The lively wailing coming from Stone Mountain Park this past weekend was not Halloween ghosts warming up. It was the incomparable sound of bagpipers playing traditional Scottish music to accompany the dancers in the Highland Dance Competition. 2nd-grader Ross Paolucci, 3rd-grader Megan Minnear, and 4th-grader Gracen Betts were right in the thick of it in their beautiful traditional costumes. They danced off with several bronze and silver medals.
The girls have been studying Highland dancing with Ross' mom, Towns Paolucci, for several years—in the case of Ross, since she could walk.
Associate Head of School Rick Betts says he thinks what draws the girls to this traditional music and dance is the storytelling that weaves all through its unique sound and choreography. These are old stories being told--stories that have their origins in a place far from the granite rock. But for people with Scottish blood in their veins, Highland Dancing can transport them back to a place and time that seem at once ancient and present.