Pipers, Dancers Perform at Highland Arts Weekend
Highland dancers and pipers converge at Alma College Nov. 6 and 7 for workshops and competitions as part of the College’s first official Weekend of Highland Arts.
The dancers and pipers will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6 in VanDusen Commons at Alma College. Tickets for the public performance are $3 at the door.
In addition, dancing and piping workshops and a dance competition are scheduled through the weekend. Kate DeGood, an instructor for the dance workshop, says about 50 dancers plan to participate.
“This is a great opportunity for highland dancers to receive instruction from teachers outside of their home studio,” she says. “It’s always helpful to get a different perspective and to hear corrections presented in a different way.”
Being the current United States Inter-regional Highland Dance Champion, DeGood, a 2007 Alma alumna, has valuable experience to share.
“I am still dancing and competing, so I can provide a firsthand perspective of what corrections I focus on when dancing a step and what exercises I do to improve strength and technique,” she says.
While the dances stay the same, the Scottish Official Board announces a new set of championship steps every year, so highland dancers must practice to perfect these steps.
“This is a really fun time of the year to teach because they’re learning these new steps,” says DeGood. “Several will dance them for the first time in competition during the Weekend of Highland Arts.”
Alma piping instructor Andrew Duncan, who also will instruct at the Weekend of Highland Arts, says the guest instructors are highly sought after as both teachers and judges.
“Ken Eller, who is one of the instructors, along with myself and Barry Conway, has taught and judged on pretty much every continent, including Scotland during the World Pipe Band Championships,” he says.
Because of his involvement in the Highland arts, Duncan has made lifelong friends. He says he hopes this event will have the same effect on those who participate. He also hopes it’s just the beginning for the Highland arts at Alma.
“It’s important for Alma College to be recognized as a place that supports the Highland arts, so we would like this to be a yearly event,” he says. “We’re also in the process of planning a show with both dancers and pipers for early next year.
Posted: Mon, November 1st, 2010 at 4:23PM