Kiltie Dancers Strive to ‘Jump Higher, Stretch Longer, Snap Sharper’

Traditional Scottish dances as well as modern group and solo choreography highlight the annual fall highland concert.

With five of the eight Alma College highland dancers competing nationally or performing internationally this past summer, the group reunites for its annual fall concert.

The Kiltie Dancers will perform traditional Scottish dances as well as modern group and solo choreography at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4 in the Remick Heritage Center, Presbyterian Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

“Highland dancing is the most technical and aerobic form of dance,” says Katherine DeGood, director of highland dance. “There is little room for interpretation; I would describe it as the opposite of modern dance. Rather, we are always working toward a technical standard to jump higher, stretch longer and snap sharper.”

Performing abroad this summer were Emily Brubaker, Virginia Beach junior, and Emily Carter, Amelia, Ohio, junior, with the Nova Scotia International Tattoo, and Matilda Ennis, Glenside, Pa., senior, with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Jennifer Ochs, Issaquah, Wash., sophomore, and Michaela Slater, Perrinton, Mich., sophomore, also represented their respective regions in the U.S. Championship in Utah.

“This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to dance in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland for the third consecutive year,” says Ennis. Each night Ennis danced with an international cast before an audience of nearly 10,000. This year the group was honored to dance for Princes William and Charles.

“I am so grateful for the way highland dancing has shaped my life, the places it has taken me, and the people that it has led me to,” says Ennis. “After graduating I hope to continue dancing in both competitions and performances. I also look forward to teaching, and to hopefully one-day judging, highland dance.”

Story published on October 25, 2017