Shot of Scotch

Injury Prevention: An interview with champion dancer and friend of Shot of Scotch NYC, Laura Donlan

Shot of Scotch was founded on the basis of love for Highland dance, by members incidentally holding careers in completely different fields, but focused on keeping our Scottish community thriving. Shot of Scotch co-founder, Kendra Monroe, recently had the opportunity to sit down with a renowned dancer in the Highland community that holds the same ideals - and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy! Laura (Donlan) Delamarter, an accomplished Premier Highland dancer from Baldwinsville, NY, began her career at the wee age of eight. She would later compete in championships across the United States, Canada, and even qualify for a highly coveted spot at the world championships at the prestigious Cowal Highland Gathering.

In our interview, Laura links her Highland and professional careers, and sheds light on how dancers can enjoy the art of dance well into adulthood.



KM: How did you decide to pursue your career as a Physical Therapist?

LD: When I was younger I had Achilles tendinitis and went to physical therapy for it. Physical therapy helped so much and got me back to dancing again and it was at that time I decided to I wanted to help other people continue to do what they love.


KM: How did you start Highland Dancing?

LD: My mom is a highland dance teacher and she taught at our house all the time. So I grew up watching dancers and decided that's what I wanted to do! There was a small group of highland dancers in Vermont where I grew up. It wasn't a very common activity- most people I met had no idea what highland dancing was.


KM: Did your childhood dancing career play a role in your chosen career path?

LD: It definitely did. Being involved in highland dancing has made me aware of proper stretching, warm-up and exercise techniques which is tied into physical therapy. Also experiencing physical therapy because of a dancing injury really opened my eyes to a great career path


KM: How has your profession helped your dancing and athletics?

LD: I have learned many different stretching techniques, soft tissue techniques and just general training methods because of physical therapy.


KM: What other physical activities do participate in?

LD: I have done some obstacle course races such as the Tough Mudder and have done some 5ks. I really enjoy being outside and being active, so kayaking and hiking is something I like to do also!


KM: Do you train any differently as an adult than you did as a younger competitor?

LD: There is a big difference between how I train now, compared to my younger days. I do more cross training now than I did when I was younger. I would dance almost everyday when I was young and now I dance three or four times a week and alternate with going to the gym. I have also learned how to practice smarter when I dance now.


KM: Do you feel training in general has changed since you were a young competitor?

LD: I think dancers and teachers are more aware of over training and how cross training is important to help with strength and injuries


KM: How do you best avoid injury? And what are your best injury prevention tips?

LD: One of the reasons I cross train now is to avoid over-use injuries which are very common with dancers. I also made sure to warm up properly and stretch after both practicing and competing. Rest days are very important also and I think many dancers don't take enough rest days.


KM: How do you overcome/treat your injuries?

LD: I have had a couple injuries this year- calf strain and a bad ankle sprain. I did some cross training and strengthening during this time because I couldn't dance. For a muscle strain rest is important along with stretching. I will admit I am not a very good patient and get impatient when I have injuries!


KM: What is your best piece(s) of advice to dancers (and athletes) that want to remain active throughout their adult life?

LD: Listen to your body- if you have an ache or pain don't ignore It and hope it will go away. Rest, ice, stretch. Whatever you need to do to keep healthy!


KM: What are your professional goals?

LD: I would love to specialize and treat more dancers because dancing is such a unique sport and many physical therapists don't understand it. I would also like to take more courses in sports and conditioning.


KM: What are your highland dancing goals?

LD: I love dancing and just want to keep improving my dancing. I would love to go back to Scotland again and dance at Cowal. As long as I still enjoy it and am still improving I will keep dancing :)


KM: Outside of performing, training, and competing, what other ways are you involved in the Highland Dance community?

LD: I have taught a few workshops for both dancing and cross training. I contribute different exercises to the eastern region newsletter. I am looking forward to being involved in the 2018 USIR.


KM: You obviously have a passion for Highland Dance.  How has it specifically enriched your life?

LD: I have had so many great travel experiences- too many to count, which has allowed me to see so much of this country and Scotland.  I have made some of my best friends through dancing as well. Dancing has given me more confidence, focus, determination and has given me so much happiness.


KM: What advice do you have for parents who would like their children to start Highland Dancing?

LD: I think highland dancing is a great sport to get your children involved in.  It's fun, can give you the opportunity to travel and make great friends. It helps kids learn self discipline, focus and helps with coordination as well. It really forces kids to use their heads too-lots of thinking is involved in learning new steps and improving technique.


KM: What advice do you have for an adult (of any age) who would like to learn to Highland Dance?

LD: I would say it's never too late to start dancing! Listen to your body and give yourself rest days and cross train. As we get older injuries are more common and take longer to recover from.


KM: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat, Laura! When can NYC expect to host you next and see your beautiful dancing?

LD: I will be at the tartan day parade in April! I participated a few years ago and it was a lot of fun- looking forward to it next year!


