Feature: Highland / Highland

The Triubhas News, Issue 41 - always_a_ceilidh
By Catherinemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Feb 15, 2010 09:43 PM
Edited by Catherine (148521) on 2010-02-15 21:45:36
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2010-10-11 18:18:20 .
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2010-10-11 18:18:34 .
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2010-10-11 18:18:55 .
The Triubhas News is pleased to present it's 41st issue with always_a_ceilidh

Username: always_a_ceilidh
Why did you choose your username? I love to make life a party :)
Name: Kyleena Harper
Member since: August 2007
Years Dancing: 5 years
Age: 20
Board: SDTA

What tartan do you wear for your kilt, and is there a specific reason why you chose it? I originally wore Dress Wine McRae. My dance teacher happened to have an extra kilt and vest lying around, and it fit me perfectly. Recently I bought a new kilt, Dress Scotland the Brave, and I wear it with a blue jacket.

Tell us a bit about your other costumes.
Do you wear a white dress or an Aboyne for nationals?
An Aboyne. It’s just a plaid I found in a store that’s black, white, and red.
What colour is your jig dress? It’s green, with red underneath, and red accents.
What colour is your hornpipe outfit? Navy blue, with a white hat.

What brand of Ghillies do you wear? I’m always trying new brands, but right now I wear Billy Forsyths.

What is the name of your school and teacher? My teachers are Peggy Willison and Kathy Eisel. My school is The Gordon Highlanders, out of Glendora, CA.

How/when did you know you wanted to be a dancer? My sister, who is three years older than me, was put in ballet classes. I, of course, wanted to be exactly like her, so I begged my parents to put me in ballet too.

Why did you choose highland? I’d always loved dancing, but it was during my Baba’s 75th birthday party. We had hired a piper and a dancer for her enjoyment. As I watched her dance over swords, I knew I had to learn how to do that!
Do you take, or have you taken, any other forms of dance? Besides Highland, I’ve taken ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and modern.

What makes you love Highland dance? I love the camaraderie of Highland. I’ve met so many great people through traveling to compete!

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? I am just about to start my intermediate year.

When is your next competition (if applicable)? I had to take a year off dancing because I broke three bones in my right foot. Letting them heal was the slowest process ever! But I’m excited to start competing again.
How do you think you'll do there? Fingers crossed on how I’ll do!

What has been your most memorable competition moment? My most memorable competition would have to be the first time I competed at the Flagstaff Games as a beginner, and I received two Firsts! I was so proud that all my hard work had started to pay off.

What has been your most memorable non-competitive achievement? My dance school performs at the LA County Fair every year. This last year a bunch of my friends from school surprised me and showed up right as I went onstage. I was so happy they finally got to see me dance :)

Do you remember your first competition and how you did there? Ha ha ha ha….oh. My first competition was at the Queen Mary. I recall kicking the swords together, and being disqualified. Even better, I slipped in my Sean Triubhas and landed on my bum. Not the best first attempt. Luckily it only got better from there!

What do you enjoy most about competitions? Getting to see all my friends. I keep in contact with them on facebook, but since we’re pretty spread out, we all look forward to seeing each other at competitions.

Do you have any superstitions? I don’t like to have people take pictures of me while I’m dancing, I feel like it will mess me up somehow. Weird, I know! People always have to sneak pictures so I don’t psych myself out ha ha.

What is the most difficult thing for you about Highland? The quick time steps. I have exercise-induced asthma, so when the music speeds up I have to work hard to keep my jumping high.
What's the easiest? Keeping on beat. Because I’ve been dancing since I was four, I’m good at keeping time.

What are your best and favourite steps? I love the rocking step in my fling, and the flap step in my jig.
What are your worst and least favourite? My least favorite is backstepping. I am terrible at it!

Anything you are still working on? I’m constantly working on my turnout!

Do you ever feel the pressure to quit? After I broke my foot I did. I wasn’t sure if it would ever heal well enough to dance on it, and I was pretty discouraged for a while.

What are your favourite dances? My favorite dances would have to be the Blue Bonnets, and the Swords.

How often do you take class? Twice a week.
How frequently do you practice? Not as often as I should. Because of how hectic my life is right now, I maybe get to practice once or twice a week, not counting class.

What do you generally work on when you practice on your own? I try to work on my placement and making sure my steps flow, especially if I just learned a new one.

Do your friends and family support your dancing? Absolutely. My friends always tease me when I can’t hang out one weekend, because I have a competition, but they always wish me luck. And my parents have always supported me 100%.

Do you hang out with your dance friends outside the studio? One of my best friends is in my dance class. We go to Disneyland together all the time :)

Approximately how many times per year does your dance school perform? We probably perform at least once a month.

Does your school hold a recital? Nope

Would you rather have a strict or an easy-going teacher? Probably a little of both.
How would you describe YOUR teacher? My teacher is strict when she needs to be, but she makes sure we have fun during class.

What has been your most embarrassing dance moment? My first competition, definitely.

If someone completely unfamiliar with Highland dancing asked you why you did it, what would you tell them? Because I love to dance, and I love my heritage. ‘Nuff said.

May we have a peek inside your dance bag? It’s really messy right now….ok it’s always this messy. But it has my back-up pair of Ghillies, athletic tape, ankle braces, my inhaler, elastic to hold my socks up, safety pins, hair bands/bobby pins/hair nets/hair spray, chapstick, lipstick, powder, old competition numbers…there’s probably more!

What other activities do you have besides dancing? I’m a sophomore in college right now. I’m also in the Honors College, Sigma Kappa sorority, am interning with College Prowler, and work for my family business, MacKinnon’s Kilts.

Have you ever taken a break from dancing? I took a year-long break to let my foot heal.

Have you ever had to overcome any problems to get to where you are today? Besides breaking my foot, I’ve also fractured my ankle…twice. I also have exercise-induced asthma, which is cruel in my opinion. I’ve had to work really hard on my dancing stamina. When I first started Highland, I could barely get through a four-step fling without the help of my inhaler. My stamina has greatly improved since then, although if I miss practice too many days in a row I have to work it back up!

Describe your ideal dance class. My ideal dance class involves learning new steps and getting to try them out to music.

Do any of your dance friends/class mates go on DDN? Yep! I’ve met a bunch of new friends through DDN too :)

What’s your biggest regret? When it comes to dance, I have no regrets. Well, maybe breaking my foot. But it wasn’t as if I planned that!

If you were told you could no longer dance after today, what would you do? I would be sad, but I’d be glad that I got to dance for so long.

And how would you spend this last day? Dancing as much as possible, enjoying it, and making people smile. Just enjoying life. :)

Thanks for the great interview!


4 Replies to The Triubhas News, Issue 41 - always a ceilidh

re: The Triubhas News, Issue 41 - always_a_ceilidh
By chrispbinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:28 PM
Wow, you have been busy, Catherine. Thanks again for a great interview.

always a ceilidh, I hope you have fully recovered from your injuries, and have a great time in intermediate.
re: The Triubhas News, Issue 41 - always_a_ceilidh
By ScottishMamimember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Feb 16, 2010 02:41 AM
great interview! I'm happy to see new issues!
re: The Triubhas News, Issue 41 - always_a_ceilidh
By tavcandancePremium member
On Tue Feb 16, 2010 05:41 AM
Great interview! Hoping your foot stays strong and good luck with your intermediate year!
re: The Triubhas News, Issue 41 - always_a_ceilidh
By always_a_ceilidh
On Tue Feb 16, 2010 04:51 PM
Wow thanks everyone! My foot is doing great so far, and I can't wait to start competing :)


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