In Memoriam: Elheran Francis

It is with profound sadness that I share the news of the passing in June 2020 of our long-time instructor, mentor and friend Elheran Francis. Elheran had been the primary instructor at Piedmont Highland Dance for over two decades. A gentle and patient teacher, he was also a tireless promoter of the Highland Arts in Piedmont.

Elheran had a vast knowledge of Scottish Highland Dance and Celtic culture as well. Some interesting tidbit was always at hand! In his younger days Elheran competed in Highland Dance, so although he had that perspective and expertise it was always imparted putting the particular needs of each student first. Elheran also had wide experience with fitness in general and physical therapy in particular. He always worked hard to make sure each dancer knew how to care for themselves with an end to preventing injury. When needed, he usually had physical therapy suggestions to get dancers started on the road to recovery! Elheran was very generous; always giving of his time, experience, empathy…and humour!

The dance studio will not be the same without Elheran, but I feel so privileged to have learned from him how to dance, how to teach and how to be a kind human being. Let us honor his memory by sharing those things with others and bringing his love of Scottish dance and culture to new generations in our studio and beyond.

To honor his memory, some of the dancers got together to do a memorial Fling for Elheran in the weeks after his passing:

Scottish Highland Games and Gathering in Pleasanton

Scottish Highland Games and Gathering in Pleasanton

The Piedmont Highland Dance intermediate and advanced classes performed at the Games this past Labor Day weekend and it was a great success. In the first show on Saturday, the dancers performed Over the Water to Charlie, The Dusty Miller, the Lochaber Broadswords and a choreographed reel entitled “Everybody Dance Now!”.  A bit later that day they danced Earl of Errol, and a solo sword dance was performed by Graham Freifeld.

Many thanks to the New World Scottish Dancers who hosted our dancers, sharing the stages and time slots with us!

Please visit our gallery for photos of the event.

Welcome to the Brand New Piedmont Highland Dance Website!

Welcome to the Brand New Piedmont Highland Dance Website!

Greetings! Welcome to the new Piedmont Highland Dance website. It’s still a work in progress, but feel free to “dance about” the site and let us know if you have any comments, questions or suggestions.

Many thanks to Procyon Creative who did a great job creating the site for us.  They got my wish list up and running very quickly! (more…)