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Nanaimo highland dancers compete at Canadian championship series

NANAIMO - Four competitors from Brigadoon Dance Academy showcased their skills at the ScotDance Canada Championship Series.
Gabrielle Colonna represented B.C. during the ScotDance Canada Championship Series.

Nanaimo highland dancers hit the national stage during the ScotDance Canada Championship Series in early July.

Four Nanaimo dancers, who study at Brigadoon Dance Academy, showcased their skills during the event: Gabrielle Colonna, Samantha Beach, Miranda Lam and Shawndelle LaChance.

“It’s pretty incredible to represent your province. It’s quite an honour,” said Brigadoon Dance Academy principal instructor Diena Henry. “It’s something you strive for all year long.”

She said it was “pretty emotional” for some of the participants and even some parents got a little teary seeing their children cross the stage to represent their province.

Colonna, Beach and Lam, all B.C. champions, competed in Canadian championships.  LaChance competed in open events.

For Colonna it was the first time she danced as a B.C. champion.

During the Canada championships Colonna, Beach and Lam competed in the premier highland dance competitions.

Lam and Beach were both first runners-up for their categories at the B.C. Closed Championships. Colonna took top spot.

She placed first in the highland fling, sword dance and Seann Truibhas. She came second in the reel competition.

Her wins garnered her the B.C. champion title.

The top three competitors from the B.C. Championships went on to represent the province during the ScotDance Canada Championship Series held in Winnipeg from July 6-10.

“It was pretty amazing. This was only my second year doing a B.C. Championship so I didn’t think that I would be a B.C. champion,” said Colonna. “So it was a very cool day.”

Colonna said there were high-calibre competitors at the event and many participants had good stamina and were very focused.

Colonna has been dancing for the past six years. She said compared to other dancers she joined relatively late. Many others have been dancing since childhood.

One thing she appreciates is the guidance of her instructor, Henry.

“I’m very grateful for such a great teacher,” said Colonna. “She puts in a lot of work.”

Brigadoon Dance Academy is currently taking registrations for upcoming classes. To register or for more information please e-mail briga

Canadian championship results include:

Canadian championship - Lam, 12 years and under 14 years, fourth, fling; Colonna, 16 years and under 18 years, fourth, sword; Beach, 21 years and over, sixth, Seann Triubhas.

Pre-championship - LaChance, premier 16 years, first, fling, first, Seann Triubhas, second, sword, fourth, strathspey, fourth, half tulloch, first, aggregate.

ScotDance Canada open championships - Lam, premier 12 years, fourth, fling, sixth, sword, sixth, Seann Triubhas, sixth, aggregate; Colonna, premier 17 years, second, Sean Triubhas, third, sword, third, strathspey, third, half tulloch, fifth, fling, third, aggregate; Beach, premier 21 years and over, fourth, sword, fourth, Seann Triubhas, fourth, strathspey, fourth, half tulloch, fourth, aggregate.