Highland Dance

Dancer Registration No. USSE 0405

About the 2021 Competition

Highland Dance at GMHG

The GMHG is excited to announce the 2021 Atlantic International Highland and Nationals Competition Series to be held July 9-11, 2021. We may not be able to offer the Atlantic International Championships, but we are looking forward to offering three exciting days of events. This will be your chance to compete, outside, in 3 days of competition, awards out to 6 places, and a Restricted Premier event You won't want to miss out on all the excitement and this COVID-19 Protocol opportunity.

Highland Dance



Highland Dance Registration


  • Online entries open at 10:00 am EST on May 13, 2021
  • Online entries close at 11:59 pm EST on June 30, 2021
  • Late Online entries open at 12:00 am EST July 1, 2021 (DOUBLE ENTRY FEE)
  • Late Online entries close at 11:59 pm EST on July 6, 2021


  • Friday: All dancers will be able to park in “any” lot at the Meadow on Friday. Please plan on arriving early.
  • Sat & Sun:  All dancers will receive a parking pass to park at the Meadow (good for SAT & SUN).

The Dancer/Family Viewing Area

  • Located on the grass approximately from Stage 3 to stage 2, includes shade tents.
  • Entrance to viewing area may be limited to current dancer/family POD.
  • All spectators in the dancer viewing area must be pre-registered, complete a waiver and purchase a GMHG entry ticket(s)/day for each attendee (to enter the “restricted/controlled” dancer viewing area).
  • There will be a defined space allocated and associated with each “Dancer/Family”. i.e. if the teacher is there with 3 dancer/families’ assignment would be continuous/congruous areas



  • No Field entries accepted / NO REFUNDS
  • Age applies as of July 9, 2021
  • In the event of a protest being lodged, a fee of $25 must accompany the written complaint.  The fee will be returned if the protest is upheld.
  • Open to USA Resident Dancers Only
  • Masks Required

SDUSA Registration Card Numbers 

  • We realize that dancer registration just opened and you may not have your new 2021 SDUSA registration card.
  • We understand SDUSA registration numbers may change so errors may occur when you input your SDUSA registration number.
  • Please input your SDUSA registration number to the best of your abilities.
  • Be sure to promptly send in your current SDUSA registration card to your regional registrar so you receive your new 2021 card.
  • Once you receive your new 2021 card and number, please contact the competition organizer at [email protected] to report new registration numbers or any changes in the dancer category.
  • You must have a 2021 SDUSA card in hand to compete at the event.

COVID Rules and Regulations- General

  • Guidance and protocols from governing organizations, such as the CDC, North Carolina Department of Health, RSOBHD and SDUSA will be used as the foundation of safety protocols for all events.
  • Face masks will be required for all participants, spectators, and volunteers. Extra masks will be available.
  • Plastic face shields are not considered face masks and may only be worn in conjunction with a mask.
  • Social distancing reminders will be visible throughout Lees MacRae Meadow and hand sanitizing stations will be stationed throughout the area.
  • Changing tents will not be available.
  • In accordance with ScotDance USA policies, dancers must not change costumes in public view. Dancers must arrive fully dressed and ready to dance.
  • Anyone living with a house member who is currently sick, feels sick, or shows any symptoms of COVID-19 listed by the CDC, including cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell, has been diagnosed or presumed positive for COVID-19, or has been around someone who has been diagnosed or presumed positive for COVID-19, currently or within the last 14 days, must stay home. Follow the CDC guidelines for isolation or quarantine.
  • Dancers, teachers, spectators, special guests and volunteers will monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 listed by the CDC, including cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell, and check their own temperature each morning, both 7 days prior to attending competition and every morning before attending competition. If the person displays any COVID-19 symptoms or a temperature of over 100°Fahrenheit, during the 7 days before competition, they must remain home. If the person displays any COVID-19 symptoms or a temperature of over 100 Fahrenheit on any morning of competition, they must remain home or in their hotel room and report their symptoms and temperature to the appropriate competition contact.
  • Anyone with pre-existing conditions/compromised immune system should speak with their doctor and get clearance from their doctor before attending the competition.
  • All attendees (including teachers, competitors, spectators, special guests and volunteers) will be asked to monitor their own health prior to attending an event and follow the CDC guidelines for protecting themselves and others. 12. Teachers will be asked to review these rules with their dancers, parents and anyone who is attending the event.

