AIMING HIGH - Anika Rodney

Dancers cross the ocean to compete in Scotland

Once-in-a-lifetime journey slated for local highland troupe next summer

  • Nov. 21, 2012 3:47 p.m.

A group of 10 local highland dancers from Central Alberta will be making their way across the Atlantic Ocean and over to Scotland for the trip of a lifetime next year. The group will depart Aug. 6, 2013 and will return on the 21st.

The dancers range from age seven to 17 and their dancing abilities range from beginner to novice to intermediate and premier.

“We are going out for the experience of dance in the birthplace of highland dancing,” said Shelley Rodney, competition secretary with the Red Deer Region Highland Dancing Association.

The first week will be spent in Edinburgh and the second week will be spent in Sterling. The dancers will be branching out to the smaller surrounding communities to attend dance competitions. They are going to participate in as many of the competitions in the area as they can. They are hoping to have each dancer participate in two to five dances while on this trip.

“We are trying to find competitions that everyone can participate in,” said Rodney.

While they are in Scotland the dancers also plan to take in the Tattoo, an event that takes place throughout the month of August.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an annual series of military tattoos performed by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and International military bands and display teams on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.

“We want to plan to go to the Tattoo because it is amazing. It is just one of those things that you have to do while you are there,” said Rodney. “There will be pipers, drummers, dancers and all things Scottish.”

This group of dancers has been planning this trip for three years now and has been fundraising for just as long. The cost for each dancer for the two weeks, including accommodations, the flights and other necessities, will be about $3,000. This does not include entry fees into the competitions.

In order to bring this cost down the dancers and their parents have been working hard at casinos, holding concessions at dance competitions, selling pizzas, baskets of flowers and baskets of apples. Some people have raised enough to cover the entire trip while others are still raising funds. Fundraising continues to help the dancers and their families with the financial burden of the journey.

“It’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, we are probably never going to be able to go back so we are grasping the opportunity and going when we can.”

Rodney’s daughter Anika Rodney, 11, who has been dancing for over eight years, is one of the 10 dancers going. She is a premier dancer and has been for just under two years.

According to her mother, Anika has always been destined to be a dancer, even before she was born. “No word of a lie, every time she heard a bagpipe she would kick. Every time. Even as a little baby she just loved the bagpipes.”

Anika tried different forms of dance including ballet, jazz and tap, and she didn’t like them. Then one day she said “Mommy, I want to do highland dancing” so they found her a teacher and she has been doing it ever since.

“(Highland dance) is really fun and you get to learn new stuff everyday that you are there. Everyone is really nice and it is a really big sport and it is really fun to meet new people when you go on trips,” said Anika.

This trip to Scotland will be the biggest trip Anika has been on.

“The Red Deer Region Highland Dancing Association did a similar trip a couple of years ago. They have been very supportive of the dancers wanting to go to Scotland because it is the birthplace of highland dance, and it is something that not many dancers get to experience,” said Rodney.

For more information on the Red Deer Regional Highland Dancing Association and the upcoming trip to Scotland, visit or email Shelley Rodney at

Just Posted

Johnny 2 Fingers and the Deformities play The Vat April 27th

Moose Jaw band is on a 39-day national tour from Quebec City to Vancouver

Council highlights

Council to fund Rimbey Boys and Girls Club for $15,000

WATCH: Second annual Our Best To You Craft Sale on now

Red Deerians can expect over 150 artisans, makers and designers

Red Deer RCMP look for James Holley on warrants

Holley is believed to be in possession of firearms

‘Battle of the Badges’ charity hockey game raises funds for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deer Emergency Services and RCMP will play hockey for a good cause

WATCH: ‘Battle of the Badges’ event raises money for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deerians get together at charity hockey tournament April 20th at Servus Arena

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

Producer, DJ Avicii found dead at 28

Swedish-born artist Tim Bergling, was found in Muscat, Oman

Trudeau ends 3-country tour with global reputation, alliances intact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finds footing on the world stage after China and India controversies

Leafs’ Matthews has top-selling jersey, edging Crosby, McDavid: NHL

Austin Matthews jersey sales top Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid

Victims grant may miss needy parents due to eligibility rules: report

Only 29 of 50 applicants between 2013 and 2017 received the grant across Canada, a federal report says

Most Read