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About Us

About the Studio


The McConnell School of Highland Dance was established in 1995 in Medicine Hat, Alberta.  It is South Eastern Alberta's largest dance studio specializing in Highland Dance.  Our dancers, under the direction of Miss Karen, have competed across Canada, the United States , New Zealand, Australia and Scotland from the Primary Level to Championships


Classes are held from September to the end of May.  Classes for competitive students will continue to the end of June. 


Dancers are placed in classes according to age and ability and class size is restricted.  Private and semi private lessons are available upon request.


Classes are taught according to the SDTA syllabus and follow the guibelines of the RSOBHD.


Examinations with the Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance are provided each year at the intstructor's discretion.  Training is offered for the completion for the professional examination.


All our dancers may participate in our Year End Reciatal as well as performances within the community.


About Miss Karen


Originally from Edmonton, Karen Pillman started dance at the age of four and began a long Highland Dance career at the age of nine.  Miss Karen was a sucessful competitor for over ten years dancing across Canada and Scotland.


Upon retirement from competitive dance at the Premier level, Miss Karen taught for the Allison Lamont School of Dance in Lloydminster, and Freehouse Dance Plus in Calgary.  Once settling in Medicine Hat, Miss Karen opened the McConnell School of Highland Dance. 


The McConnell School of Highland Dance has grown over the years to become Medicine Hat's Premier Highland Dance Studio.  Miss Karen has dancers compete successfully locally and internationally, including the British Overseas Championship, New Zealand Championship, International Festival of Highland Dance Championship in Australia and the World Highland Dance Championship in Scotland. 


Now with over thirty years of teaching experience and knowledge, Miss Karen is a Professional Member of the Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance (SDTA), and ScotDance Canada.  Miss Karen is a long time volunteer of Medicine Hat Highland Dancing Association, organizing local competitions.


Miss Karen strives to giver her dancers the highest level of training to reach their goals, recreationally or competitively.  Many of Miss Karen's students have become teachers as well.


Miss Karen's daughter, Meghan retired in 2012 after a successful career in Highland Dance.  Meghan was the first dancer in Medicine Hat's history to enter the World Highland Dance Championships in Dunoon, Scotland.

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