Eleanor Belton - Ontario
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Eleanor started dancing at the age of 5. She has studied many different disciplines such as Highland, Ballet, Tap and Jazz. In 1979, Eleanor immigrated to Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael.
Eleanor has actively been teaching highland dance for over 30 years and in 1995 became the owner and Artistic Director of Aspects of Dance in Burlington, Ontario. Aspects of Dance offers students the opportunity to train in Highland, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Musical Theatre and Acrobatics. Many of her competitive highland dancers have travelled throughout Canada, the United States and Scotland winning many awards and Championships. Some of her students have gone onto professional careers with the National Ballet School of Canada, the San Francisco Ballet, Disney and Carnival Cruise Lines.
Eleanor is a member of the World-Wide Judges Panel for the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing. She is also a Fellow, Life Member and Examiner with the British Association Teachers of Dance. Eleanor has travelled throughout Canada, United States, Australia and Scotland, adjudicating and conducting highland and choreography Workshops.
One of her most enjoyable experiences as a highland teacher was as co-chair of the opening ceremonies for ScotDance Canada Championship Series in 2015 and 2017. She had the privilege of working with many talented dancers from across Ontario to create the choreography for these events.
Eleanor is delighted to have been asked to judge the 2019 ScotDance USA Weekend of Dance!!!
Dawn Fraser - Scotland
Dawn started her dancing career at the age of 4 as a student at the McKay School of Dancing in Glenrothes where she was taught by the highly respected Sheila McKay and Anna Bain. Dawn spent her entire dancing days with Anna and Sheila and she is indebted to them both for giving her the knowledge, inspiration and passion for dance.
With the dedication of her teachers and parents, Dawn had a very successful competitive career winning around 40 Highland Championships, including the Scottish, British and Commonwealth titles.
Dawn is now a respected teacher and is fortunate to have many dedicated, hard-working students in her class who have enjoyed competitive success at home and overseas. She has produced champions in every age category, her students winning multiple major championships including Scottish, Scottish National, British and Commonwealth titles. Due to this, Dawn is regularly invited to conduct professional workshops throughout the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Dawn has also enjoyed much success as a choreographer having won the Highlands and Islands music and dance choreography challenge on several occasions.
She is a Fellow, Examiner and SOBHD delegate of the UKA. She is also an adjudicator on the SOBHD worldwide judging panel and has had the pleasure of adjudicating major championships both at home and overseas.
As well as her love for highland, Dawn also has a background in ballet, tap, modern, majorettes, cheerleading, scottish country dance, line dance and zumba and holds a professional qualification in each of these styles.
Nicola Grant - Scotland
Nicola started her dancing career at age 5 and was taught by Wilma Tolmie. She enjoyed success as a competitor over the years winning many championship titles and World placings including World Juvenile Championship in 1987 along with Commonwealth, British Open and six Scottish Championships. She also won several Champion of Champions titles.
Nicola lives in Kirriemuir, a small town in the North East of Scotland. She has three children, Liam (21) who is a competitive piper and daughters Holly (18) and Amber (16) both champion highland dancers. Nicola works full time as a Local Director for Bank of Scotland covering Aberdeen and the North East and also runs the Nicola Grant School of Dancing. Nicola thoroughly enjoys teaching highland dancing and her students have enjoyed similar success to her both at home and abroad. Nicola has also enjoyed much success as a choreographer having won the Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Choreography Challenge on several occasions.
She is a fellow and Examiner of the UKA and a member of the BATD and SDTA and a delegate for FUSTA on the Scottish Official Board. She is also an adjudicator on the SOBHD Worldwide Judging panel and has had the pleasure of adjudicating major championships both at home and abroad.
Nicola is delighted to have been invited to adjudicate at this years USIR championship.
Sheryl Joyner - Ontario
Sheryl Joyner has been actively involved in Highland dance for many years. She was a successful competitor having won gold medals in the Ontario and Canadian championships as well as numerous choreography awards. Her professional experiences include many years performing and choreographing for the Scottish Dance Company of Canada. She was also a soloist and choreographer for the Celtic Dance Company.
After obtaining Fine Arts and Education degrees, Sheryl began working for the Toronto District School Board as a Junior/Intermediate teacher and began her dance studio which has been in operation for 25 years. Sheryl has trained many excellent dancers who have won first place in the Ontario, Canadian, North American, Commonwealth and Scottish championships. Many of her students have placed in the top six at the World Championships with two winning the title of Junior World Champion. Sheryl is an active member of ScotDance Ontario and has been the President for the past four years.
Aileen Robertson - Scotland
Aileen Robertson has judged many times in Canada, United States, Australia & New Zealand & teaches Workshops & conducts lectures throughout the World.
Aileen started dancing at the age of seven taking classes in all forms of dance. She began competing in Highland & continued her career by winning every Championship title in Scotland including the British Open, United Kingdom, Commonwealth & all Area titles. She also won the Mid Canada Championship in Winnipeg.
The highlight of her career was winning the World Junior Title in 1972 & continuing to win the Adult World Championship in 1974 & 1976. She also won the SOBHD Oscar award for Champion of Champions & was given a Civic Reception from Kyle & Carrick Council.
Aileen is a Fellow & Examiner of the Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance & was taught by Elspeth Strathern. She is a Life Member of the British Association of Teachers of Dancing & an Adjudicator on the SOBHD Worldwide panel. She is Head Delegate on the Board representing FUSTA/Scotdance USA, & also serves on several Committees of the SOBHD including the Technical & Judges Committees.
Aileen has a successful Dancing School based in Ayr. The Robertson School have had many successes in Choreography as well as training pupils to World class level.
Aileen is in her sixth year as Dance Director of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo & leads the Tattoo Dance Company to perform in Tattoos Worldwide. She has choreographed for Tattoos in Melbourne Australia, Wellington New Zealand, Virginia, Basel, Zurich, Berlin, Lichtenstein, Dusseldorf, Oslo & Las Vegas. She looks forward to leading The Tattoo Dance Company in Sydney Australia in October.
One of her biggest Honours was having dancers perform for the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations at Windsor Castle in 2016.
Aileen is delighted & honoured to be part of the Adjudicating Panel for the Scotdance USA's USIR held in Las Vegas in 2019.
Jill Young - Alberta
Jill has been actively involved in the Highland Dance community since 1979. She is a member of the SDTA and has been a member of the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing Judges’ panel since 1990. Jill had a successful competitive career for many years, winning the title of many major Championships including the Canadian Inter-Provincial, British Commonweath and British Overseas Championship. She was also First Runner-up in the Adult World Championships at the Cowal Highland Games.
Over the years Jill has had the opportunity to judge across North America, Australia and Scotland including the SDCCS, USIR Championships and the Cowal World Championships. Jill was the Co-Chairperson for the SDCCS 2018 Event held in Calgary. She continues to work with all levels of dancers from beginner to champion level in Calgary where she resides with her husband.
Matt Turnbull - USA