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Judges

Cowal Highland Gathering is delighted to announce the adjudication panel for highland dancing championships for 2014
.
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.


 SUSAN ROBERTSON
Position: Judge
Susan is a member of the SOBHD Worldwide Judges’ Panel and is a Fellow of the UKA and a member of the SDTA and BATD. She is also a UKA Examiner in the Highland, Freestyle and Theatre divisions.

Having danced since the age of 4, competing regularly at highland dancing competitions, she attained all of her professional examinations while training with the Lawrence Dance Academy under the guidance of Rhona and Gillian Lawrence. Susan then assisted as a teacher within the Academy gaining experience in all forms of dance.

Susan holds an Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering and works as a Consultant Engineer for the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry holding charterships from both the Institute of chemical engineers and the Institute of Mechanical Engineer.

She is honoured to have been asked to adjudicate at Cowal and wishes everyone success at this event.
 
JACQUELINE WILSONJACQUELINE WILSON
Position: Judge
Cairns is a bustling tourist destination in Far North Queensland Australia and is where Jacqueline calls home. born and raised in Cairns, Jacqueline commenced Highland Dancing at 5 and enjoyed success at Highland Gatherings and competitions throughout Far North Queensland during her competitive highland dancing career.
Jacqueline holds the National Dance Association of Australia Advanced Teachers’ Certificate and passed her ABHDI Adjudicator’s test in 1978. In 1996 she became a member of the SOBHD Judges’ Panel. Jacqueline has judged throughout Australia, New Zealand and Scotland during her 36 years as a Highland Dancing judge and this year was part of the judging panel at the 2014 Champion of Champions Championship of Australia.

Jacqueline is Secretary of the Far North queensland Regional Committee of Highland Dancing and as such has represented the region on the ABHDI when domiciled in Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia.

Jacqueline feels great pride and privilege to represent Australia at the 2014 World Highland Dancing championships at Cowal
 
ANDREA TRONNESANDREA TRONNES
Position: Judge
As a third generation dancer, Andrea was trained by her mother Dawn and has been involved with Highland Dancing throughout her life.

She won numerous Championships in Canada and the United States during her dancing career. Andrea and her mother taught the Tronnes Highland Dancers together in Calgary until her move to Houston, Texas where she currently teaches and resides with her husband and two sons.

She is very proud of the numerous Champions produced over the years in Calgary and now in the United States. Andrea is a Fellow of the SDTA, Member of the BATD and an adjudicator of the SOBHD. She also works full time as an International Freight Forwarder for Pentagon Freight Services and is a nationally certified Meet Referee with USA Swimming.

Andrea considers being invited to judge at Cowal and represent FUSTA is an enormous honor and privilege that is most sincerely appreciated.
 
RACHEL MCLAGANRACHEL MCLAGAN
Position: Judge
Rachel’s competitive dancing career brought worldwide success in every age category. She won multiple major championship titles, highlights including North American, Northern Canadian, Grand Australasian, Australian Champion of Champions, 4 Scottish Open, 7 British Open and 4 Commonwealth Championship titles. A 3-time winner of the UK Champion of Champions award, she placed in the top 5 at the World Championships on several occasions at Juvenile, Junior and Adult level. Her greatest success is undoubtedly becoming Junior World Champion in 2002.
Rachel is a member of the British Association of Teachers of Dancing and the Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance, and under the guidance of her teacher and mentor, Shendl Russell, became a member of the SOBHD International Adjudicator’s panel in 2008. She is privileged to hold the position of ScotDance Canada’s Head Delegate to the SOBHD and has been fortunate to be invited to judge and lecture all over the UK, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. In 2010 she co-produced and directed the SOBHD Anniversary show ‘Assemble and Leap’, which featured a cast of 38 champion dancers from all over the UK and brought together some of Scotland’s most talented choreographers.
Rachel is honoured to have been nominated as an adjudicator for the 2014 Cowal Gathering. Returning to the famous Cowal boards, 20 years after winning her first Scottish Championship, will be a very special moment and the highlight of her professional career to date.
 
JEAN SWANSTONJEAN SWANSTON
Position: Judge
Born and brought up in Leith Jean started learning Highland at the age of 3 with Maureen McMahon for 5 years, then with Jeanette Jamieson. By the age of 11 and for the next 17 years, her teachers were Cissie Tucker and Marjory Rowan who firmly instilled into all their pupils the importance of technique!
Highland Games has always been Jean’s first love and she competed at Games for over 40 years. During this time she won many prizes and Championships including the British Open, United Kingdom and All England Championships, and was also twice runner-up in the Adult World Championship.
Jean has judged not only most of the Championships held in Britain including the World Championships at Cowal Games, but also the USIR and the Canadian Inter-provincials. She is also a serving member of the Disciplinary and Judges Committees of the SOBHD.
 
VICTOR W WESLEYVICTOR W WESLEY
Position: Judge
A Former 3 time Adult World Highland Dancing Champion, winning the titles under three various bodies of adjudication during the transition years in highland dancing, finally winning under a complete S.O.B.H.D. panel of judges. He was the first American dancer to win the Adult World Championship while dancing for the U.S.A.in 1972.
He is a member of the S.D.T.A, the B.A.T.D. and a Fellow and Examiner of the U.K.A. Highland and Faculty of Kindred Arts. Victor currently serves on the S.O.B.H.D. as a Board delegate and is on the world wide judge’s panel.
Victor went on to train in classical ballet in the Imperial Russian style, and received great acclaim by achieving the highest professional level as a “Premier Danseur”. He has partnered some of the greatest ballerinas of our time, has performed and was featured throughout the world with many leading professional ballet companies. He has assisted and restaged works for the legendary choreographer Agnes DeMille as well as choreographing many of his own works.
It is a great privilege to be a part of the S.O.B.H.D. international family and to adjudicate on the world platform of highland dancing at The Cowal Highland Gathering.
 
