The 48th TAC Summer School will be held from

 July 26 - August 2, 2020 at

Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Join us in Calgary and enjoy Scottish Country dancing and dances from these world-class teachers:
 Ron Wallace,
California, USA    Janet Johnston, Scotland,
Barbara Johnston, Alberta, Canada     Alan Twhigg, California, USA
 
   

  Dance Teachers - Summer School 2020

Ron Wallace, California, USA

 

 

Some of my earliest memories include watching my parents performing Scottish dance at a Burns Night celebration in Mapleton, Minnesota, where my mother grew up. The organization was started by her uncle and over the years twelve of my relatives were involved. Many of the Scots who settled this area arrived before the SCDS was formed. Their dance style hadn’t evolved with the times as it did in Scotland. For example, dance pumps as we know them today were worn for performance, but not social dancing.

This was a very fertile ground to “grow up with it” and produced dreams of teaching it. When my parents bought a restaurant and my mother couldn’t continue teaching, I had the opportunity to take over. So, at a very early age, that’s exactly what I did. 51 years later I reflect on how little I knew then and how little I know now! The more I learn, the more I want to know.

In 1981, teaching Scottish dance and music became a full-time endeavor with classes in highland, step dance, Cape Breton step, country dance, and piping. Teaching these forms has taken me around the world and provided many an adventure. What better life than to share traditions old and new with all who love to dance!

 

Janet Johnston, Stirling, Scotland

 

   

Janet Johnston was brought up in West Fife, Scotland and learned both Highland and Scottish Country Dancing as a child. She first attended RSCDS Summer School, St Andrews in 1984 and studied for her Preliminary Certificate. Janet attended annually for many years, gained her Teacher’s Certificate two years later and was introduced to Ladies Step dancing. She has taught a variety of classes there over the years and has been Depute Director several times.

Away from Summer School Janet shares the teaching of the Ochil Scottish Country Dance Club in Stirling. She has taught widely within the UK and has traveled to Europe, Australia, the USA, and Canada. Apart from teaching Janet also adjudicates at SCD festivals. Working around these activities is her day job in the Renal Unit, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh.

Barbara Johnston, Edmonton, Canada

 

   

I was born in the Border City of Carlisle, England and attended ballet, tap, Jazz, and SCD starting at age four with teacher Kathleen Rooney and pianist Nancy Dixon. I participated yearly in dance festivals throughout the Borders, often adjudicated by Miss Milligan.

In my late teens, I gave up weekly classes but still attended SCD functions with my mother; those were the days of packed ballrooms, flowing ball gowns, and long-sleeved gloves which I continue to wear.

After entering the nursing profession, I met and married into another strong Border family, the Johnstons. After moving to Canada in 1981, I concentrated on raising our family. In 1987, when by chance I attended a children’s Christmas party, my love for the music and dance was stirred by the demonstration team of Edmonton Caledonian Branch, of which I became a member. Those early years of technique drill made dancing fun!  With the children grown, I was encouraged to take my teaching certificate under the caring, watchful guidance of Ron Wallace. I completed my preliminary certificate at the TAC Candidate Course in Vancouver 1998, and then took the Full certificate course in Waterloo in 2000 with my former examiner, Mary Brandon.

Since 1998 I have been teaching adults of all levels and abilities, including our performance team, as well as children and youth classes weekly. This season I started an afternoon class which has proved to be very popular.

Just for good measure, and to keep me humble, I took up teaching an Old-Time dance class which allows me to sneak in some Scottish dances and music.

Paying forward to those who have helped me on my dance journey I served as the TAC Corresponding Secretary for 6 years and have sat in many board positions for the Edmonton Branch.

I’ve had the honor and delight to guest teach throughout Canada, N.W.T and the USA. I look forward to sharing my love for dance, music and having some fun with you.

 

Alan Twhigg, California, USA

 

   

With Scottish heritage on both sides of his family, Alan developed a love for the traditional music at an early age. His parents danced with the Reel & Strathspey Club that preceded the formation of the San Francisco Branch of the RSCDS and often took him to Highland Games and pipe-band concerts as a child.

Alan discovered Scottish Country Dancing as a college student, amongst other dance forms such as ballroom and international folk. The music resonated with some early memories, and the intricate patterns of SCD stood out from the other styles. He soon sought out a weekly class, then two…

Alan passed both of the RSCDS teaching exams at St. Andrews in the 1980s and has been teaching regular weekly classes at various levels ever since. He has served as a guest instructor at weekend workshops across North America and tutored candidates for teaching exams. He also continues to participate in SCD performances, chiefly with the Red Thistle Dancers. Favorite memories include choreographing and performing a sword dance for the San Francisco Opera as well as teaching and performing in Norway, the Czech Republic, and Russia.

To support his dance hobbies, Alan makes his living as a technical writer/editor in the computer industry. He shares a townhouse with two cats and too many books. Recent projects include expanding the audience for SCD among the international folk dance and contra dance communities.

“SCD is a great activity for keeping body and mind engaged, for sociability, and for responding physically to the wealth and variety of music in the Scottish tradition. It has helped me connect with diverse people across the world and led to experiences and long-term friendships I never expected.”