COVID Rules and Regulations- Dancers

  • Dancers must arrive in costume, completed hair and make-up.
  • SDUSA “Day Of Competition Certificate” Waivers will need to be signed upon arrival.
  • Each Dancer must present a valid 2021 SDUSA registration card.
  • Only one dancer may register at a time and must practice social distancing while waiting in line.
  • The stage will not be available for warm-up. Dancer warm-up can be in either the designated family space or socially distanced outside the event perimeter.
  • Water will not be available; all dancers must provide their own water and snacks.
  • Awards will be placed in zip lock bags with the dancer’s name and number and available for pickup at the awards table.
  • Trophy winners may be awarded on stage.
  • SDUSA requires all dancers at US competitions to wear face masks over their mouth and nose when they are not dancing on the competition stage.
  • All dancers must wear their masks to the marshaling area.
  • The dancer may remove their mask and place it in a paper bag (provided during registration) placed at the entrance to the competition platform or opt to compete wearing the mask, whichever is more comfortable for the dancer.
  • Dancers must wear their masks over their mouths and nose when they exit the marshaling area.
    • During all traditional Scottish Highland and National dances, masks must be a solid color. No embellishments including but not limited to words, writing, sequins, bells, or other noisemakers are allowed on the mask during competitions.
    • If the dancer’s mask is deemed inappropriate, solid-colored, single-use masks will be available in the marshaling area.
    • A dancer’s mask may be more elaborate during a choreography.

COVID Rules and Regulations - Spectators

  • Spectators are defined as immediate family members of the same household for registered dancers, and ScotDance USA and RSOBHD professionals.
  • All spectators must have proper credentialing to enter the “Highland Dance Viewing” area.
  • Spectators will have a designated entry and exit  for traffic flow.
  • Masks must be worn at all times by all spectators. Extra masks will be available.
  • You may remove your mask to eat and drink but must replace it immediately.

General Competition Rules and Regulations

  • All dancing events will be governed by the rules and regulations of the Royal Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing (RSOBHD).
  • All dancers must compete in their own category and age group based upon their age as of July 9, 2021 for all competitions.
  • Dancers will retain the same category status over the 3-day event.
  • Dancers will compete in reverse order of entry received.
  • Where noted, the organizers will determine age groups according to the number of entries.
  • Organizer reserves the right to combine, split, or delete classes the day of the competition.
  • Dancers reporting late for their dance may not be allowed to dance.
  • Dancers must present a valid 2021 ScotDance USA registration card at the time of registration.
  • Judges may not adjudicate any competitor that they have instructed for a period of three months. If a competitor has entered a competition with a judge with whom they have attended a class or workshop within the last three months, the dancer must step down from the competition.
  • Any complaint made by an individual against the organizer or adjudication of an event must be made in writing giving the complainant’s full name and address and lodged with the Organizer, if possible, on the day of the event and certainly not later than 48 hours after the event. Such complaints must be accompanied by a fee of $25. The deposit shall be returned should the complaint be upheld.

Solo Choreography Rules

  • Solo choreographies will be divided in Beginner/Novice and Intermediate/Premier groups.
  • Solo choreography will be divided into age groups based upon entries received.
  • Solo choreography is a maximum of 2 minutes including entrances and exits.
  • Music for choreography events will be timed. Judges will be notified of overage. The penalty is a disqualification.
  • Individuals may use props during their performance; either static or non-static provided they do not require set-up or takedown. Live animals are not permitted.
  • The Celtic music must be on a digital device with a wired connection or on a CD. Backups are recommended.
  • Per RSOBHD rules, music may include vocal or percussion selections, but in all cases must be predominantly Scottish or Celtic in style.

Special Awards

The Pat & Steve Johnston Spirit of the Dance Award is a perpetual trophy to be given by the GMHG. The winner is to be chosen by the judges. The recipient should be the dancer who best embodies the spirit and joy of highland dancing. This dancer should also captivate the audience and fill them with the joy of dance.

  • Pre-Premier, Restricted Premier, Solo Choreography & Premier age groups split per entries
  • received.
  • Pre-Premier, Restricted Premier &Premier (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) - One trophy per group
  • (No trophy for Primary)
  • Best Premier Dancer Saturday (Premier) – Saturday (aggregate + **)
  • Best Premier Dancer – overall 2 days (aggregate-Sat/Sun +**)
  • Most Promising Beginner Dancer - Saturday (Judge’s choice)
  • Most Promising Novice Dancer – Sunday (Judge’s choice)
  • Best JR/SR Carolina Dancer (Premier) - (Choreography/aggregate-Sat/Sun +**)
  • Best Male Dancer (one for each PrePremier BEG/NOV/INT) - overall 2 days
  • (aggregate-Saturday/Sunday - no minimum)
  • Best Male Dancer (Premier)–overall 2 days (aggregate-Saturday/Sun/no min day)
  • SPIRIT OF THE DANCE / Pat & Steve Johnston Memorial (Premier - Judge’s choice)

(+** requires a minimum of 6 in the age group all 3 days)

Before registration please read all rules and regulations above.