GILLIAN MACDONALDGILLIAN MACDONALD
Position: Judge
Fellow, and Honorary Life Member of the S.D.T.A., Life Member ScotDance Ontario and the Ottawa Highland Dancing Association,
Gillian is an active member of the S.O.B.H.D. Judges’ Panel and enjoys judging events across Canada, the US and Scotland as well as teaching workshops.
Director of the Macdonald Highland Dancers of Ottawa, she has been teaching Highland dancing for 45+ years having trained many successful, competitive Highland dancers, who have earned multiple championship titles across Canada, the US and Scotland. Gillian has also taught aerobics/fitness classes and child modeling and most recently, has introduced aqua-dance to assist in her training of dancers.
In addition to teaching and judging Highland Dancing, Gillian has served on the Executive Committee of ScotDance Ontario as President and Past President over a ten year period and continues as Regional Liaison for Eastern Ontario. Prior to that, she was the Chair of the ScotDance Canada Championship Series – Ottawa ’99 and more recently, served on the Advisory Committee for the SDCCS 2009 in Toronto, ON and looking forward to SDCCS 2015 in London, ON. She is also the Teacher Representative for the Ottawa Highland Dancing Assoc. (OHDA). In 2000 she initiated Canada’s Capital City Open Championship for Ottawa, which is held annually each fall.
When not teaching dancing, District School Board as an Educational Assistant.
 
DOREEN WALLACEDOREEN WALLACE
Position: Judge
Doreen is a retired PE teacher and lives and teaches in Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway. She has had her own dance school for many years teaching Stage and Acro Gymnastics but specialises in Highland dancing which is her first love.

As well as being on the world wide Judges’ Panel, Doreen is a fellow and Life Member of the B.A.T.D and member of the S.D.T.A, she regularly presents dancers for B.A.T.D. examinations which have resulted in a number of pupils being nominated for and winning Junior and Senior Scholarships. Over the years, she has also put dancers through their Associate Teacher examinations. A successful competitive Highland dancer herself, Doreen’s ambition was to produce dancers of the highest calibre who could compete with the best at Championships but, most of all to coach someone to win a Cowal Championship and reach the World Finals. She has achieved this with several past pupils who have won titles or been in the top six.

After attending Cowal Highland Gathering for several years to support successful pupils, Doreen is thrilled and honoured to be invited to adjudicate this year.
 
THERESA KELLYTHERESA KELLY
Position: Judge
Theresa is a Chartered Accountant who is originally from Helensburgh but is now living in Stirling with a family of two young children aged 4 and 1.

She has been involved in Highland Dancing since age 4 being taught by the Stewart School of Dancing and the Young School of Dancing whilst at University in Edinburgh.

In dancing she is a Fellow of the BATD aand a member of the SOBHD Finance Committee. She has been teaching for a number of years but has taken a break from teaching this year to focus on her family when they are at such a young age.

Theresa is looking forward to being part of the Cowal judging panel again this year
 
LENA ANNE MACDONALDLENA ANNE MACDONALD
Position: Judge


Lena Anne began her dancing career at the age of 7 and under the expert tuition of Irene McKechnie, enjoyed a successful competitive career for 19 years. During that time she regularly competed all over Scotland and was a three times winner of the East of Scotland Cchampionship but her proudest moment was achieving 4th place in the World Junior Championship.

A Fellow and life member of the BATD and a Fellow of the SDTA, Lena Anne became a qualified member of the SOBHD Worldwide Judges’ Panel in 1986 and is a former chairperson of the Judges’ Panel Committee. She has adjudicated at many competitions at home and overseas, including the Canadian Inter-Provinvial and USIR Championships, as well as the World Championships, on a number of occasions.

Lena Anne is delighted to be part of the 2014 Cowal Highland Gathering and is looking forward to some excellent dancing and keen competition.

 
JENNIFER WILSONJENNIFER WILSON
Position: Judge
Jennifer has been involved with Highland Dance since the age of four. As a competitor she enjoyed much success under the training of Adeline Duncan. Jennifer also trained for many years in Tap, Jazz, and extensively in Ballet attending the National Ballet School of Canada.

Jennifer has taught dance for the past 30 years and currently operates the Celtica Highland Dance School in Langley, BC. She has been very fortunate to have some very successful students that have won many National and International championships.

Jennifer is a member of the BATD and the SOBHD Adjudicators panel. She is honoured and delighted to be a part of the 2014 Cowal Highland Gathering
 
CHRISTIE FREESTONECHRISTIE FREESTONE
Position: Judge
Christie Freestone, a founding member and first president of the FUSTA organisation in the USA. is a life-time member of the BATD and a member of the SOBHD Judges’Panel. She was inducted in the FUSTA Hall of Fame in 2010.

Christie is the director of the Mid-Michigan Highland Dance Academy in Alma, Michigan. Her students have won over 150 Championships world-wide over the past 40 years.

When not teaching dance, Christie is a respected educator with a Master Degree in Early Childhood Education. She has lectured extensively on topics related to developmentally appropriate methods for teaching young children based on research and best practices in education

Christie is delighted and honoured to be part of the panel at Cowal.
 
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