Adult Highland Student Spotlight: Meet Laura!

Name: Laura

“Real life” ID: Engineering Project Manager

Dancing for: 15+ years

Q: Did you dance as a child or teenager?

A: Yes - I started dancing when I was 4 and danced almost every week until I left home at 17! I was never a competitive dancer, I always just danced for the love of it.

Q: What made you want to sign up for highland dance lessons as an adult?

A: I LOVE TO DANCE!!! I always have. It's a great form of exercise, it helps me to de-stress and switch off, and I hoped it would help me meet some new people when I moved to Vancouver... It did!

Q: Has the experience been what you expected it to be? Why?

A: Yes and No. Dancing is as fun and challenging as it ever was! There is a stronger focus on warming up and cooling down than I'm used to though, as well as working on strengthening and taking care of our bodies - but as I'm 10 years older now, I very much appreciate being able to walk the day after a class. :)

Q: What is your favourite highland dance and why?

A: As much as I complain about it, I love the sword dance. It is technically intricate, and a real test of physical and mental strength. I'm always so proud of myself when I get to the end!

Q: Do you have Scottish/Celtic roots in your family? Is that important to you?

A: I'm born and raised in Aberdeenshire where my family still live. I'm the only Scot, although my brothers are adopted Scots :) We even made our own Hampson tartan back in 2007 which is in the tartan register and I own one of the 5 handmade kilts in the world made from that tartan!

Q: What are your goals/plans for highland dancing?

A: Keep improving and having fun!!! I'm getting fitter and stronger all the time, and over the past year have improved dramatically in terms of my technique. I love when I've been working on something, try it out in a dance and then Susan notices! It always makes me feel proud.

Q: Any other thoughts to add?

A: Highland may seem like a slightly odd style of dancing to some people... it's demanding on so many levels, and we are always striving to be the best we can be. There are war dances, show dances and dances that tell stories, and each of the dances is steeped in history and has a cultural significance. I love that I am able to keep this history alive and gain so much enjoyment at the same time!