Alma College is home to some of the best highland dancers in the world.
Scottish Arts Co-Coordinator Kate DeGood placed third overall in the Scottish and World Highland Dancing Championship that took place in Dunoon, Scotland, in August.
Describing her experience as “incredible,” DeGood says, “There is such a high standard of dancing, and it is an honor just to compete with extraordinarily talented dancers from all over the world.”
In addition to competing, she also attended various teachers’ sessions and was a demonstration dancer at the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing 2014 Set Step Lecture. These events allowed her to bring back even more knowledge to her students at Alma.
“I love attending this event so that I can hear the technical discussion and debate and learn the details of how the steps should be danced,” she says. “It has been so exciting to return to Alma and share all of this with my students.”
At Alma College, DeGood instructs three dance classes, including both a beginning highland dance class and the Kiltie Highland Dance Company. She invites both campus and community to attend the Alma College Weekend of Highland Dance, which will take place Nov. 2nd and 3rd. The event includes a competition, performance, workshop and technical exams.
Joining DeGood at the world championships was one of her own Kiltie Dancers —Irvine, Calif., junior Heather Randell.
“Without coming to Alma I probably would have never had the chance to go to worlds,” says Randell. “There aren’t any other colleges in the United States that offer Scottish dance at such a high level.”
Like DeGood, Randell is bringing information she learned from her time in Scotland back to Alma. She hopes to integrate much of what she saw into her own dancing.
“It was amazing to see the best of the best all in one place,” she says. “By watching these dancers I was able to pick out certain movements that they did, and I’m now trying to incorporate those things into my dancing.”