featuring Ashley, Missy, and Amanda Gentry from Kentucky
The Gentry family from Kentucky has been deeply involved with highland dance for many years as dancers, teachers, and competition organizers in nearby Cincinnati, Ohio and across the United States. We caught up with them at the 2011 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games to ask about their experiences as a highland dance family. They share how traveling to Scottish games brought them closer together as a family, gave them opportunities to travel, and enriched their lives.
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Danced by the Dallas Highland Dancers 2010-2011 Primary Class in Dallas, TX
These dancers all range in age from 5-6 years old. This particular video was taken at the Scottish Society of Dallas’ Tartan Day Ceilidh in April 2011. The Tartan Day Ceilidh is a free event open to the public each year in central Dallas and we are featured performers. It is a great way for members of the society (who are mostly older adults) to see how our dancers (ranging in age from 4 to mid-60s, currently) are progressing and keeping Highland dancing alive in North Texas.
The second video we use at performances where we can set up an informational booth. It highlights our beginner dancers’ journey:
We often wear DHD polo shirts (blue for adults, red for children) at our area performances as they add a sense of visual unity between the dancers on stage. It’s also a nice way for the public to identify the dancers as part of the DHD at larger festivals so they can engage in conversation, if desired, following our performances. A large percentage of our new dancers every year come from folks who have seen us perform at the approximately 20 performances we do per year.
Our Primary class was HUGE during the 2010-11 school year – 9 students ranging in age from 4 to 6, including 2 sets of sisters and my own son (yes, I am a proud mama!). 6 of these students chose to join our competition program this year, which meant that their weekly commitment went from 1 hour of instruction to 3 hours, including our competition class. These are some dedicated young ladies and gentleman (and their parents, of course!)! During competition class, they have the opportunity to practice performing their dances as if they are competing, as well as watching the older dancers do the same – we have found it’s wonderful modeling for the little ones and really builds a strong camaraderie between all of our competition dancers, regardless of age or competitive level.
~Emily Murer, Dallas Highland Dancers Instructor
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Teachers and dancers show their support for USA Scottish Highland Dancing by displaying the “USA Scottish Highland Dancing – Strength in Tradition” banner at the United States Inter Regional Championship in Spokane, WA. The stage was beautiful. What a great opportunity for a photo and video shoot.
USA Scottish Highland Dancers travel to Spokane Washington for the 2011 USIR National Highland Dance Championship. Watch three dancers compete in the Highland Fling at the Lilac Open Championship.
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