Highland dancers off to national championships

PORT HAWKESBBURY: There will be two local highland dancers in Calgary, Alberta from June 30-July 4 competing in the Scotdance Canada Championship Series.

Taylor MacQuarrie of Port Hawkesbury and Annie Hennessey of Newtown are both members of the Port Hawkesbury Highland Dance Association and won the right to compete with Team Nova Scotia as a result of their placings at the Nova Scotia Championship and Selection Meet on May 5 in Pictou.

The National Championship week in Calgary is an annual event and attended by over 800 dancers from Canada, the United States and Scotland. It is five days of dancing competitions, with the highlight being the Canadian Closed Championship on Monday, July 2. MacQuarrie and Hennessey are among 22 Nova Scotia dancers who are eligible to compete in this event in their respective age divisions.

MacQuarrie is a Nova Scotia representative in the 21 and Over group and Hennessey is in the 18-20 age category.

This is Hennessey’s first trip to the championship as a provincial representative.

“It’s exciting and a great honour to be able to represent our province at the SDCCS 2018 in Calgary.”

For MacQuarrie, this is her eighth time representing Nova Scotia having done so before in Toronto, Vancouver, London, Montreal, Winnipeg, Charlottetown, and Antigonish. For her “representing my province is what I strive for every year. Being on stage with the best dancers from across the country is an exciting environment to be in and I love it.”

Hennessey and MacQuarrie are both members of the well known dance troupe, The Celtic Touch Dancers, and have competed and performed throughout Canada, the US and in Scotland together for over 10 years. Their dance teacher is Sabra MacGillivray of Creignish.

“Annie and Taylor are two of the hardest working students I have had the pleasure of working with,” MacGillivray said. “They portray both strength and grace every time they get on a stage. As representatives of Nova Scotia, they will compete with the best dancers from across the country and we know they will do us proud.”

Hennessey is a 2018 SAERC graduate and heading to StFX in the fall for her Bachelor of Business Administration. MacQuarrie graduated from StFX in May with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and when she returns from Calgary, she will be travelling to Switzerland with Canadiana Celtic to perform at the Basel Military Tattoo, the second largest tattoo in the world.

During her four years at StFX, MacQuarrie was also taught by Janice Macquarrie and in August will travel with the Macquarrie Highland Dancers to Scotland for the World Championships.