Scenes from Claire's Canadian performances and from Cathy Rees' visit to Stornoway
After her trip earlier in the year to dance in New York for Tartan Week, Claire Wilson, of the Claire Wilson School of Dance, recently travelled from Stornoway to Canada to compete in the ScotDance Canadian Championship Series.
This year the competition was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba where SDCCS welcomed over 800 dancers from across Canada, the United States, UK and further afield to compete against the best in the world.
Competitive Highland dancing is a cultural art form and a sport that combines technique, swift execution of movement, agility, and strength. This annual five-day event includes competitions, including the Canadian Championships, and social events that celebrate Scottish culture.
Competing in sections with over 26 dancers and having not competed seriously since Australia in 2009, Claire talks of her nerves. ‘I have girls competing all the time and I tell them not to be nervous, but yet, for myself to compete…well after a calf injury at the beginning of the year and then being out of the competitive circuit for a while, my nerves were unbelievable. The setting and staging at the Canadian Championships is inspiring as it is, never mind thinking about walking up to the stage to compete. I have a renewed sympathy for my own dancers now!’
Claire collected 4th, 5th and 6th place medals in all dances she competed in, which as she says, ‘For someone of my age, in sections of 26 with Canadian, US and Scottish Champions isn’t too bad. The muscle memory from my younger competitive days stood strong.’
Whilst there, Claire, also competed at the 50th Anniversary of the Manitoba Highland Gathering taking home medals in each dance there too. ‘What I enjoyed most was catching up with all my dance friends and teachers from around the world. That’s where the fun and enjoyment is and that’s what keeps me dancing…you are never without a dance family in any country you visit.’
Claire has made many friends throughout the world in the dancing community and is bringing her experiences and knowledge gained from past world champions and judges from around the world to her dance classes.
Classes with Claire Wilson started with a special feature this term, with a visit from Cathy Rees, her Australian dance teacher all the way from Melbourne. A Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing Judge, Cathy held small workshops for her dancers as part of Claire’s 2016 Workshop Series. The dancers enjoyed the intense sessions and will be putting into practice what they have learned in class and in future competitions.
Follow the dance school’s progress on Instagram and for any information relating to classes get in touch with Taigh Dhonnchaidh for classes in Ness and the Harris Dancing Society for classes in Harris.