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: