Cowal Highland Gathering
spectator website news photo gallery sponsorship patrons contact links
Home Junior Athletics


Cowal Highland Gathering are currently finalising the judging panel of the highland dancing champsionships at this year’s Cowal Gathering. The panel will be announced here very shortly so please check back.

We are most grateful to the various dancing organisations who have aided us greatly in the selection process, these are:

A.B.H.D I. - Australia

ScotDance Canada - Canada

F.U.S.T.A - U.S.A

B.A.T.D. - U.K.

S.D.T.A - Scotland

U.K.A. - U.K.

Mary Margaret ManifoldMary Margaret Manifold
Position: Highland Dancing Judge
Mary Margaret Manifold is a Fellow and Examiner in the Highland and Scottish National Branches of the B.A.T.D. and was the Regional Secretary for 10+ years of the British Columbia and Northwest States Region.
She has judged many Championships and competitions within Canada, in USA and in Australia.

Mary Margaret had a very successful career as a Highland Dancer and now runs a successful Highland Dance School in Port Moody, BC. Her pupils have won Local, Provincial, National and International championships. Four of those dancers have qualified and two have placed in the top six in World Championships.
Mary Margaret is very pleased to be judging the Cowal Highland Gathering this year.
Elizabeth SmithElizabeth Smith
Position: Highland Dancing Judge
Elizabeth started dancing at the age of 4. She started competing at the age of 9. She competed regularly at competitions and Highland Games all over Scotland and enjoyed a successful competitive career for 16 years. She was trained by Wilma Tolmie and then May Falconer. She is proud to have twice been placed 3rd in Cowal Junior Championship.

She taught Highland dancing for a number of years. Her pupils competed successfully winning competitions and championships.

Elizabeth is a member of the UKA and a life member of the SDTA. She became a member of the SOBHD Worldwide Judges Panel in 1974 and has adjudicated at many competitions and championships.

Elizabeth is looking forward to being part of the Cowal judging panel this year.
Leona MacDonaldLeona MacDonald
Position: Highland Dancing Judge
I have been dancing since the age of two, initially studying Ballet and Tap at the Rena Eaglesham Dance School, passing the entrance examination to the Royal Academy of Dance.
I danced Highland with the Caberfeidh School of Dancing from 1975 until 1980 when I continued training with the Marion Clow School.
I competed successfully, often competing at Championship levels. I qualified as an Associate of the B.A.T.D. in December 1987 and then commenced my own dance school.
The dance school is still going strong having produced Champions and several championship level dancers as well as taking students to all professional levels.
The school allows students to train in a variety of branches of dance, I specialise in Highland as this is my first love.

I also enjoyed being Vice Chairperson for the S E & N Region of the BATD as well as part of the Junior Highland Forum.
I recently became Chairperson of the Scottish North Region of the BATD.

I am a mother of three and also work as Senior Administrator for White and McGinn Architects in Inverness.

Linda RankinLinda Rankin
Position: Highland Dancing Judge
Linda has been involved in Highland Dancing for many years and had the honour of being taught and mentored by the prestigious Miss Elspeth Strathern.
During her competitive career, she won all major British championship titles. Her ultimate success was achieved when she won the World Championship title three times, Junior in 1973 and Adult in 1975 and 1977. Linda was also a multiple winner of the SOBHD Adult Oscar Award and ran her own dancing schools in Glasgow and in Beith.

In the interests of Highland Dancing, Linda has travelled extensively worldwide competing, lecturing, judging and examining. She is a Member of the BATD, Fellow and Examiner of the SDTA and is a member of the SOBHD World Wide Adjudicators’ Panel. Linda is currently Vice President of the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing. Linda was Scotdance Canada’s Head Delegate to the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing for many years and was made an Honorary Member of Scotdance Canada in 2010.
Yvonne WylieYvonne Wylie
Position: Highland Dancing Judge
Yvonne started dancing at a relatively late age – she was 10 years old when she put on her first kilt but rose rapidly through the competitive ranks.
She won several Championships and became a regular in the Cowal Highland Dancing line-up. Unfortunately her career as a dancer was cut short through injury that eventually required surgery.

A Member of the SDTA for nearly thirty years, she has lectured on their behalf both at home and abroad. She taught highland dance for a short period of time but the demands of her ‘day job’ and a growing family soon made this difficult.
In 1991, she passed the SOBHD adjudicators exam and has judged throughout the United Kingdom and abroad. She has been fortunate to adjudicate at the World Championships on several occasions.
 Joe Simpson
Position: Highland Dancing Judge
Joe Started highland dancing at the age of 10 years with the Jessiman School of Huntly.
He had a very successful and enjoyable career competing at highland games, competitions and championships for over 20 years. One highlight was winning the Scottish Boys Championship 3 years in succession, coming runner up in the Worlds Junior and placing 3rd in the Adult World Championships.
He is currently a Fellow, Life Member and Examiner with the U.K.A.

