Lewis Highland Dance Society would like to say a Massive Thank You to all their Supporters
16 December 2011
First and foremost the would like
to extend their sincere thanks to those based in Lewis who
supported so generously the society's fundraising efforts to allow
the Society to perform at Disneyland, Paris. Right from the start
the whole experience has been a huge community effort from
fundraising, to the music, a selection of traditional Scottish
tunes, including 'Make your way to Stornoway,' which were mixed by
Russell Simpson, local secondary teacher and DJ, to Janet
Macdonald, who made the fantastic outfits.
Generous donations by local
businesses, including raffle prizes and generous cheques were all
very gratefully appreciated. All funds raised were contributed
solely to the girls and without the local support they would have
struggled to have had the opportunity of a lifetime in Disneyland
Paris at the first International Gathering of Scottish Highland
Secondly our sincere appreciation
to the parents who organised many events from April to fund-raise
for the trip in November. £11,292.73 was raised in that short time.
We held soup and sandwich lunches, raffles, bag-packing in the
supermarkets, bingo nights and ceilidhs.
We came together and worked as a
great team, giving up hours of time to give the dancers, aged from
8 to 14 years (plus one ole yin) this fantastic experience.
Lastly, huge appreciation to Lynn
Maclean for her hard work in choreographing the showcase piece and
for preparing the girls for an experience on stage they will never
We would all like to commend the
girls on their hard work and dedication undertaking many hours of
practice, and for 'bringing it' on the day, performing a fabulous
routine to make any Leodhasach proud. The dancers would like to
thank all the other dancers from the society, who may not have been
able to join them in Disney itself, but helped out in all the
fundraising efforts. Thank you.
Billy Forsyth, MBE, organiser of
the event was full of praise for our dancers. He commended the
girls on their discipline and professionalism; commented on their
staging in the way they organised themselves on stage and kept
their lines, filling the whole stage; commended them for being one
of the few teams to have all dancers on stage for the full allotted
time (10mins), especially as some of the girls were so young; and
last but by no means least, commented on showcasing the use of
traditional, local materials with our Harris Tweed waistcoats.
The weekend itself:
We all left Lewis on Thursday 10th
November at 7am, excited about the opportunity ahead. Megan
Crawford and Claire Wilson represented the school at the Opening
Ceremony with enthusiastic applause. The two girls performed with
two representatives from each of the twenty four schools from
across Scotland, Alberta and Moscow with Megan being lucky enough
to dance with the famous Mickey Mouse himself! The eleven girls
then prepared for their Showcase spot. Once completed they were
presented with special commemorative medals in the shape of
Mickey's face, by Rhona Lawrence. Shortly after that performance
the girls took part in a special Disney workshop led by Disney
professionals, which offered the girls another dance form, which
they thoroughly enjoyed. Again it was commented on how
professionally they presented themselves in their purple uniform
t-shirts with the school's logo. In the evening, the thirty four
strong team gathered all their energy and attended the finishing
festival ceilidh. The girls, although tired, joined all the other
teams and Donald Duck dancing away until the park closed!
The following day as the girls
walked through the park to take part in Disneyland's Main Street
Parade in their kilts, they were stopped often to have their photos
taken with the tourists. It was described, 'as a tartan carpet
constantly moving and changing...down the full length of the
street,' consisting of 350-400 dancers. Teachers from across
Scotland commented on how they had never seen anything like it.
Everyone was extremely proud of all the dancers who took part, not
just their own team. The Disney Artistic Director, who is
responsible for all the shows and parades at Disneyland, and her
colleague, who is responsible for all the Cultural Development
programmes were 'mega-impressed' by the pre-parade and said it was
'one of the best rehearsed and performed pre-parade they had ever
had, and it had drawn more visitors than any other they had put
The girls then had some time to
eventually enjoy the Disneyland Park and all it had to offer. The
girls had lunch at Cafe Mickey, where young and old members of the
team delighted in meeting the array of Disney characters who had
come to join them. They rode every ride possible, some frightening
themselves for life!
On Monday the adventure was nearly
over, just the long haul back to Lewis. On the ferry home, our
Piping Dad, Peter, struck up the pipes to enthusiastically end the
trip and welcome us back to Lewis, with the parents showcasing what
they had learnt from their fabulous dancing daughters! Everyone is
extremely proud of the girls.
The Lewis Highland Dancing Society
would like to refer you to You Tube and their facebook page for
more photos and footage of the fantastic event.
Some of the girls were also
interviewed by BBC Alba and Radio nan Gael, which will be aired on
television on the 23rd December on De a Nis at 6pm and on the radio
on the 16th December at approximately 4pm.
ONCE AGAIN, THANK YOU
FOR THE OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FROM ALL THOSE GENEROUS AND KIND
PEOPLE IN LEWIS!