FORFAR’s Delma Wilson School has had a sensational summer of Highland Dancing culminating in success at the Braemar Gathering.
The Gathering also marked the end of Forfar’s David Wilton (22) who is retiring from dancing after a 15 year spell which included 192 championships across the globe.
With his name etched firmly into the sport’s history books through his achievements at home and abroad, David is now turning his ambitions to his other passion of bagpiping after graduating with first class honours from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama earlier this summer.
Three days of Cowal competition begin with the Scottish National championship for home-grown competitors and the Forfar school scooped four titles through Olivia Waddell (8), Letham’s Jessica Baillie (9), Holly Donaldson from Kirriemuir (11) and Sophie Brown (12).
Also amongst the honours in that event were Amber Donaldson and Connor Woodcock (r-up and 4th respectively 9yrs), Mairi Buchanan (r-up 11yrs), Leven’s Kirstin Stewart (r-up 14 yrs) and Leanne Wood (4th place 18 yrs). Excellent performances from Emma Jane Stewart, Kirsty Richardson and Catherine Gerrie added to the Wilson school’s successful first day.
In the Scottish Championship Olivia Waddell, Jessica Baillie, Holly Donaldson and Sophie Brown each went on to complete delightful ‘doubles’ in their respective age groups. Amber Donaldson added another award to the family trophy cabinet with third place in the 9 years category and Kirstin Stewart took the same slot in the 14 years section.
In addition, Olivia shared the prestigious May Falconer Trophy as the top home-grown dancer in the Scottish, courtesy of a clean sweep of gold medals in the quartet of dances which make up the event_Highland Fling, Sword Dance, Seann Triubhas and Reel.
The school was represented in all three top categories: Sophie Brown and Kirstin Stewart at juvenile (12-15yrs) level, Jade Ferries and Anthea Bundy in the junior (16-18) category and adult dancers Leanne Wood and David Wilton.
Only 20 competitors qualify for each section and the Angus dancers performed with aplomb, culminating in a junior world runner-up title for Anthea Bundy and David Wilton’s adult honour in a nailbiting finale.
School principal Delma said: “In the lead up to Cowal the school had done so well at major championships including the British and Commonwealth so we hoped the dancers would rise to the occasion and they certainly did that and more,” she said.
“Their success is the reward for the hours and hours of hard work they put in to the sport and it’s an honour for me to see the kids achieve so much.”
Delma runs weekly classes in the OAP Hall, Chapel Street, Forfar and can be contacted on 461868.