Duncan, British Columbia, hosted a two-day highland dance event that featured dancers from across the province and celebrated Scottish culture and heritage.
On November 4 and 5, 2023, the Cowichan Theatre was filled with the sounds of Highland bagpipes and the sights of colourful tartans and graceful movements. The Duncan Open Competition and Premiership 2023, organized by the Cowichan Valley Highland Dance Association, attracted dancers of various levels and ages who competed in different categories of highland dance.
Highland dance is a style of competitive dancing that originated in the Scottish Highlands and involves complex steps and movements. The dancers wore specialized shoes and performed solo or in groups. Some of the categories they competed in were fling, sword, Seann triubhas, Scottish lilt, flora, and half Tulloch. Each category had its own rules and requirements, such as the number of steps, the tempo, and the style.
The event also offered workshops for pre-premier and premier dancers on Sunday, where they learned from experienced instructors and improved their skills. Pre-premier dancers are those who have not yet qualified for the premier level, which is the highest level of highland dancing. The workshops covered topics such as technique, presentation, and choreography.
The event was a success, with many dancers winning awards and trophies. Nanaimo’s Annalise Lam and Alison Mcbride won first overall in their respective categories. Aila Gardner and Breanne Smith also won first in their respective categories. The event showcased the talent and passion of highland dancers in British Columbia and celebrated the Scottish culture and heritage.