Feature: Highland / Highland

The Triubhas News, Issue 35 - scarrie_berrie
By Catherinemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jul 07, 2009 07:34 PM
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2009-07-08 19:40:16 .
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2009-07-08 19:41:03 Nice job as always
The Triubhas News is pleased to present it's 35th issue with scarrie_berrie!

The Triubhas News is pleased to present it's 35th issue with

Username: scarrie_berrie
Why did you choose your username? This was a nickname that was given to me by one of my dancing friends many years ago.
Name: Sara
Member since: Nov 2002
Years Dancing: 20+
Age: 20+
Board: BATD

What tartan do you wear for your kilt, and is there a specific reason why you chose it? My kilt was the Dr Blue Buchannan until I grew out of it about a couple years ago. It lasted me over 10 years! When I was 10 I was allowed to get my own kilt and pick the tartan because I was going into Premier. Well almost a year later I still couldn't choose just one tartan so at one competition where there was a stand with swatches, my mother marched me over and said if I wanted a kilt I had to pick the tartan right then and there otherwise I wouldn't get one! So I promptly picked the first one that caught my eye. I love it to this day! I now own a Blue Arisaid Hebridean kilt to take the place of my old one but it is second hand so I didn't get to choose the tartan.

Tell us a bit about your other costumes.
Do you wear a white dress or an Aboyne for nationals?
Aboyne, typically in a brown print. Although I am now on the market for a new Aboyne in a real tartan!
What colour is your jig dress? Always green
What colour is your hornpipe outfit? Navy blue

What brand of Ghillies do you wear? Hullachan pros for practice and Billys for competitions.

What is the name of your school and teacher? I have had the pleasure of dancing with several teachers across the province (and for a few weeks on the other side of the country!) in the last year while finishing up school.

How/when did you know you wanted to be a dancer? would say I only realized I wanted to be a dancer after my first year of university. I had danced my whole life up until that point and took the year off to focus on school...well let's just say those were the longest 8 months of my life! And I haven't stopped again since!

Why did you choose highland? I was born with a turned in foot and so my paediatrician suggested putting me in dance as opposed to having to wear braces. Since my uncles and father play the pipes highland was a natural choice!
Do you take, or have you taken, any other forms of dance? Yes I have taken ballet for almost 20 years, as well as interspersing with jazz, hip hop, modern/contemporary at different times.

What makes you love Highland dance? The challenge each time I step out on to the dance floor and the joy I get from being on stage.

If you could describe your dancing in only 1 word, what would it be? Exhilarating

Do you compete? If so, what level are you in? Yes, premier

When is your next competition (if applicable)? Possibly Scotdance Canada Series unless I take a trip to Australia. And if that is the case I hope to compete there instead!
How do you think you'll do there? My goal for Scotdance is to dance my heart out and make it my Scotdance to remember.

What has been your most memorable competition moment? Placing first in the fling way back at the Ottawa Scotdance in restricted. I didn't think I had danced as well as I could have and was shocked to place first.

What has been your most memorable non-competitive achievement? Getting to dance on the local news channel to promote the local highland games. Although it was super hot under the lights and they tried to get me to answer some questions right after dancing, so I sounded a bit wheezy and looked a bit shiny!

Do you remember your first competition and how you did there? Well considering I was 4 at the time, not a clue! Lol I think I remember my mom telling me I got a third or something like that.

What do you enjoy most about competitions? The personal challenge you face for each dance. And if you don't dance well in one dance you have to get right back in there and focus on the next if you want to do well. That, and the money you win as an adult

Do you have any superstitions? used to have lots when I was younger; a particular pair of undergarments, no breakfast, specific snacks between dances, had to put my hair up myself, and so on and so forth. (My mom noticed that if I was in a good mood the day of a comp I wouldn't do very well, so I got away with being cranky and bossy most competitions!) Now I tend to just sit back, stretch and hang out with my friends.

What is the most difficult thing for you about Highland? Do we have all day? Now that I am older I really have to work hard on my stamina. And because of injuries I have to make sure I really stretch the whole time I practice so that I can get out of bed the next day.
What's the easiest? Once upon a time it was extended high cuts! Now I would say it is having strength in the hornpipe to give it character.