Old Barracks Museum, Fife & Drum Taptoe Concert Series

This Summer, Shot of Scotch NYC has the unique privilege of performing at the Fife & Drum Taptoe Concert Series held in the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton, NJ. Last night four of our dancers, Anna Fitzgerald, Annelise MacLeod, Emily Ritter and Marjorie Stewart performed a mixture of traditional Highland and National dances for a very enthusiastic crowd! 

A Taptoe is similar to the Tattoo style of military performance. Traditionally called a "doe den tap toe" Danish for "turn off the tap", a signal for bartenders to stop serving troops and send them back to the barracks! In the past the troops would march back to the barracks to the sound of drums. Naturally over the years this drum performance became more elaborate until we developed our modern day Taptoe. The Fife & Drum Taptoe will also be featuring Scottish musicians and fife and drum performances, set in the background of an 18th century military barracks! 

If you missed last nights performance then mark your calendars for our upcoming show on Friday August 7th at 7pm. We will be mixing up the set list this time so even if you saw our first show come on down for another great performance!  This time we will be joined on stage with dancers Elena Giacoletti, Katherine Giacoletti, and newest addition to Shot of Scotch, Trisha Bacon! We hope to see you at the show!

Tickets available at: 

Shot of Scotch Newsletter - June 2015

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June - 2015



The Highland Games Season of 2015 is in full swing and Shot of Scotch wants to make sure you can be a part of it all! It's our favourite time of year that is for sure. And while Shot of Scotch won't be at every one, many of our dancers will be attending to compete!

What are Highland Games?

It is a great gathering of Scots from Scotland or abroad to celebrate all things Scottish! Amongst the food, beer, and booths are three main events; Pipes & Drums - solo and band competitions (often called a pipers glen), Heavy Weight events, and Highland Dancing. Anyone and everyone is welcome!

Check out the schedule of events in and around Vancouver and New York. Maybe we will see you there!

Bellingham Highland Games 2015

Shot of Scotch New York

Bonnie' Kilts
Bonnie Heather Greene
, a kilt maker (and one of our adult highland dance students), hand crafted our costumes for a choreography piece we performed at the Brooklyn Ballet in May 201
5.  The choreography, she, was danced to the music Gaol Ise Gaol by Kathleen MacInnes. It told the story of three strong Scottish women using the footwork of traditional highland dance, but we also gave it a very modern edge through costuming and staging.

Made out of the official New York City Tartan, Bonnie created a modern take on a traditional kilt. Having a strong knowledge of what highland dance is, and flow of the fabric we need, she has become our go-to kilt maker and tailor.  We knew after having many alterations to our traditional kilts, Bonnie was the one to pull off these mini kilts.

Brooklyn Ballet, 2015

Shot of Scotch Vancouver

Bhangra Highland Fusion
We had the great privilege to collaborate on stage with the Royal Academy of Bhangra Saturday June 6th at the City of Bhangra Festival hosted by VIBC. It was right in the heart of downtown at the Vancouver Art Gallery and we had such a great time performing along side the many other dancers and musicians that night.

We created a "Bhangra Highland Fusion" with the Royal Academy by trading some traditional steps. It was fun learning how to bust some Bhangra moves while we taught them how to do an 8 person "mega" reel!

Special thanks goes out to all the Dancers who came out to learn, practice, and perform such a special dance! It's lovely and challenging, and we can't wait to show it off again!

Make sure to check out the video of the performance!

VIBC City of Bhangra



(advanced adult class) 7-8:30 pm  
Wednesday (beginner adult) 7-8 pm

Wednesday Only (adult/all levels welcome) 7-8pm

"Summer Break"  no classes

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

Member Rehearsals: 

Friday evenings 6:30-7:30pm at Champion Studios
Accepting new members who have reached the premier level of dance.

Sign up here!


Sundays 10:00-11:30 AM 

Adv. Beginner level (Fling, Sword, Lilt, S. Trs.)
Broadway Ballroom (1050 West Broadway)
Spring/Summer Session #3 - June 14, 21, 28, & July 5

Member Rehearsals: 

Wednesday evenings 8:00-9:30pm at Scotia Bank Dance Theatre.
Accepting new members who have reached the premier level of dance.

Sign up here!
Quote of the month:
“When life gets you down, improvise as if crawling was part of the choreography.”

Follow New York!


Follow Vancouver!



Shot of Scotch New York!

July 11th - Grandfather Mountain Highland Games - All Day
August 22nd - Long Island Scottish Festival- 8am - 5pm

Shot of Scotch Vancouver!

June 20 - BC Highland Games - All Day
June 27 - The Best of Razzmatap - 7pm
Copyright Shot of Scotch 2015, All rights reserved.

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New York Military Tattoo 2015!

The 2015 New York Military Tattoo was a huge success! Shot of Scotch NYC was so incredibly privileged to dance two original choreographies in three separate shows this year! The choreographies were put together by former Highland Dancing World Champion, Rachel McLagan! Rachel and her dancers from Scotland's own Flings and Things along with the Celtic Cross Dancers from Canada joined us in this once in a lifetime event!

We also wanted to thank the ever talented and ambitious director of the event, Mr. Magnus Orr! This is your vision Magnus and we are so proud to be a part of it! Until next year! Slainte!