Local highland dancers enjoy successful season

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A collection of local highland dancers have enjoyed a successful year full of opportunities to perform and compete. The students hail from various communities in southwestern Manitoba and travel weekly to Brandon to take part in lessons from September through April. Highlights of the dance year have included competition successes throughout the prairie provinces, top marks on annual dance exams, and various performances.

Abbey Snowden,8, Brianna Snowden, 5, and Violily Jeffrey, 6, are three dancers from the Central Plains area who have had an extremely rewarding year in the discipline.

In February, Abbey Snowden was fortunate enough to be part of the choreography group that performed at the Westman Multicultural Festival’s English pavilion. Abbey was part of a set acting as S-Club 7; while some of her peers were part of a set investigating a murder mystery as Sherlock Holmes and friends. Brianna Snowden and Violily Jeffrey joined Abbey and approximately 30 of their dance peers to perform at the Scottish pavilion that same weekend. Other non-competitive highlights have included local Burns Suppers, Westman Dreams for Kids children’s fair and various cultural and heritage days.

Over the Spring months, many local dancers participated in numerous competitions in front of judges from Scotland, U.S.A. and from throughout Canada. Throughout this season, the girls have competed in Medicine Hat, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg and Brandon. Of note, Abbey Snowden has accomplished much success in the 2019 campaign, winning many overall trophies.

Earlier this summer, the eldest three Central Plains area dancers attended a competition in Clear Lake. Violily Jeffrey received four gold medals in the primary category, Brianna Snowden received two silver and two bronze medals in the primary category while Abbey Snowden received two gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze in the beginner category. Abbey also received medals for her choreography solo “The Highland Coo” and her choreography duo “The Celtic Cats”.

The dancers are all members of Prairie Thistle Highland Dance Association – a non-profit organization that exists for the purpose of promoting Scottish culture through the means of highland dance in southwestern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan. The PTHDA membership is able and willing to have dancers perform at community events and venues and welcomes any request via email. For more information or to register email pthda@hotmail.com.

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