, but the dance links us to those soldiers. Highland dancing has been handed down to us as a proud tradition that we continue to celebrate today. Originally, only men performed and competed in the dances, but now men and women compete as equals. The strength and agility once necessary for victory in battle will now bring medals and trophies.
We hope you enjoy this video of a group of talented male dancers performing the Sword Dance. Watch their strength showcasing the tradition that unites highland dancers worldwide.
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