Elspeth’s Final Dance Class

Yesterday was Elspeth’s last Highland class.  Now, will it be her final class ever or simply of the spring?  We will revisit that  in the fall.  That said, Elspeth loves her teacher Miss Nancy and what is not to love about a teacher who gets it and knows that dance class is as much about making friends and having fun as it is about learning to dance….at least when you are starting out.  Elspeth has not yet mastered the art of hopping SOOO the actual dancing is highly amusing.  She has tried hard and looks adorable doing it; smiling the whole time.

:Stretching at the beginning of the class.

“Okay Miss Nancy.  I am ready to go.  Can you see my nice pizza feet (aka first position)?  And how about my nice meatball hands (aka first position)?  You can start the music anytime.”

This was the funniest part of the class.  All of the girls were lined up at the barre so that they would have support while standing on one foot trying to shed.  Elspeth was the only one almost hanging from the barre.

Thank you Miss Nancy for a most excellent introduction to Highland Dance.  Even if the wee one can’t actually dance yet.  She had a blast trying.



Someone is trying out Highland Dance

Yep, it is that time again.  The time to try and convince a child that Highland Dance is the best kind of dance ever invented and on top of that, it is obviously the most fun choice of extra curricular.  If that fails, at least Elspeth will now be able to claim that she took dance lessons like mom, grandma and Great Grandpa…and look cute doing it.

Happy Robbie Burns Day

As usual, we went up to my parents this past weekend to celebrate Burns’ birthday.  Highlights:


1.Elspeth likes haggis. (ugh) So does Glenn but Katrine is wise and refuses to touch the stuff. 🙂

2. Both girls danced.  Unfortunately there were technical issues so we have neither photos or video of them.  Katrine did two dances and was awesome.  I have worked with Elspeth on a little routine of basic moves and between that and her overall cuteness she got some cheers and left the floor with a big smile on her face.

3. This year I managed to find Burns colouring pages and I doubt that he ever looked quite so…interesting.  Elspeth even gave him an extra ear complete with an earring.

I will end with a family photo.

The last dance competition

Yes, the title says it all.  Katrine’s Highland Dance career drew to a close this past weekend.  She really wants to make a go of figure skating and with an increased level of commitment and focus on that, there will be little or no time left for dance so it had to go.  I am sad because dance has always been my passion.  I even danced at Embro with her one year….well tried to as that was the Canada Day where I managed to break a toe while dancing and more or less end my own career.  As I said, it is my passion not hers.  Rightly so, she is leaving to follow her heart and we are commited to being there supporting her.  I am still sad though.

Katrine has been blessed with a great dance teachers who helped her learn and grow.  To her it was a physical challenge but more importantly fun and interesting.  This past birthday Katrine did not ask for presents.  Instead, she asked that we give her money towards Highland Dance camp, even though she knew that she would not be dancing in the fall.  All because her teacher made it fun and she dances with an awesome group of girls.  I know that at eight she doesn’t really grasp that she won’t really spend time with her dance friends now that she is not dancing; but as parents we know that she has been truly blessed to have danced with this group of girls.

Katrine started dancing fall of 2007 and did her first competition the following summer in June.  She was always jumping and bouncing so it seemed like the perfect fit.

Last summer she left the goodie bags and medals of Primary behind and moved into Beginners.  More competitions, more dances, more prizes followed.  As you know, she has finished Beginners with a bang this summer winning trophies in her last three Beginners competitions.  This past weekend was not only her final competition, it was also her first competition as a Novice dancer.  She brought home her first medal as a Novice taking 5th in the Reel.

Dance competitions have not been all work though.  After the dancing and awards are done, we normally explore.  As this was to be our last for a while, we tried to take in everything.  The bands, heavy events, kids area, clan booths and I got my final can of Iron Bru (ahh, memories of childhood visits to my grandma).

So this is the last dance update ever?  No.  Katrine has already commited to doing another Robbie Burns night show.  Meaning, that you can look forward to one more group of photos in January but other than that, we are done. Sigh, bring on the ice rinks!


We went, she danced, she trophied!

Another weekend, another dance competition.  LOVE them!  The sun, the pipes, the dancing and this time even sheep (much to Elspeth’s delight).  Then throw in some dance friends and a picnic lunch and it makes for an enjoyable day.

Katrine danced well today.  As a result, she took home a first, second, third and the trophy for her group.  If you look closely at the photo of her with her trophy you will notice that it looks like she is in tears.  Well, she is.  If we go to another comptetion this summer, it will likely be her last as a Beginner.  The next time she will have moved up to the next level and the thought of moving scares her.  Why? Because she is scared that she is not good enough to win a trophy there.  Made for an interesting heart to heart talk tonight at bed time about how winning is not the be-all end-all but merely the icing on the cake.  The real prize is in trying your best and doing a good job.  Did it sink in?  Who knows, it is not like this is the first version of this conversation that we have had.  We were proud of her though because she actually danced well today.

Elspeth?  Well, as you can see she made a new friend and they played iphone together.  Later she broke out the stickers. 🙂

And now what you have all been dying to see…my hair.  It did not turn out as pink as I had hoped but here it is in it’s new pinkness.  I know, out of character for me but it is only semi-permanent and I just wanted to do something fun that was only for me.




A fabu-tropious day at Georgina!

