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Dancing Dreams Come True

Story: Brooke Jacobson
Published On : Apr 24, 2024
Dancing Dreams Come True
A family connection to Scotland has led local dancer Lissadel Burgess onto the world stage.Lissadel, 15, has been taking part in Scottish highland dancing since she was just three years old, and she recently returned from a trip performing in the United States.

“My gran was born in Scotland, along with all her siblings of course, and we see them a lot,” Lissadel said.

“My mum signed me up when I was little, and I just loved it. I love everything about it.”

Lissadel dances with the Scotia Highland Dancing studio at Murrumba Downs, and toured the US with dance team OzScot Australia, which features dancers from all over the country.

“I’ve been part of the OzScot junior development squad for the past two years, and now I’m in the real thing,” she said.

The OzScot team performed at the Washington Tattoo in Washington DC and took part in the famous New York Tartan Day parade.

“For me, the Tartan Day parade in New York was amazing – just seeing everyone all lined up in the street, dressed in their kilts and then turning the corner to see all the people who had turned out to see us,” Lissadel said.

“It was my first trip to the US, and I went without either of my parents, but I had all these amazing dance mums there with me, so it was great.”

Highland dancing is quite technical, and Lissadel said it could be hard on a dancer’s body.

“You’re jumping all the time, so it’s hard on your knees and ankles,” she said.

“You just have to manage it – there’s a bit of physio. But I’ll keep going as long as my body can handle it.

“The people are a big part of it for me, it’s a lovely community and there’s no real inter-studio rivalry. Plus, it’s just so much fun.”

Lissadel regularly travels around Australia competing in dance tournaments, and later this year she has another international trip planned.

“In July, I’m going to Switzerland for the Basel Tattoo,” she said. “I’m very excited about it, and honestly, I’m just feeling very fortunate.”

The rising dance star and Year 11 student added she would encourage anyone wanting to have fun and get fit to sign up for highland dancing.

“Anyone with a little girl, or boy, just give it a go,” Lissadel said. “Highland dancing is just so much fun and it can take you all over the world.

“It’s a great community.”