Mearns youngsters dance their way to success in major competition

Noreen-Marie Geddes dancers at Disneyland Paris
Noreen-Marie Geddes dancers at Disneyland Paris

Young Mearns dancers have taken part in one of Europe’s biggest Highland dancing events, with notable success.

Twenty pupils from the Noreen-Marie Geddes School of Dancing in St Cyrus competed in the International Gathering of Scottish Highland Dancing at Disneyland Paris.

They faced competition from hundreds of dancers from across the globe in the SOBHD Magics - a traditional Highland dance event - which was held at the new state-of-the-art Millesime Montevrain Theatre.

The Mearns group won 15 overall and runner-up Highland and National trophies and an amazing 114 medals between them.

The premier dancers from the school competed in the SOBHD Paris Championships and Premier Nationals and achieved placings in the top six in every dance and received championship points.

The group came top at the Choreomagic competition where they performed 16 of their own choreographed dances to Disney-themed songs.

Only four awards are allocated in each category - Best Costume, Best Storytelling, Best Musical Interpretation and Overall Group Champion.

The school’s 13 years and under group dance won Best Storytelling through Choreography for Pirates of the Caribbean.

The 14 years and over group dance (dancers were agedbetweem 11- years) won Best Musical Interpretation for Maleficent.

They also entered the all-age school group category and won Best Storytelling through Choreography for their Star Wars performance.

Jaime Dima, who is also a student teacher at the school, competed in a large group of more than 40 dancers in the 14 years and over solo category and won Best Storytelling through Choreography for Friend Like Me from the movie Aladdin.

Karys Mollison and Bethan Salmon both competed in the nine years and under duo category and won Overall Group Champion for their Peter Pan and His Shadow performance.

One of the highlights of the trip was the pre-parade along Main Street USA in Disneyland Park where the girls put their dancing talents on display for thousands to see.

They earlier audtioned successfully to dance in the parade.

The young dancers have been attending the Noreen-Marie Geddes school since they were three and four years old and some have been with her since she first opened the school in 2011.

It holds classes in Hillside-Montrose, St Cyrus and Friockheim.

Noreen-Marie offers all of her dancers aged nine and over the opportunity to take part in the Disney trip and hopes to do it all again in a couple of years.

She said: “From August to November last year the girls practiced extremely hard coming to three classes a week to perfect their steps.

“We also had the school’s annual dance show at Montrose Town Hall in November, so it was double the work.

“I’m so thankful to my dance mums for all their support.

“They made a great effort with make up and costumes for the choreomagic performances and also helped organise transport and fundraising for the trip.

“It was certainly all worth the hard work in the end,” she said.

“I’m extremely proud of them, it was a fantastic achievement and they are a real credit to myself and to the dance school.

“This was a trip of a lifetime - one we will never forget.”