‘I'd like to learn what I need to improve on and hear the different teachers' opinions'
Truro's Sarah MacDonald, left, and Sarah Fougere, of Valley, have been nominated to participate in the British Association of Teachers of Dancing North American Sadie Simpson Highland Scholarships next week. The girls will start in Miami and take a cruise to the Bahamas, all the while learning from teachers from Canada, Scotland and the United States. Raissa Tetanish - Truro Daily News
TRURO - Two Highland dancers are soon heading off on an experience of a lifetime.
Valley's Sarah Fougere, 13, and Truro's Sarah MacDonald, 16, have been nominated to the British Association of Teachers of Dancing North American Sadie Simpson Highland Scholarships, which runs from Oct. 25 to 28.
"I'm really looking forward to all of it," said Fougere. "There will be a lot of people there from all over Canada and the United States."
Both girls have been learning Highland dance for the past 10 years in Truro with Debby Stevenson and both are participating in the senior category.
Excited for the experience as well, MacDonald is hoping to grow as a dancer through the program.
"I'd like to learn what I need to improve on and hear the different teachers' opinions," she said.
Although Fougere is of junior age, she and MacDonald both examined at a Grade 4 or higher level for the senior category. The junior class sees dancers under the age of 14 examine for Grades 2 or 3. This is Fougere's third time being nominated but first time attending and is MacDonald's first time being nominated due to her age.
There will be about 80 competitors in the senior category.
Fougere and MacDonald leave Wednesday for Miami, where they will complete a written theory component Thursday and class early Friday. Following the class, they board the Majesty of the Seas for a weekend cruise to the Bahamas. The dancers will participate in step classes, technique, and warm up with top teachers from Scotland, Canada and the U.S. There will also be hip-hop and musical theatre classes aboard the ship.
"I know I have to boost my confidence level and competing with people from all over Canada and the United States will help that," said MacDonald.
For Fougere, she knows she has to overcome her shyness.
"I need a little help with my stage presence. I'm a little shy around new people."
While on the cruise, the ship will stop for trips ashore in both Coco Cay and Nassau, Bahamas, and the Saturday night will feature a Ceiligh where the dancers have to perform their own 90-second choreographed piece that they've been working on for months.
"The most difficult part about our own choreography is putting steps together that don't normally go together," said MacDonald.
"It's a combination of all the dances we've learned and they're hard to incorporate," added Fougere.
With examiners coming from Scotland to test the dancers in preparation for the scholarship chance, Stevenson said she's honoured MacDonald and Fougere were chosen, but she wasn't surprised.
"They have both been doing so well on their Grade exams - they've gotten honours, and their dancing standards have to be up there as well," said Stevenson.
"They have to know their standards of their classes."