NEWS FROM THE SOHDA
by Loraine Ritchey
The Scottish Official Highland Dancing Championships 2000/ Musselburgh's Brunton Halls.
The SOHDA Dance Seminar Edinburgh. 2000
A large turnout (no pun intended) of Highland dancers showed their continued enthusiasm for the annual extravaganza that is the SOHDA Scottish Highland Dancing Championships. Held in the excellent conference hall in Musselburgh's Brunton Halls the venue was close to overflow as dancers from Baby stage right through to Adult performer strutted their stuff.
Over 200 dancers from all over the country competed in friendly competition throughout the various groups and stages in front of four adjudicators who had the difficult task in selecting the prizewinners from the high standard of dancing on the day. The four judges were Mr. Alex McGuire, Denny, Miss Valerie Johnston, Dunbar, Miss Jamie McPherson, Arbroath and Mrs. Beverly Lyon from Dundee. The pipers were George Grey from Prestonpans and Jerry Anderson from Edinburgh.
A popular dance, which is now a regular on the programme, is "the Argyll Broadswords" where this year a record 24 teams of dancers delighted the audience with their performances and certainly gave the judges a headache in their decision-making. The eventual Senior prize went to the dancers from the Fiona Knox Dancing School from Dunbar, whilst the Junior title went to the dancers from the Jenkins School from Airth.
Overall premier (Championship winners) as opposed to the SOBHD term premier meaning a "group or section classification of dancers).
Pre -Open Section
Babies Champion .Tamara Swanson… Beginners Champion ..Eve Ferrier..Novice Champion…Megan Ramsey..Intermediate Champion .Kirsten Laidlaw
Open Section Juvenile Champion - Lauren Muirhead..Junior Champion Jody Clelland…Senior Champion .Kirsty Cameron.
The dancing and all things Highland was not over yet as the next weekend found a large turn-out of Teachers, Assoc. Teachers and dancers assembled at the Edinburgh Centre where the SOHDA held yet another of their popular dance seminars. Over 120 participants from the various branches of the Association took part in learning two of the lesser-known National dances to add to their growing collection and to pass on to the pupils in their areas.
The first dance they learned was the dance conceived by David Anderson, a 19th century dancing master from Dundee, who devised 111 steps in 6/8 Jig tempo with the title "Bonnie Dundee". This dance was presented and taught by technical member Charlie Mill, (also from Dundee) The second dance was taught by John Collins from Coatbridge and was a simple 8- step Reel with the title "Hebridean Laddie" which the dancers picked up with ease.
There later took place a full discussion on other matters relevant to National Dances including tunes and tempos regarding the dance "the Dusty Miller" (6/4 tempo), arm work for boys and girls during these dances, as well as the continued learning of steps that are executed in New Zealand in dances like the Single and Double Jigs, Irish Hornpipes and Reels, etc. which many SOHDA judges are now conversant in. Andy Gibb was the piper for the day. Anyone interested in learning any of these lesser know dances can be found by contacting the SOHDA's National
Secretary . Mrs. Pauline Knox. 36 High Street, Dunbar, East Lothian. EH42 1JH Scotland