Jerzy and Cambree Rigaux pose at a competition in Winnipeg in April. Jerzy won the beginner category. (SUBMITTED)
Rowan Balchen of Dauphin has won a host of medals and trophies in Highland dancing over the past eight months. (SUBMITTED)
Three dancers from the McHarg School of Dance will soon be heading to Edmonton to take part in an international competition.
Nearly 1,200 dancers from every Canadian province, plus New Zealand, United States and Scotland, will compete in the ScotDance Canada Championship Series 2012.
This event, which takes place July 11-15, hosts multiple competitions, ranging from two primary competitions (for dancers ages four to six) to the Canadian Championship, where six dancers will be awarded the title of Canadian Champion in their respective premier level age categories.
SDCCS is an annual event, which alternates venues every year. Last year, it was in Nova Scotia and next year it will be held in Montreal. In 2016, the event will be hosted by Manitoba at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.
Cambree Rigaux (age four), Jerzy Rigaux (age nine) and Rowan Balchen (age 11) will be accompanying approximately 50 other dancers from Manitoba who will be travelling to Edmonton.
Balchen, from Dauphin, will be competing in the intermediate category; next year she will be in the premier category — the highest competitive category in highland dancing.
She’s been dancing competitively for three years and has won numerous aggregate trophies and countless medals at competitions in Winnipeg, Selkirk, Brandon, Regina, Moose Jaw and Saskatoon.
Balchen attended SDCCS 2010 in Saskatoon and won first for her Highland Fling in the beginner category as well as two sixth placings and an eighth place. She was second overall in her class.
For the Rigaux sisters from Brandon, this will be their first time attending the Canadian championship.
They’ve only been dancing for just under a year and this is only their fourth competition.
However, both have already made great strides in their dancing. Jerzy has already won an aggregate award in one competition and pulled a close second overall at another. She’ll compete in the beginner category at SDCCS, while Cambree will compete in the primary category.
No highland dancer from Brandon or Westman area has ever attended SDCCS before, with the exception of dance school owner and instructor Shona McHarg.
She competed in 2004 Winnipeg, 2006 Calgary, 2007 Saint John, 2008 Victoria, 2009 Toronto and 2010 Saskatoon.
McHarg is excited to have her young students competing in this year’s event.
"This helps put Brandon on the highland dance map," she said. "Hopefully the girls will dance their best and show off their exceptional talent!"
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 2, 2012