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Highland Dance competition in Pictou this weekend

Annika Murray, Lauren Hiltz and Beth McNeill are premier dancers competing both Saturday and Sunday in competitions in Pictou County.
Annika Murray, Lauren Hiltz and Beth McNeill are premier dancers competing both Saturday and Sunday in competitions in Pictou County. - Submitted

Members of the Pictou County Highland Dance Association will be hosting the 4th Annual Ship Hector Scottish Heritage Championship and the 40th Annual Debbie Robson Memorial Competition this weekend.

The event, which is growing each year, has 233 registrants, with dancers coming from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, Quebec and Ontario. The judges are all from Ontario.

The Ship Hector Championship starts at 9 a.m. and features the Highland dances - the Fling, Sword, Seann Triubhas and Reel. Only premier dancers compete in the championship, with those under 14 dancing in the morning and those 14 and older dancing in the afternoon, The afternoon portion begins at 12:30 p.m. and awards will be presented at approximately 3:30 p.m.

The Debbie Robson Robson Memorial features the intermediate and premier level dancers in the morning and the primary, beginner and novice dancers in the afternoon. The intermediates will dance the Fling, Seann Triubhas, Highland Laddie and Barracks, and the premiers will dance the Village Maid, Flora, Earl of Errol and Scotch Measure. Both intermediates and premiers will finish off the morning by competing in a special event - Jeanna's Jig. The primary dancers will compete in the Pas de Bas, Pas de Bas & Highcuts, Fling and Sword. Beginner and novice dancers will dance the Lilt, Fling, Sword and Seann Triubhas. The morning competition starts at 8 a.m. and the afternoon at 12:30 p.m..

Jeanna's Jig is held in memory of Jeanna English, an accomplished Highland dancer from Pictou who passed away in October 2015 at the age of 13. Debbie Robson was a well known Highland dance teacher from Stellarton who was tragically killed in a car accident in July 1978.

The competitions will take place at the McCulloch Education Centre in Pictou and are open to the general public. People are invited to come out and watch a great weekend of competitive dancing. There is a $5 admission fee and a canteen on site selling snacks and drinks.

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