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Moncton is about to welcome the BEST highland dance competitors Canada has to offer – and they need your help!

“Can you dance the Highland Fling?”

It was one of the first questions asked to me as I stepped off a plane in Manitoba 24 summers ago, the only Nova Scotian to be attending SHAD, a summer camp for high school students from across the country. (The camp where I met Mr. Pickle, which ended up with me living here in New Brunswick!)

Funny enough, I was able to say that I remembered the basic steps from my extremely brief foray into highland dance at age five. I was never a competitive dancer, but I did grow up around the sport, which is what likely helped me remember those basic steps (ones that I still pull out from time to time, given the right, ahem, conditions – right, Retreat Ladies?!).

Highland dance is a beautiful art form. I can remember my cousin speaking in hushed, reverent tones at the prospect of seeing Sabra McGillivray dance at the Concert Under the Stars at the Antigonish Highland Games in the early 1990s. Sabra is an incredible dancer – a two-time world-finalist at the World Highland Dancing Championships, and one of only a handful of Canadians invited to be a guest solo dancer at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. I get little goosebumps to this day, remembering that performance. It was theatrical and stunning, and over the years I’ve come to have an even greater appreciation for the athletic prowess that combines with artistic talent to create such a dancer.

Here’s the thing, Moncton. We have HUNDREDS of highland dancers of Sabra’s calibre coming to our city in July. Yes, hundreds of highland dancers, most travelling with their families, meaning there will be thousands of people filling the Avenir Centre to watch the best of the best dance right here in our city.

The ScotDance Canada Championship Series is one of the (if not THE) largest highland dancing events in the world. The SDCCS is being held in Moncton from July 3 to 7, 2019, with the best dancers from across Canada and around the world coming to compete. There are dancers from Switzerland, Australia, Scotland, and so many other countries coming to Moncton to showcase their talents – and we need to show up for them, folks!

The organizing committee needs lots of hands to put on this event. Don’t worry, no one is going to quiz you on your Highland Fling skills if you sign up to volunteer, I promise! In exchange for a little bit of your time, you get a free pass to attend the day’s competition events, which I can guarantee you is going to be an incredible experience.

Can’t volunteer but still interested to see the dancers? Public tickets will be available at the door!

Maybe I can even find a dance teacher that will help me brush up on my fling. What do you think?

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Before my one and only official dance recital. I think this was 1985? I was never a great student when it came to dance class; practicing was not something I enjoyed doing. I do still remember the basic steps of the highland fling, though, and do wish I’d stuck with it long enough to get to dance with swords!


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