Magnificent March for Claire Wilson School of Dance

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Saturday 11th March saw the first Highland Dancing Competition of the year take place at the Nicolson Institute - The Mackinnon Festival.

The Harris Highland Dancers had been practicing hard throughout the winter in Sir E Scott Dance Studio and their hard work certainly paid off.

The morning began with Abigail competing in the Primary age 5 Section, gaining a first and a second medal and Ellie competing in the Primary age 6 Section, where there were 16 dancers entered.

She entered the Pas De Basques; Pas De Basques and Highcuts; Fling and Swords and took it all in her stride gaining three firsts and a second.

It was a tough section, having the biggest number of competitors, but both girls were extremely happy with their results and Primary surprise!

The day continued with Madelyn and Lucie competing in Beginners and Jessica and Emma competing in Novice.

Madelyn gained a second for her Fling; a third for her Trophy Fling and a fourth for her Flora. Lucie came 3rd in the Fling, 4th in Swords and 4th in Seann Truibhas; Jessica won a selection of medals from 2nd – 5th and her first stamp in Novice, and Emma gained 4 firsts including the Trophy Fling and narrowly missed the section trophy.

Saturday 25th March saw the annual Harris Highland Dancing Society Competition, sponsored by Borve Lodge.

It was a beautiful day – too good to be inside – however the Harris home baking and sound of the pipes drew everyone in.

We had an amazing twenty-three competitors from the Claire Wilson School of Dance from Ness to Harris competing in Primary, Beginners and Novice. Eilidh, Lucy, Lois and Flora competed for the first time in Primary while Isobel, Phoebe and Anna competed in Beginners for the first time. In Primary age 4 and 5 years we had Abigail and Eilidh – Eilidh for her first competition gained a second in the Pas de Basques and a 5th in Pas de Basques and Highcuts and Abigail competed in the Fling for the first time gaining a second place and a first for her Pas de Basques.

In again the biggest section of the day, with 13 competitors, Primary 6 years, Ellie, Lucy, Lois and Flora all had a great time.

Lucy and Lois both being placed and Ellie gaining a first, a second and 2 thirds. All Primary dancers enjoyed their Easter Eggs, kindly donated by the Coop, Stornoway.

Isobel, at her first competition, won the Trophy Fling for the Beginners 9 years and Under, amongst her other medals, and Madelyn, one of the youngest Beginners, was placed 5th in the Fling in the same section.

Fiona, saving stamps, entered the Flora and Lilt, gaining a second place in the Flora.

It’s extremely tough to sit through the whole competition while others have had a chance to work off the nerves and then come in and dance two dances when others have danced up to five already. So well done Fiona.

Anna, Phoebe and Lucie all competed in the Beginners 10 years and Over section - Anna gaining a third and a fifth and her first stamp and Phoebe being placed in 2 dances.

Lucie competed in five out of the six dances and won first place in all five taking home the Beginners 10 years and Over Trophy for Highland and National and the Overall Trophy for Beginners.

In addition to this she also won the Trophy Fling and the Harris Beginner with the most points. Well done Lucie!

Jessica having just moved into Novice had a tough section where the standard was very high and results mixed throughout.

Natalie and Emma completed their Novice cards and have now moved up to Intermediate!

Emma earned herself 2 seconds and 4 thirds and Natalie won a selection of trophies including Novice 10 Years and Over Section Highland and National Trophies, Overall Novice Dancer and Harris Novice Dancer with the most points.

An amazing haul of trophies for Lucie and Natalie. Well done from the dance school!

With only a half an hour or hour class a week during term time, the dancers put a lot of effort into their own self practice in their own time and should be commended on their dedication and self-motivation to achieve their personal best.

Their teacher, Claire Wilson, the Harris Highland Dancing Society and the community of Harris are extremely proud of all their achievements whether that’s personal bests, stamps, medals or new trophies.

It has been a great start to the fifth year of the Claire Wilson School of Dance! Our next adventure is the Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival in Oban and we wish them all the best and continued success for the coming competitive year.

Claire wishes to thank the Harris Highland Dancing Society committee members and their extended team for organising an excellent competition enjoyed by all Western Isles competitors and spectators, our sponsor Borve Lodge; the wonderful ladies and gents in the kitchen, the extremely generous local community for their support with raffle prizes sponsorship and the famous Harris home-baking; the community of Ness for supporting the raffle; Campbell MacRae (FES) for being so understanding; Alan our MC for keeping things moving throughout the day; our two pipers Allan and Larry; our judge Sheila Anderson and scrutineers; Betty Ann and Iona.

Lastly thanks go to the Dance Mums and Dads who take their dancers to class every week.