Eleven students of Diamond V Highland Dance Academy in Medicine Hat are back from Scotland for a trip that lasted from August 2-14.
It was a quick and compact trip. The kids’ levels ranged from beginners to premiers and many of them returned with awards.
“They just blew my mind,” says Lee Vossler, highland dance teacher in Irvine and Medicine Hat.
The kids attended four competitions and three workshops with world class instructors. The trip was a chance to show the kids where their form of dance comes from, explains Vossler. They learned about the history of Scotland, in addition to the history of highland dancing.
“It’s important culturally,” says Vossler.
Two of the students returned as trophy winners. Scout Knapik won two aggregate awards and Macey Marchand also won an aggregate award. Overall, all of the students came home with many impressive finishes.
“They all one just so many placings that I can’t even count,” recalls Vossler. “They definitely showed their best side.”
The students learned so much from this cultural experience, says Vossler, emphasizing how the students felt thrilled to be recognized and rewarded for all the hard work they have put into dance. She feels proud as a teacher to see the results of her students’ passions.
“It made me a better dancer,” says Vossler’s daughter Heather, an intermediate student. “It pushed me to dance harder than I usually do.”
The trip would not have been possible without the assisted funding of the tour by the Medicine Hat Highland Dance Association. It also would not have been possible without the support of parents and grandparents. A total of 16 parents and grandparents accompanied the students in Scotland.
The Diamond V Highland Dance Academy is on Facebook for anyone looking to get involved or help keep up with the performances. They are open to dancers of all ages and skill levels. Vossler can be contacted at 403-502-0242.
“You’re never too old to learn something and you’re never too young to start something,” says Vossler.
Vossler added the students are looking forward to participating in the Irvine Parade this weekend. Competitions will be starting up in Alberta right away in the fall.
“I just hope we can lift each other up and be a stronger highland dance community.”
By FERNANDO MORENO-PRADO, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Sep 06, 2023