What are your best and favourite steps? I have always enjoyed forward crab.
What are your worst and least favourite? Well it hurts to hop on one leg for protracted periods of time so I would say the fling isn't as much fun as it used to be.

Anything you are still working on? Turnout, turnout, and more turnout!

Do you ever feel the pressure to quit? Never!

What are your favourite dances? Anything that doesn't hurt! But really, I enjoy the Hornpipe, Jig, and Sword the most.

How often do you take class? Once or twice a week depending on how busy I am with school work.
How frequently do you practice? What is this practice you speak of...?

What do you generally work on when you practice on your own? Stretching and strengthening exercises that are dance focused but also some cross training exercises as well.

Do your friends and family support your dancing? Yes!

Do you hang out with your dance friends outside the studio? The dancing ladies are some of my best friends (new and old!). We plan vacations together, dance at each other's weddings and generally drink tons of coffee, tea and such whenever we are all in the same city!

Approximately how many times per year does your dance school perform? I have always been lucky to get to perform throughout the year, retirement homes, concerts, schools, festivals. You name I will dance at it!

Does your school hold a recital? My school back home does.
If so, what does it generally consist of? There is a theme each year and each class will pick a character or topic and choreograph something. Our school has a variety of different forms of dance so it is very entertaining!

Would you rather have a strict or an easy-going teacher? I have had both and there are good and bad for each. Strict is wonderful to help you focus and become a better dancer. Easy-going lets you relax and enjoy the class and dance!
How would you describe YOUR teacher? Well seeing as I have a few that I am dancing with right now I get to experience the strict and the easy-going!

Who are your dance idols? I don't really have one although I am always impressed by male highland dancers because of the strength they bring to the dance form.

What has been your most embarrassing dance moment? My last competition I borrowed a friend's Aboyne, and in the first 2 bars of the blue bonnets the skirt undid itself and started to fall down. Because it was a wool skirt and not cotton, there was no way to keep it up and dance so I had to stop, grab the skirt before it hit the floor. I curtsied to the judge and tried not to laugh out loud before I got off stage! So it wasn't really embarrassing but it was hilarious!

If someone completely unfamiliar with Highland dancing asked you why you did it, what would you tell them? Because it is a part of me and I am unhappy when I cannot dance!

May we have a peek inside your dance bag? Two pairs of shoes, hair pins and elastics, skipping rope, theory book, thera-bands, bio-freeze, practice suits.

What other activities do you have besides dancing? Currently just my thesis but soon enough I hope to have some real hobbies again!

Have you ever taken a break from dancing? A few months back in 6th grade when I had to have ankle surgery and then again in first year university.

Describe your ideal dance class. A long warm-up, performing the dances of the next competition followed by breaking down each dance to correct any technical errors, strengthening and stamina building exercises, long cool down, cake to celebrate birthdays in the class or a cuppa with the other dancers at the local Timmy's!

WhatÂ’s your biggest regret? Not practicing enough when I was young and in peak form! You never know what you have until you lose it!

If you were told you could no longer dance after today, what would you do? First cry my eyes out. Then I would focus on finishing my certifications to teach and judge, volunteer to run competitions and basically stick my fingers in every highland dancing pot there is out there.


4 Replies to The Triubhas News, Issue 35 - scarrie berrie

re: The Triubhas News, Issue 35 - scarrie_berrie
By saor_celticmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:40 AM
Another great Truibhas News! Thanks for sharing.
re: The Triubhas News, Issue 35 - scarrie_berrie
By ScottishMamimember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:58 PM
Lovely interview! Sara, you sound like a fun person and wonderful dancer! Thanks for sharing!
re: The Triubhas News, Issue 35 - scarrie_berrie
By Blue_Bonnets
On Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:57 PM
Great interview :) You sound like a fun person, and an accomplished dancer for sure. Balancing university, working, dancing, and family is quite a difficult one; I applaud you for doing that :)

By the way, what is a thera-band?
re: The Triubhas News, Issue 35 - scarrie_berrie
By jazznpisces
On Wed Sep 23, 2009 01:36 PM
Oh yes! I agree with the readers above. After learning way too much about Mackenzie P in my online headlines today, I got so sit back and smile with you. A most entertaining way to pass the moments. Your responses do much to attest to the "good stuff" about highland dance. Congratulations to you for all your accomplishments and continued success.


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