Amelia Marsh and Maya Sundstrom, two of Kathy White’s dancers, are heading to Virginia for a special highland dance event next week. (Submitted)

Pair of 11-year-old Cowichan highland dancers heading to Virginia for competition

Amelia Marsh and Maya Sundstrom are excited about the possibilities

Two Valley highland dancers are heading to Virginia for a scholarship event.

Amelia Marsh, 11, has been highland dancing with the Kathy White Island Highland Dance Academy in Duncan since she was just three years old. Her best friend Maya Sundstrom, also 11, joined her a year later. The pair have been dancing together since then, and have competed in both local and provincial competitions including those in Victoria, Port Hardy, Surrey and Kamloops.

Marsh has also travelled to California and Alberta for competitions, while Sundstrom headed over to Scotland with some of her fellow dancers for touring and competitions this past summer.

This year, both girls were selected to compete in the BATD (British Association of Teacher of Dancing) Sadie Simpson Highland Scholarships in the Juvenile category (under 12 years old).

This event takes place in Alexandria, Virginia from Sept. 27-30 and includes dancers from all over North America. To be invited the girls had to get honours on the Grade 3 highland theory exams (conducted in April), as well as be recommended by the judge presiding over the examinations.

The scholarship consists of a dance technique class, a written theory paper where the girls will demonstrate their technical knowledge, and a choreography component.

Their teacher, Kathy White, who runs her own Highland Dance Academy, has, in conjunction with the girls, arranged a solo performance for each of them, and they have been practising hard for the last several weeks.

White herself has been dancing for more than 40 years, since she was a toddler. During those years many of her dancers have been nominated for this event and she is delighted that Amelia and Maya have earned the honour this year.

“The girls have worked very hard to get to Virginia and I am very proud of them. All the other dancers and I are very supportive and wish them both good luck,” she said.

Sundstrom is looking forward to the weekend with her friend, saying, “I’m very excited to go as it’s a huge honour. I’m ready to challenge myself and represent the Academy the best I can.”

Marsh also can’t wait to get there, noting “I’m excited and nervous, but mostly excited to meet so many new dancers and compete against them. I’m also very happy to have my best friend along to share this with me.”

Both girls know this will be a big challenge for them, but it is an incredible opportunity and they will bring home memories that will last a lifetime. That they get to experience it together makes it even more special.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Amelia Marsh and Maya Sundstrom celebrate their invitations with teacher Kathy White. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Island Health says York Road only location available for Wellness and Recovery Centre

Health Authority claims no other suitable site available

Survey to gauge interest in connecting Cowichan to Nanaimo by bus

People can fill out the survey until Oct. 16.

Cowichan Valley family overwhelmed with 14 Lab puppies

Litter may be one of the biggest ever

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, Big Stick light up red to signal COVID devastation

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Most Read