Disney success for NE dancers

Members of Lawrence Dance Academy at Disneyland Paris
Members of Lawrence Dance Academy at Disneyland Paris

Dancers from across the north east took part in the International Gathering of Scottish Highland Dance (IGSHD) recently.

The event was held at Disneyland Paris and featured dancers from the Lawrence Dance Academy.

Participants performed their own unique Disney-themed, Highland-based choreographies and compete in the annual Disney Magics Highland competition and at the Paris International Highland Gathering Championship.

The dancers are also invited each year, such is their ability and stature, to dance through the Main Street of Disneyland Paris in a pre-parade that is watched live by thousands of Disney tourists.

This year was no different, with over 200 Highland dancers performing and competing with great enthusiasm.

Many awards, trophies and medals were won, but far more importantly each dancer and their families came away with a great experience and more friends.

Principal and Director of Lawrence Dance Academy, Rhona Lawrence, said: “It’s such a great opportunity for the dancers. They can learn and develop so many skills.

“It’s a wonderful event to be involved in and it makes me so proud to see Highland dancing constantly evolving.”

The Lawrence Dance Academy was represented by Willow Brown, Katie Doherty, Isla Gauld, Robyn Hall, Bailey Martin, Brogan Martin, Tilly Martin, Morven Paterson, Michaela Reid, Chloe Strachan, Louise Strachan, Kelly Yule and Kirsty Yule.

Morven Paterson, from Westhill, won the Beginners 14 and over Highland and Scottish National competitions in the Magics event.

Isla Gauld, from Aberdeen, came third in the 8-10 years Scottish Premier National event. In the 7 and under 11 years PIHG Championship, she finished fourth overall.

Tilly Martin, from Huntly, came third in the overall line up of the 12 years Scottish Premier National dance. Tilly also came sixth overall in the PIHG Championship.

Brogan Martin, from Huntly, won the Paris International Highland Gathering Championship 15 years category and the 15 years Scottish Premier National event in the Magics.

Bailey Martin, also from Huntly, placed sixth in the final line-up in the 8-10 years Scottish Premier National event. In the 7 and under 11 years PIHG Championship, he also finished sixth.

Michaela Reid, from Aberdeen, performed amazingly in the Highland Fling dance but then unfortunately injured her knee and couldn’t compete further.

Katie Doherty, from Ellon, won the Novice 12 and over Highland and Scottish National competitions in the Magics.

Robyn Hall from Newmachar placed third in the Premier 10-11 years category.

In the Paris International Highland Gathering Championship in the 11 years category, Robyn finished third overall.

Willow Brown, also from Newmachar, in the Premier 10-11 years group came fifth.

Willow also came sixth in the 11 years PIHG Championship.

Chloe Strachan of Peterhead was runner up in the 13 years Premier Highland competition and was third in the Paris International Highland Gathering Championship.

Louise Strachan, also from Peterhead, won the 16 years Premier Highland competition in the Magics. Louise also came third in the sixteen to seventeen years Scottish Premier Nationals competition.

Kelly Yule, place fifth in the overall line up of the Highland Premier 17-20 years age group. She also came sixth overall in the 18 and over Scottish Premier National category.

Kirsty Yule from Peterhead finished third in the 13 years Premier Highland competition. She was also sixth overall in the PIHG Championship.

The dancers not only excelled in the traditional Highland events, but also won awards in the Disney ChoreoMagic choreography event.

Their group Christmas Spectacular number won ‘Best Musical Interpretation” and ‘Best Christmas Spirit’.

Louise Strachan won ‘Overall Costume Characterisation’ for her solo routine and with her sister, Chloe, for their duo routine again won ‘Overall Costume Characterisation’.

As well as all of this amazing success, the dancers were selected by Disney to lead at the front of the pre-parade through Disney.