Heather has been involved in Highland dance for her whole life. Her mother, Adeline Duncan, was an Honourary Member of the Scottish Official Board and encouraged her daughter’s interest from a very early age. After a very successful competitive career Heather continued in her mother’s footsteps and has now adjudicated or taught in most of the major centers of Highland dancing including Scotland, the United States, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Her dancers have regularly performed with the World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band in many of the world’s finest performing venues including Carnegie Hall, and the Lincoln Centre in New York City, the Sydney Opera House, the Glasgow Concert Hall, Massey Hall in Toronto and many other well known cities and venues. Heather has taught many Champion dancers during her long teaching career, including winners of the World, Commonwealth, British, Canadian and Australasian Championships. In addition to her World Champion pupils many of Heather’s dancers have regularly been in the top six in all ages at the World Championships in Dunoon. She is proud to say that many of her students are now well- known teachers and judges.
In her non-teaching life, Heather is the President of Tartantown Ltd, the well-known Canadian outfitters of Highland dancers, pipers and pipe bands worldwide.
I am very excited to be part of the 2018 USIR judging panel!
Sandra, Principal Teacher of Lees School of Dance, Loch Lomond, has a dance teaching career spanning over 30 years. She has successfully trained students for championship wins, Cowal qualifiers and placings and Examination and Scholarship successes.
She has served on a variety of committees including the SOBHD Technical Committee and BATD Highland Committee. Her love of Highland dancing has gave her opportunities to travel worldwide to deliver and attend lectures and participate in a variety of highland dancing events .
Sandra particularly loves the energy and creativity that Highland Choreography brings and is extremely proud to put Highland Dancing on stage in Argenteuil, France each year where her dancers perform in an International Dance Show beside other dance teams from Italy, Romania, Germany and France.
She has also balanced her dancing life with a 32 year career in the Sports and Leisure Industry in a variety of coaching roles in sports development, customer service and quality improvement.
Sandra is delighted to attend USIR 2018 and wishes everyone a memorable and successful event.
She is from Paisley in Scotland and has been dancing since the age of 11, a successful dancer in her own right however Mary Ann’s true passion has always been teaching and sharing her love of Highland Dance with others.
Her highly successful teaching career in now in its 30th year. During this time, she has celebrated this success by producing multiple world qualifiers, Cowal trophy winners and champions in Scotland and Abroad. Her pupils have also excelled away from the competition boards, with some featuring in the Piping Live Festival and others welcoming athletes from all over the world in Glasgow ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
Maryann has shared some of her teaching highlights, which has included some of her students winning the SOBHD Oscars, also winning the Scottish Choreography competition at Scotdance Canada 2004 and then in 2014 watching her dancer lift the coveted Juvenile World Title at Cowal.
Maryann would like to wish good luck to teachers, organisers, dancers and parents for a successful 2018 USIR Championship.
Opening her own dance school in Dumbarton success soon followed, winning many competition and championships including a World title, in both Stage and Highland.
Betty is a Fellow and Examiner of the Scottish Dance Teachers’Alliance and has served in all divisions of their Highland Branch. She was elected to represent the membership on the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing and was the HB convenor for many years. She has been President of the Alliance from the years 2000 – 2003 and again from 2010 – 2014. Being an Examiner with the Alliance has given Betty the opportunity to travel widely. Visiting the United States, South Africa, Japan, Holland, Australia and Canada on numerous occasions.
She is an adjudicator on the Scottish Official Board world-wide panel of judges,
presently serving on the SOBHD Technical and Judges committees. In 2007 she was elected an Independent Member and in 2017 was honoured to be awarded the prestigious Atholl Clasp.
Pipers & Musicians
Aside from dancing, Daniel studied bagpipes under Ed Neigh of Waterloo, Ontario. He competes and sometimes wins prizes in the professional grade in solo piping and has traveled throughout Canada, US, and Scotland to play for highland dancing events. In 2011, Daniel also started playing pipes and dancing in a Celtic band called the Reel Celts along with Nonie Crete, Eugene Rea and other talented musicians.
Daniel is extremely excited to play for the USIR this year held in beautiful Gettysburg, PA. Good luck to all the dancers competing!!
Brian has been actively piping for Highland dancing for over 25 years. He received valuable feedback on dance piping from Jeannie Brauns (founder of the Braemar Highland Dancers in upstate NY) and pipers Jimmy Fee and John Recknagel.
Brian also competes with pipe bands, having participated in bands at all levels. He is currently a member of The 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band, a Grade 1 pipe band from Campbellville, ON. Brian now lives in Gurnee, IL (approx. 40 miles north of Chicago) with his wife Pam (a former highland dancer and current Scottish snare drummer), and daughters Courtney (tenor drummer) and Fiona.
This will be the third time that Brian has piped at the USIR (the other years being 2015 and 2016), and he is looking forward to coming back East to pipe in Gettysburg this year!!
PEI Celtic Trio
In Scotland, it is quite common to have Celtic instruments aside from the Great Highland bagpipe play for highland dancing competitions. The PEI Celtic Trio have experience playing for dancing competitions including the Premiership at the 2015 Scotdance Canada Championship Series in London, Ontario. Piper Daniel Carr, Pianist Ward MacDonald, and Guitarist Tristan Henderson look forward to providing great music for the dancers in Gettysburg in 2018!