You will need to register each dancer separately and pay attention to categories. (do not register your child for a beginner dance if they are a primary level)

You will be asked to provide the following information when registering:

  1. Dancer’s Name (First / Last)  Name 
  2. Address 
  3. City 
  4. State  
  5. Zip Code 
  6. Dancer/Parent’s E-mail Address
  7. Phone Number 
  8. # in “family” requiring entry into the restricted “Highland Dance Viewing” area. (See Spectator Rules)
  9. Teacher(s) Name(s) and Dance School
  10. Teacher(s) E-mail Address(es)
  11. Dancer Age (as of July 9, 2021) 
  12. Dancer Date of Birth
  13. Category: Primary/Beginner/Novice/Intermediate/Premier 
  14. Sign the Waiver 

Sanctioned by and conducted under the rules of the Royal Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing (RSOBHD)

FUSTA Competition Registration Number: USSE 0405

Dance Committee: Bridget Boswell, Jo Kalat, Amy Mooney & Mary Recknagel

Judges: Margaret Howard, Lindsay Recknagel, and Emma Trentman

Pipers: John Recknagel and Brian Green



The 2021 Judges


Margaret Howard

Margaret began dancing at the age of 5.  She was a student under Mary Stewart in Kearny, NJ.  She was an award-winning competitor for approximately 17 years, accumulating over 100 overall trophies and 1000 medals.  She had the opportunity to compete once in Scotland, winning the British Overseas and qualifying for Worlds in the Juvenile section. In 1979, she moved to Dunedin, FL and opened her own studio.  Her students perform throughout the Tampa Bay area and compete throughout the Southeast U.S.

She has Fellows in Highland and National dance with the BATD.

Margaret has been teaching line dance for 12 years. She is a published choreographer with numerous dances being danced worldwide. She is also an instructor with Highland Hustle, which is aerobic dance using highland movements.

Scottish Dance Judge

Emma Trentman

Emma Trentman has been teaching Scottish Highland Dancing for 22 years.  She is a lifetime member of the British Association of Teachers of Dancing, and an RSOBHD judge.  She has taught in a variety of dance schools, including the Gail Bacon Scottish Highland Dancers, the Thistle Dancers, and the Mid-Michigan Highland Dance Academy.  During her competitive career, Emma represented the Eastern Region at the United States Inter-regional Championships four times, and successfully competed throughout the Eastern and Midwestern regions of the United States.

Emma moved to Albuquerque in 2012, and founded Highland Dance Albuquerque to share her love of Highland Dancing in New Mexico.  She also organizes New Mexico's two highland dance competitions, at the Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival and the Aztec Highland Games, as well as the competition at the Cortez Celtic Fair in Cortez, CO. Emma is an associate professor of Arabic at the University of New Mexico, and mother to two young dancers.


Lindsay Recknagel

Lindsay began competitive Highland Dancing at 8 years of age.  She was quite successful during her competitive years across the United States, Canada, Scotland, Australia, and South Africa.  Lindsay is a Member of the BATD (Highland and Nationals) and Adjudicator of the RSOBHD.  Lindsay was the co-chair of the 2015 USIR held in Atlanta, Georgia and is still the youngest person to hold this position.  Since then she volunteers as each USIR has moved to a different region.  Lindsay enjoys teaching, judging, and still dances at performances.  She is a costume technician working in the film/tv industry.  She is also a self-employed stitcher specializing in Highland Dance jackets, choreography and judges outfits.  Lindsay lives in a suburb of Atlanta.  She is thrilled to be judging at one of her favorite highland games.

Competition Waiver

By agreeing to the terms and conditions upon registrations you agree to the following Waiver: 

I am aware that participating in the 2021 GMHG Atlantic International Competition(s) (the “Event”) involves the potential for risks, dangers and hazards, including but not limited to:

(a) injury to myself/my child as a result of the physical nature of dance competition and performance; and (b) the taking and/or release of unauthorized photographs, video and/or other recordings of myself and/or my child.

