Teachers

Bob Anderson

Bob and his wife Alice went to a Burns night and decided that they should learn some of the dances. They started with the Victoria Branch in 1985. Bob got his teacher’s certificate in 1998 in Vancouver. He has taught all levels of classes; he is currently teaching the social class for VISCDS.

He has organized and run the Victoria summer dancing at St. Martin in the Fields hall for the last 30 years. He wrote three books of dances called The St. Martin Collection of New Scottish Country Dances. Bob has taught workshops in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Manitoba and California.

Joan Axford

Joan started highland dancing at the age of 5 and danced competition dancing until the age of 15 when she joined a group that did performance dancing of both Scottish country and highland.  The group did a tour of Scotland where she was able to both perform and participate in highland games competitions.  Joan currently instructs the Demonstration Team and has directed the team since 1990.  Joan joined VISCDS in 1977, began teaching in 1980 and received her full teacher’s certificate in 1983.  She has taught classes at all levels, step dance classes and workshops in other areas of BC.  She has devised both Scottish country and step dances. Joan dances with the Wednesday class.

Gael Forster

Gael started SCD at age 8 after four years of ballet on Saturday mornings. She has been part of a demonstration team since age 13. A member of VISCDS since 1997; your club webmaster since 2010; and a fully certificated teacher since 2013 (St Andrews Scotland). Gael loves all aspects of SCD; shares the teaching duties at the Intermediate class; and can rarely be found watching on the sidelines.

Sarah (L), Gael (R)

Sarah Kell

Sarah currently co-teaches the Wednesday class.  She started dancing with VISCDS in 1999.  She received her interim teaching certificate in 2013 and her full certificate in 2017.  She has taught the VISCDS Beyond Basic and Intermediate classes, and currently serves as Teachers’ Rep to the executive.  Sarah has been a guest instructor for the Nelson Scottish Country Dancers, and danced the Terrace Loggers’ Jig in Terrace.  She also co-leads the Island Thyme English Morris dancers.

Sheila McCall

Sheila took up SCD in 1989 when she was newly widowed and had moved to Victoria to start a new life.  While visiting Chemainus that summer, Sheila watched a team of dancers from the Victoria Branch of the RSCDS, perform on the stage in the park.  She could see the patterns in the dances and thought “I can do that”.  After attending an Open House she was hooked.  She never dreamt that she would become a teacher but in 1995 attained her Preliminary Certificate, followed by the Full Certificate in 1997, and started teaching the basic class.  When the Branch folded in 2012, Sheila soon started teaching for the VISCDS.  Although she does other forms of dancing (English Country, Contra, Old Time), Scottish is still her favourite. She loves teaching the Basic Class and seeing the progress of the dancers.  Sheila hopes that she inspires her class members to love the dance as much as she does.

Louise McGillivray

Louise began her “dancing career” as a Highland dancer and teacher.  But as soon as she was exposed to Scottish Country Dancing she was hooked! She obtained her preliminary certificate in 1979 and her full certificate in 1980.  Louise taught for the Edmonton Caledonian group for many years, first as the teacher of adult beginners (her favourite) and then the demo team.  In 1995 she started the very successful children’s (and then youth) program in Edmonton, which is still flourishing. She has taught several workshops in western Canada including Calgary, Winnipeg, and Yellowknife.  And, she often teaches dancing for the month of September in France (there’s a story there!)  She retired from her job with the Alberta government in 2010 and in 2011 began living half time in Victoria (the winter time of course).  Louise is thrilled to be involved with the VISCDS and the Tuesday afternoon class.

Gordon Robinson

Gordon currently teaches the Beyond Basic class for VISCDS and has been guest teacher at many workshops in North America. At time of publishing, he is too busy dancing in New Zealand to add more details.