Local dancers rise to the occasion

Exams make many people cringe — but they sometimes bring great rewards.

Exams make many people cringe — but they sometimes bring great rewards.

This reality recently became clearer for three local highland dance students when they learned that their dance theory exam results had earned them invitations to the highly coveted James L. McKenzie and Elspeth Strathern Scholarship Program.

The students nominated for this honour are Grace Harvey, Madison Lagan and Kayla Champis, all of the Laurie Tinkler School of Dance.

Held annually as part of the  Scottish Dance Teachers’ Alliance Conference, the J.L. McKenzie and Elspeth Strathern Scholarship program provides aspiring dancers from across the country with  a weekend of topnotch highland dance education. This year’s event took place over the Thanksgiving weekend in Toronto. Kayla Champis was fortunate to be able to participate.

On the first day, scholarship nominees were  judged  in a number of events. They participated in a master class in a form of dance other than highland, danced the fling and sword dances as well as the Tribute to J.L. McKenzie, presented a solo choreography and wrote a theory exam paper. In each of these events, they were evaluated by a panel.

The other two days of the event were educational opportunities to learn more about their art form. The dancers learned more about how ballet can improve their highland style, received instruction in championship steps and had the opportunity to perfect their Irish jig and hornpipe. Fun features included learning to salsa and a choreography for Thriller.

After walking down the tartan carpet at the banquet and ceilildh, each dancer saw their name in lights on the Wall of Fame. At this event, Champis discovered she had received perfect marks on her highland theory paper — tying for first place in that category of 41 dancers from across the country. In addition, she placed sixth in the master class competition.

Taking part in this event was a highlight in Kayla’s dance career thus far.

“I would definitely do it again if I had the chance to because it was a lot of fun, I learned a lot of technical information and I met some amazing friends,” she reports.

— Laurie Tinkler School of Dance

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Town of Comox council (from left) Alex Bissinger, Ken Grant, Nicole Minions, Mayor Russ Arnott, Stephanie McGowan, Maureen Swift and Pat McKenna. Photo by Kim Stallknecht
Comox council calls on B.C. to defer old-growth logging, decriminalize illicit drugs

The motion is similar to a resolution passed by Courtenay council

A Hyundai Tucson caught fire around 11 a.m. Tuesday at 17th and Willemar. The occupants were not hurt. Scott Stanfield photo
Car catches fire in Courtenay

The occupants of a Hyundai Tucson were not injured when their car… Continue reading

A mother duck leads her brood of ducklings past some benches in the courtyard at Mark R Isfeld School in Courtenay. Photo by Kailena Krutzmann
Ducklings bring joy to students at Courtenay school

Brood of duckings in the courtyard at Mark R Isfeld School

The current location of Comox Valley Search and Rescue on Moray Avenue in Courtenay. Google Maps photo
Comox Valley Search and Rescue aiming to purchase a roof for their rescuers

Their goal is to raise between $1.2 and $1.5 million, approximately the purchase price of a facility

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old bike rider on Vancouver Island already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Most Read