What a way to start our summer competitive season.  I will let the photos tell the story but it was a great day.  Sunny and warm but with ample shade and a slight breeze to make it comfortable.  A wonderful group from Katrine’s dance school as well as my parents.  Then an ice cold Iron Bru to round out the day (gotta have at least one over the course of the summer to bring back the memories of Scotland).

If you look closely you can see my dad's new moustache. In 38 years I have never seen him with one. Kinda cute.


The girls put Grandma to work. That is what they are for isn't it?

How did Elspeth like it all?  She seemed to enjoy watching Katrine dance but I think that her favourite part was watching the mass bands during the opening ceremonies.  Could we have another Scot at heart on our hands?  Must be the effect of celtic name.

This is one way that Elspeth filled her time today.


Oh ya, there was also some dancing done….

which resulted in 3 firsts and a third as well as Katrine’s first overall trophy for the Beginner’s 9 and under group.  She is pretty proud that all of her hard work paid off and she finally won a coveted trophy.  The fact that it is taller than any of the overall trophies (of which there is a grand total of 5 from 30ish years of dancing) that mommy won was icing on the cake.


Dance exams a success!

Katrine did what might be her last set of Highland Dance exams on Friday.  She managed to pass both her Nationals and Highland exams with the highest possible award.  Very proud of her.  Now if she can apply the same amount of focus to practicing for her competitions this summer it should be interesting.

March Break

Let’s start with an Elspeth-ism.  See if you can guess what she is saying?  I will give you a clue, it is something you eat: “hambagung” Have you figured it out?  That is how she says hamburger.  Too cute.

Hope that everyone has been enjoying our early burst of spring.  The bulbs infront of our house are up so here is hoping that if it decides to snow again that it is just a flurry.  We took full advantage of the weather this week after being cooped up inside the house for so long due to illness.

We visited the zoo and this time Elspeth actually enjoyed it.  On our previous visits, she was very over whelmed by the crowds and insisted on being carried or riding in the stroller.  This week our little girl tried to walk the whole time with her sister.  She also got right up to the glass.  We saw the bears, orangutans and tree kangaroo being very active and she was more interested than scared.  I have to say that I love going to the zoo at March Break.  Yes, you get camps and daycares but there is always something for the kids to do when you need a break from looking at the animals.  This year there was a whole interactive section on bats.  The girls made adorable bat clips.  Then while Elspeth coloured, Katrine had a chance to actually talk with a keeper about bats.  I think that she discovered that she shared the same wing span as a type of brown bat.

Tree kangaroo. Taken by Katrine

Another morning was spent exploring a section of the Oak Ridges trail.  It was a nice day and a friend invited us so we tagged along.  What a lovely trail.  We spent about 2 1/2 hours walking in the sunshine, breaking the ice on the edge of the pond and splashing in puddles.  Did Elspeth last that long?  No, but her stamina is building every day.  I figure that I carried her for about 45 minutes out of the walk so she did quite well.  We left refreshed and then spent the whole afternoon outside playing with friends.  Elspeth is getting good at peddling her trike….when going downhill!  Oh, and as you can see, sometimes she even comvinces her sister for a ride.

One afternoon Katrine attended a skating workshop out in Scarboro.  She had the chance to skate with Marina Zoueva who is Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir’s coach.  It was an awesome workshop which challenged her to think about the artistic side of her sport.  Did she enjoy it?  Yes and no.  She loved the workshop itself and the things that they worked on on-ice, but she was sad that none of her friends went.  That can sometimes be a very big thing to a 7 year old; even one as outgoing as Katrine.

Stopped at the mall one day. The girls loved the bear mowing the store.

Then there were the playdates.  I am so glad that we were able to schedule these.  Katrine has missed so much school in the last few weeks.  As much as she loves us all, spending countless hours at home is not the same as being with friends.  It was nice to see her just having fun again.

Elspeth really loves her sheep. It has been everywhere with her this week.

Today both girls got some one on one time with a parent to wrap up the break.  Glenn took Elspeth to the Home Show while I took Katrine to a dance competition. According to Glenn, the highlight of the show for Elspeth was the giant mushroom shaped water fountain.  She came home with a sleepy smile on her face, so she must have had fun with her Baba.  We registered Katrine in the dance competition back in January.  With how ill she was,we were not expecting anything from her (I mean, she only practised one week out of the last 5).  Boy were we pleasantly surprised.  She got through all of the dances and walked away with three medals and another stamp.  Only three more stamps and she is out of Beginners.  Dance exams in May and no more dance competitions until June.

A 3rd, 4th and 5th and a proud little girl.

This week?  Back to the regular schedule of dance and school. Highlights look to be Elspeth’s weigh in at the doctor’s tomorrow (fingers crossed that we are still in the third percentile) and then the Sweetwater festival this weekend. Wishing all of you a nice week.


Weekend Competition #2: Dance

A great morning.  My mom and dad were able to come down to watch Katrine which she was thrilled about.  Again she put in focus and effort, coming home with four medals between 4th and 6th.  The biggest surprise is that she pulled a medal in the reel.  Today was the first time that she did the reel in competition.  Plus, she had the dreeded inside spot (dreeded because you not only have to dance around three other dancers, but change spots through out the dance).  All things considered, she did remarkably well in it.  Didn’t knock anyone over.  Ended up in the right spot.  She was really proud of herself.