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Highland dancers at championship


Highland dancers Adrienne Weaver and Heather Robichaud with their medals and trophies. Michael Robichaud / Studio 147 Photography

Two highland dancers from the Digby area were among competitors earlier this month at national championships in Saint John, N.B.

While highland dance flourishes in other areas of the province, this area was without a qualified teacher until Angela MacDonald of Cape Breton attended Université Sainte Anne for her teaching degree.

MacDonald, an instructor certified by Scotland’s board of highland dance, began teaching local girls highland dance in the spring of 2004. One of those to sign up was Heather Robichaud of Belliveau’s Cove, who says she had wanted to learn highland dance since she was three. She finally realized her dream at the age of 35.

Robichaud and fellow dancer Adrienne Weaver, 12 years old, have been competing in highland dance competitions throughout the province for the past year and their competitive dance reached a pinnacle July 4 when both went to Saint John for the national competition.

Robichaud, who previously entered 10 competitions and won 28 medals, danced at the novice level but did not place in the top six in her group of 22. Dancers from Ontario and Quebec dominated the class.

Weaver competed at the premier level in Saint John. She had previously attended 23 competitions and accumulated 13 trophies and 85 medals. The smallest group she danced in there was comprised of 24 dancers. Although the competition at Canadians is understandably tough, Weaver was second in ‘seann truibhas’, sixth in village maid, and had seventh place finishes in strathspey and highland reel, sailor’s hornpipe, and jig.

Dance teacher Angela MacDonald graduated this year from Université Sainte Anne and will spend August with a group of 20 dancers representing Nova Scotia at the Edinburgh tattoo in Scotland. The nearest highland dance teachers to Digby will now be in Yarmouth and Kentville.

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