In consideration of my/my child’s participation in the Event and for other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which is acknowledged, I do hereby, for myself, my heirs, assigns, executors, and administrators, waive and release all rights and claims for damages I may have against the SDUSA, its directors, agents, employees, executive members, volunteers and organizers of the Event (the “Releasees”), Grandfather Mountain Highland Games/Lees MacRae Meadow, the Royal Scottish Official Board of Highland Dance (RSOBHD) and all its agents or representatives, for any/all injuries suffered by me or any member of my family or group at any/all events to be held. In particular, but without limiting the foregoing, I agree to release the Releasees from ANY AND ALL LIABILITY for any loss, damage, injury, or expense I / my child may incur as a result of my/my child’s participation in or attendance at the Event.

I agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Releasees from ANY LOSS, DAMAGE, INJURY OR EXPENSE, including legal costs, that the Releasees may incur due to my/my child’s participation in or attendance at the Event, whether caused by the negligence of the Releasees or otherwise, and whether caused to my child or otherwise.

I understand that the Releasees will photograph and otherwise record the Event, its participants, and attendees. I consent to and authorize such recording. I further consent to authorize the Releasees to publish my/my child’s image, likeness, and information in any medium, including but not limited to photographs, videos, DVDs, and webcasts. I understand that this publication will take place in the public domain, including in printed materials, public announcements, and on the internet.

I specifically consent to the public release of the following information:
1. Name; 2. Country of Residence; 3. Results. I acknowledge that by signing and submitting this entry, electronically or otherwise, that I have read this agreement carefully and fully understand it, and I agree to all the above terms and conditions. FUSTA/ScotDance USA (the “Organizers”) reserve the right to cancel the Event, or any part thereof, at any time if the Organizers deem such cancellation to be necessary due to events beyond its control or should it become necessary to cancel the Event at the Organizers’ sole discretion (the “Cancellation”).

The Organizers shall not be responsible to any purchaser and/or attendees for any direct or indirect financial loss caused as a result of the Cancellation including, but not limited to, airfare, hotel deposits, entry fees, and tickets.

The purchaser and/or attendees agree to indemnify and save harmless the Organizers from all claims arising from the Cancellation.

I acknowledge the contagious nature of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and that the CDC and many other public health authorities still recommend practicing social distancing.

I further acknowledge that ScotDance USA, Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and the RSOBHD has put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19.

I further acknowledge that ScotDance USA, Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, and the RSOBHD cannot guarantee that I will not become infected with the Coronavirus/Covid-19.

I understand that the risk of becoming exposed to and/or infected by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of myself and others, including, but not limited to other event participants and their families.

I voluntarily seek to participate in events provided by ScotDance USA and acknowledge that I am increasing my risk of exposure to the Coronavirus/COVID-19.

I acknowledge that I must comply with all set procedures to reduce the spread while attending the event.

I attest that:

* I am not experiencing any symptoms of illness such as cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell. * I do not believe I have been exposed to someone with a suspected and/or confirmed case of the Coronavirus/COVID-19. * I have not been diagnosed with Coronavirus/Covid-19 and not yet cleared as non-contagious by state or local public health authorities.

* I am following all CDC recommended guidelines as much as possible and limiting my exposure to the Coronavirus/COVID-19. I hereby release and agree to hold ScotDance USA, Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, and the RSOBHD harmless from, and waive on behalf of myself, my heirs, and any personal representatives any and all causes of action, claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses and compensation for damage or loss to myself and/or property that may be caused by any act, or failure to act of the organization, or that may otherwise arise in any way in connection with any events from ScotDance USA, Grandfather Mountain, and the RSOBHD.

I understand that this release discharges ScotDance USA, Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, and the RSOBHD from any liability or claim that I, my heirs, or any personal representatives may have against the organization with respect to any bodily injury, illness, death, medical treatment, or property damage that may arise from, or in connection to, any services received from ScotDance USA.

This liability waiver and release extends to ScotDance USA, Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, and the RSOBHD together with all organizational volunteers.

GMHG 2-72


Mary Recknagel



Open only to US dancers.
Masks are required for dancers, family, and teachers (Participants).

COVID 19 Protocols

Masks are required by Federal regulation while in line or on a shuttle bus.

Masks will be required in the bleachers, while standing in food lines, in the Patron's Hospitality Tent, and in the Music Groves.

Everyone is encouraged to review the Plan before coming to the Games as it is subject to revision if circumstances change regarding the presence of COVID in our society.

GMHG Corporate Sponsors

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