Shot of Scotch Newsletter - October 2015

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October - 2015


Breaking in New Ghillies

So you’ve got yourself a new pair of ghillies and now what do you do? First off, don’t just shove your foot in and hope for the best! In order to make sure that the ghillie stretches the way you want, it is important to take your time and fit it correctly onto your foot. Break in time can vary greatly depending on the thickness of the leather and how far you have sized down.

1. Loosen laces so top will open up as far as possible.

2. Slide foot in so that only the toes and ball of foot are in the ghillie. Then smooth the ghillie around the toes and ball of foot until the front of the ghillie is where you want it to be. (I choose not to wear socks while breaking in a new pair. I don’t know whether or not this really makes a difference, but I feel like they mold better to my foot this way.)

3. Slip the back over your heel and tie ghillie with a medium tension. Don’t cut off your circulation, but it still needs to be tight enough that the leather will stretch. (When trying out a new ghillie style, this step is usually most telling for me, as far as sizing is concerned. If the heel slips on too easily, I probably should have sized down.)

4. I buy my ghillies pretty tight (I wear a street shoe size 7.5 and I usually order a 3.5) so the first time I put them on, I like to sit around and watch some TV or work (I may even do this two or three times) before I try walking around in them.

5. Then, I will wear them around the house until they have stretched enough that I can hop without hurting my toes, but they are still a bit tighter than I would like for a

6. I will practice in them once in front of the mirror to make sure they look the way I want them to. If by the end of practice I can hop comfortably and they have clean lines with a smooth fit, I will throw them into my ghillie rotation.

The lifecycle of a ghillie:

  1. National competitions
  2. Highland competitions
  3. Performances/ Workshops
  4. Practice/ Classes

Going in this order helps me to extend the life of my ghillies. The downside to this cycle is that you will have to buy new ghillies more often, rather than relying on the same pair until they die. However, if you are going to spend the money to enter a competition, you should compliment all the work you’ve done in class and at home by putting your best ghillied foot forward. Why bother working on those half points if your stretched out ghillies are just going to gobble them up when it counts?! Luckily, once they get down to Step 4, a pair that has been broken in nicely can stick around for a good long while. Happy ghillie stretching!

*Feature Story by Anna Fitzgerald, Performance Coordinator/Dancer Shot of Scotch NYC


SoS Vancouver World Premier Video Release
Behind the Scenes!

Shot of Scotch Vancouver has been hard at work creating a new video! We were fortunate to receive some great footage from Cameron Anderson from our summer performance at The Best of Razzmatap where we made our World Premier of “Blue Bonnets Pride” and “Highland Feet.” Two of the three pieces we performed at the show are part of a Body Music Suite that we’re working on and the third piece is an incredible broadsword choreography we commissioned from talented Vancouver choreographer Kate McRae.

In order to put the whole thing together, we added music from a recording we did this summer. We spent an entire day in the recording studio in August tracking our voices, fiddle, guitar, tap shoes and body percussion skills! Not only do we have a troupe of premier level highland dancers – many of which have won major dance awards, competed internationally and are registered teachers, but we have several incredible musicians in our ranks! We were very excited to record some traditional Scottish and ‪Canadian folk tunes for use on this video (and some upcoming projects!) The day started bright and early with “Farewell to Nova Scotia” with Emma playing fiddle and Susan on guitar and vocals. Making full use of the beautiful Creativ Recording & Multimedia Studios in North Vancouver, Susan got to test out the isolation booth – which looks a little like a sauna! Alison joined the session fun in the afternoon to add her beautiful voice to “All the Blue Bonnets Are Over the Border.” Perhaps the creative highlight of the day, was figuring out how to mic and record the body percussion and tap elements from our Blue Bonnets body music choreography. This was definitely not a typical recording day! Many special thanks go out to both Creativ Music Studios and to Mike Young who patiently and expertly guided us through the recording process, mixed, mastered and delivered the final results to us!

With stunning video footage and a dynamite audio track in hands, our Artistic Director Susan Nase got to work on the final video editing. We hope you enjoy the result!! We certainly enjoyed the creation process!!



October -
Tuesdays Only
7-8:30 pm
at DANY Studios for Intermediates

November -
Tuesday (adult/all levels welcome) 7-8:30 pm
Wednesday (adult/all levels welcome) 7-8pm

Thursday (adult/all levels welcome) 7-8pm

*Private Lessons for adults and children upon request

Monthly sign up required. Classes are available for every level of dance experience (no experience to Premier dancer).

Please em
ail: for all lesson inquiries.

Member Rehearsals:

Monday's 7-8pm Live Arts Studio in Manhattan. Accepting new members who have reached the premier level of dance.



Sundays 10:00-11:30 AM
Novice/Int/Premier Levels
(Minimum of 1 year dance experience required, must know Fling, Sword, Lilt, S. Trs.)

Sundays 11:30-1:00 PM
Absolute Beginner Level
(No dance experience necessary! Newcomers welcome!)

Broadway Ballroom (1050 West Broadway)

Fall Session #1
Sep 13, 20, 27, Oct 4, 18, 25,Nov 1
7 classes, $175, Max. 8 students

Fall Session #2
Nov 8, 15, 22, 29 & Dec 6, 13, 20
7 classes, $175, Max. 8 students

Member Rehearsals:

Wednesday evenings at the Scotia Bank Dance Theatre. Accepting new members who have reached the premier level of dance.
Quote of the month:
“So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”

T. S. Eliot

Follow New York!


Follow Vancouver!



Shot of Scotch New York!

Private Event - December 16th : International Advertising Association Winter Gala

Public Event - January 22-24: Scottish Weekend at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY

“The halls of the Mountain House echo with the sound of bagpipes, as the Mohonk grounds transform into the highlands of Scotland—join the celebration of all things Scottish. Our Scottish Weekend offers special performances and Scottish specialties at meals throughout the weekend!”

For reservations, please call 855-590-9829

Shot of Scotch Vancouver!

Public Event - November 3rd - SFU Diwali Gala

Public Event - November 7th - Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra Ceilidh, Highlands United Church North Vancouver 7:30 pm

Public Event - November 11th - Remembrance Day Performance with the RCMP "E" Division Pipes & Drums, Cloverdale Legion, Surrey ~1:00 pm

Private Event - November 20th - BC Multicultural Awards Event
Copyright Shot of Scotch 2015, All rights reserved.

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