75 perpetual trophies to be fought for at highland dance championships

CCNews_Highland_Dance_ChampionshipsCentral Coast Highland Dancing Inc. is busy in final preparations for the eighth International Highland Dancing Championships to be held at the Central Coast Youth Club in Niagara Park from July 25 to 28.

Central Coast Highland Dancing chairman Mr Douglas McFarland said he was thrilled for this annual event to be held on the Central Coast again with the positive effects it could have on the tourism sector and local economy.

“Innovation has enabled the competition to get better and bigger with new components being introduced; this time the Festival will have nine judges, just to name one new change,’ said Mr McFarland. The Territorial Broadsword Challenge allows for zones and their governing bodies to work together competing against each other’s State.

Mister Josh’s Mega Jigoff battle will be conducted to raise money for South Australia’s Champion of Champions Event 2016. A gold coin donation is all that is needed to join in and get jiggy with Mister Josh. The Championships are renowned for the calibre of judges, with this year’s panel including Joy Tolev from Canada, Ian MacLean from Scotland, Allison Grace Conchie from South Africa, Diane Krugh from the USA and Carolyn Davidson, Maureen Fyffe, Margaret McAlpine, Jacquie Wilson and Ellen Somerville, all from Australia.

The event will begin with a night of Scottish Entertainment on Friday, July 25, taking a traditional form of dance and giving it a modern take; a Choreography Competition for groups, duo’s and trios. “The International Highland Dancing Festival is one of the most talked about Festivals in Highland Dancing and is endorsed by its past and present competitors, judges, spectators and the local Central Coast community,” said Mr McFarland.

Official Scottish Board of Highland Dancing president Mrs Shendl Russell said she believed ‘The Internationals’ were firmly established as one of the elite events in the international highland dancing calendar. She said she felt the Choreography Challenge would showcase the depth of creative talent across the Australian dancing community.

“So rarely do we get the chance to break free from the confines of the traditional kilt and rigorous competitive dances, that when we do, we embrace it wholeheartedly and the results are quite spectacular,” she said.

“The diversity of themes, costumes and music is breath taking and a true testament to the passion with which Australia has embraced Highland Dancing culture and contributed to its evolution,” she said. The Saturday and Sunday will see competitors taking to the floor to defend their titles from last year’s championship.

Participants compete for individual dance placings as well as for some of the $20,000 of cash and prizes. The competitors will dance a traditional fling, swords, seann triubhas, lilt, flora, jig and hornpipe. There is also a team event for the Premier Broadswords and the awarding of the John McFarland Memorial Hornpipe Medal.

There are more than 75 perpetual trophies that will be handed out over the weekend. The entire Central Coast community are invited to a Ceilidh on Sunday, July 27, at the Niagara Park Tavern to celebrate the Internationals, a true Scottish dance party. Competitors are given the opportunity on the Monday, to attend a Highland Workshop with world-renowned judges on the Sunday at Laycock St Dance.

Media release, 16 Jul 2014
Joshua Lucas, Do$h
Public Relations