About the Instructor:
Leanore Curran began teaching Scottish highland dance in 1989 in a small basement studio in North Tacoma. Leanore received her associate teaching credential from the Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance (SDTA) in 1989 and her Member credential from the British Association of Teachers of Dancing (BATD) in 1994. Her students have performed in local, national and international dance competitions.
Leanore’s parents, Maggie and Terry Nicholson, were born in Glasgow, Scotland and immigrated to Toronto, Ontario in 1962. A few years later, the family settled in Tacoma, WA. Maggie and Terry became active members in the small Scottish community where Leanore began highland dance lessons at the tender age of seven. She performed with the Clan Gordon Pipe Band for many years and is an Honorary Member. Her students perform for the pipe band and in many local and regional dance competitions.
Leanore has taught highland dance for 22 years. Her teaching style emphasizes personal goal setting and discipline while reinforcing the grace and precision of each dance. Leanore encourages her students to participate in local competitions and shows. Although winning medals and awards is a plus for any student who competes, the emphasis is for each student to perform their personal best at all times.
About Highland Dancing: Levels and History
Highland dancing is an athletic endeavor full of challenge and grace. Through the five levels of this form of dance, children learn basic dance skills that contribute to good stamina, stage presence and self-confidence.
What are the competitive levels of highland dancing?
Ages: 4-6: Children learn basic dance movement and simple exercises. Learning to balance on one foot, hopping and skipping are incorporated in the class: As a primary, dancers may compete in the following dances: 16 PDB's, PDB & Hi-Cuts, Fling and Sword. When a primary turns 7, she becomes a beginner.
Beginner: Dancers who compete at Beginner level aim to win a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd at 6 separate competitions in order to advance to Novice level. The dances that are usually performed in competition include: Fling, Sword, Sean Truibhas, Lilt and Flora.
Novice: Dancers competing at Novice Level aim to win a 1st, 2nd or 3rd at 6 separate competitions in order to advance to the Intermediate level. Dancers at Beginner and Novice levels may be any age and there is no time limit in these levels. Dances include: Fling, Sword, Sean Truibhas, Lilt, Flora, Reel.
Intermediate: Dancers have one calendar year from their first Intermediate competition, before moving up to Premier level, regardless of how many competitions were attended or the amount of awards received. The dances learned include all the above including: Johnnie, Highland Laddie, Jig, and Hornpipe.
Premier: Not all dancers reach this level, as it requires more hours of practice and it requires more intricate footwork. Dancers who compete at this level need to practice several times a week and be in top physical shape. Other competition dances include: Village Maid, Blue Bonnets, Earl of Errol, and Scotch Measure.