Instructor

Miss Kathleen * BFA, BEd, MA

This year marks my 27th year of teaching highland dance! When I first began classes as an overly energetic 7-year-old, it was never thought this would turn into a career. I now teach, lecture, and judge around the world. Growing up as a competitive dancer in Western Canada, I had many opportunities to attend both local and international competitions. I always loved performing onstage; taking home a trophy wasn't bad either! From a young age I started choreographing and found joy in storytelling through dance.

I spent 2019 in a collaboration with the Scottish Baroque Ensemble Hesperi. We performed full concerts across England with masterful music and some added flourishes of Scottish dance to the Baroque tunes. There was great audience dance participation! During COVID-19 lockdown, were were awarded a grant from the Arts Council to develop 'Highland at Home with Hesperi'. This has proven to be a creative endeavour and I am eager to extend my Highland dancing skills in this new direction.

In addition to highland dance, I work in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, musical theatre, and various ballroom styles. My other passion is for musical theatre where I direct & choreograph (with a keen interest in developing new writing). I am a trained schoolteacher, so much of my pedagogy stems from this academic perspective.

As a Fellow with the SDTA (Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance), I pass on the traditions of highland dance while preparing students for exams and competitions. In 2010 I was admitted to the RSOBHD (Royal Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing) Judge's Panel after sitting the gruelling test and I currently enjoy adjudicating on both sides of the Atlantic. I also serve as the secretary for the HDTAE (Highland Dancing Teachers Association of England).

Highland dancing has given me unexpected treats from dancing for Queen Elizabeth II to teaching an MTV host how to do the Fling. I was even brought in to teach Torvill & Dean authentic Scottish Highland moves to aid in choreography for their itv show: Dancing on Ice. While these adventures are a thrill, I truly love the grind of working in the studio with dancers, striving for technical perfection.