By Loraine Ritchey
The last 50 years or so have found multiple Adult Cowal Championship Cup holders of the female persuasion. Who could forget May Falconer (40"s) Sheena McDonald, Margaret Sampson (50's) Sandra Bald and Wilma Tolmie (whose sons have also reigned at Cowal)(60's)? Rosemary McGuire (six times a World champion in the true sense of the word (note) Rosemary was the last women to have won the Cowal Cup in an "Open to the World competition" and USA's own Mary Beth Miller (70's). The 80's found Christine Lacy on the platform, the nineties Canada's Jacqueline Smith and of course current Cowal Champion, also from Canada, Colleen Rintamaki. All these "ladies of the dance", and there are many others who deserve a mention here, have spent the hours practicing, coming up through the ranks so to speak. They have accepted the accolades and disappointments.
Scotland has of course, produced many of her Cowal champions; she is rich in the talents of her dancers. One such dancer is Anthea Denise Bundy In the past 12 months Anthea, has taken home medals in the hundreds and over 30 trophies in her age group including the four majors, British National, City of Edinburgh, Scottish and Stirling Bridge championship titles. In addition she was also presented with a "Scroll Award" from Falkirk District Council for achievements in the year 2000 for bringing recognition to the town. She has also been nominated for one this year covering her achievements in the year 2001. The Scottish newspapers have proclaimed her " The Dancing Queen" ( note this section was edited out Feb 2003
Anthea and the Lord Provost
Many fine dancers have as many trophies and accolades but Anthea is just 6 years old! Selena, Anthea's mum says of her little girl " Looking back over the last year Anthea has managed to capture at such a young age, more than most folks could ever hope for in lifetime. To say we are proud of her is an understatement. It's just a pity that in today's climate, no matter how good she is now or maybe will be in time, she will never be able to compete at Cowal."
Anthea, like the great Rosemary McGuire, Roo Killick and Lewis Faryma, Scottish daughters and sons all belong to the SOHDA. SOHDA dancers, at the present time, are unable to have their dancers compete at Cowal. Cowal, is not first and foremost thought on this young dancers mind.
Anthea says the thing she likes most about Highland is "learning all the different steps to the dances, going to competitions, meeting my friends and eating the sweets I take to the class." The highland dance she likes best is the Shean Triubhais, her favourite competitive national dance is the Jig but the dance she enjoys the most of all, but can't do in competitions as she is too young, is the Linkumdoddie. (Note SOHDA dancers have more of a competition repertoire than SOBHD dancers, the Linkumdoddie being one of them) Anthea had some difficulty in choosing what made her the most happiest and excited about her highland dancing experience. Winning the Scottish Highland Championship in her group or doing a dancing display at Skye Highland Games before the dancing competition began. (She couldn't compete, as it was just open and premier dancers). Most of Anthea's practicing is done by attending her two hour lessons twice a week." that is " says her mum "unless she has a big competition coming up then it's all hands on deck for three weeks before it, dancing morning noon and night and in her sleep if I would let her!"
Scotland it seems has produced another rare talent, hopefully all of Scotland's sons and daughters will be able to compete equally with one another and the rest of the world at the prestigious Cowal Gathering. In the meantime our "Dancing Queen" will continue to look forward to her dances, eating her sweets with her friends and continuing to do what all the great champions do and have done before, only this little dancer seems to have made an incredible start.
Since this article was written Anthea has gone on to win another championship and continues to set her sights high and enjoying her dancing as those that watch her enjoy this talented little girl! The children of the dance are our future and all the champions mentioned here and in other columns were once little girls who just wanted to dance!
As always for Questions and Comments, I can be reached at
Loraine Ritchey, 1127.W. 4th Street, Lorain, Ohio, 44052.