He is honoured and delighted to once again be part of the judging panel at Cowal and is looking forward to some excellent dancing. Good luck to all the dancers.
 Bill Weaver
Position: Highland Dancing Judge
Bill has a small successful highland dance school he runs with his wife, Liz, in St. Louis, Michigan. Bill is a pioneer of long distance teaching with many of his students living in other parts of the U.S. and Canada and Australia. His students have won most major championships including the U.S. Inter-Regional Championship, the Canadian Inter-Provincial Championship and the Adult World Championship. In addition to their dancer’s success, Bill has created bonds with many of his former dancers and remain an influential role model and person in their lives. Many of his studentshave gone on to become successful teachers and judges themselves, often crediting Bill for their continued success.

Bill is a member of the S.O.B.H.D Worldwide Judges Panel since 1976, is a life member of the B.A.T.D. in both Highland and National dances, and an Examiner for the U.K.A. Bill has judged at most major competitions and Championships in the U.S., Canada, Scotland and Australia and has also taught Highland dancing workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as Scotland and Australia. Bill is also a popular piper for highland dancing competitions having piped at various competitions in the U.S. and Canada for over 35 years.
Elizabeth Weaver Elizabeth Weaver
Position: Highland Dancing Judge
Elizabeth Weaver has been a member of the S.O.B.H.D Judges panel as well as a member of the B.A.T.D. in both Highland and National dances since 1986. Liz has a dance school run with her husband, Bill, in St. Louis, Michigan.
Their students have been successful in many competitions and championships including USIR and World Championship. She is a retired math teacher and still enjoys tutoring students in math. Volunteering, reading mystery novels and walking their Jack Russell, Murdo, keep her busy.
Kathleen O`DonnellKathleen O`Donnell
Position: Highland Dancing Judge
I started dancing at the age of three at The Nancy Dickson School in Paisley covering a wide variety of dance styles. I chose to concentrate on Highland and was then taught by Iain C MacDonald, well known piper and adjudicator. I enjoyed a lot of success in competitions and especially enjoyed competing at all the outdoor games during the summer months, making friends for life through dance.

Highlights of my dancing years have been dancing and judging abroad and being a resident dancer on the Gaelic programme Se ur Beatha.

I have been teaching for over 20 years at my sisters dance school in Paisley, training pupils for amateur and professional exams with the BATD. I am delighted to have been nominated by the BATD to adjudicate at this year’s World Championships at Cowal.
Tracey heazlettTracey heazlett
Position: Highland Dancing Judge
Tracey Heazlett has been a member of the SOBHD World Wide Judges’ Panel since 1986, and has been involved in Highland Dancing for 45 years including learning, competing, teaching, examining and adjudicating.

20 years of competitive dancing involved extensive travel within Australia and while on a round the world holiday during 1986, she enjoyed competing in Scotland, England and Canada. She won 80 championships from Junior level through to Adult level, including Champion of Champions of Australia, Australian National, the Australian Commonwealth and Grand Australasian. She holds QSDA and BATD Teachers certificates and has been a QSDA examiner since 1986.

Adjudicating for almost 30 years has seen her judge many competitions within Australia including Champion of Champions Championship of Australia, Grand Australasian Championship and The International Highland Dancing Championships. This has enabled her to judge the dancers, themselves involved in their own journey in Highland Dancing.

The love of Highland Dancing has seen her as a member on committees including positions of Vice President of South Queensland Regional Committee of Highland Dancing and at Board level within Australia as Junior Vice President. She also works full time as an educator which has included roles of primary school teacher, a teacher of students with special needs and a Deputy Head of Primary School. She is honoured to be adjudicating at the Cowal Highland Gathering this year.
Kelly BidukeKelly Biduke
Position: Highland Dancing Judge
Kelly Biduke is a life member of the British Association of Teachers of Dance and judge with the SOBHD for more than 25 years. A former champion dancer, she competed extensively throughout Canada, the USA and Scotland. Kelly studied under the late Evelyn Murray and performed with the Athol Murray Dancers. She is an honourary member of ScotDance Ontario, holding the position of Dancer Registrar for the past 18 years. She currently teaches in Whitby, Ontario.
 Sue Driver
Position: Highland Dancing Judge
Sue Driver, born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, started her dance career at an early age dancing in her first competition at the age of 4. She was initially trained by Miss mary Dring and thereafter by Trevor Hicks. After moving to Johannesburg she studied Highland with Jean Voss and under her guidance, competed very successfully winning most of the Championship titles of the day.
Sue is a Fellow, Examiner and Life Member of the SDTA as well as an SOBHD Adjudicator.

her experience in the dancing world extends to ballet in which discipline she is a Member of the SDTA and RAD. She also has her TCRG in Irish dancing.
Sue runs a thriving dance studio in Johannesburg and has taught workshops and examined in many parts of South Africa. She has adjudicated all over South Africa as well as in England and Scotland.
View Competition Results
Get the Free Cowal Gathering Travel App
View the Cowal Gathering
Online Shop
Latest News
15 Dec 2016 Gig at the Gathering tickets on sale now!
29 Aug Rousing finale to 2015 Cowal Highland Gathering
28 Aug Cowal Highland Gathering crowds enjoy spectacular day
view all the latest news
View Cowal Games on Facebook Follow Cowal Games on Twitter View Cowal Games on YouTube View Cowal Games on Flixr
Supported by:
Argyll & Bute Council Tents and Events Cowal Building and Plumbing Services S.D.T.A B.A.T.D Argyll Holidays
Copyright 2016 Cowal Highland Gathering | login Website Design by SAMTEQ