REBECCA BLACKHALL-PETERS, Langley, British Columbia, Canada
Rebecca was born and raised in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. She very recently has moved to the Okanagan and is residing in Summerland.
In 1995 she took up SCD in Vancouver and earned her Teacher’s Certificate in 2001. As she had a background in classical ballet, she was able to point her toes immediately, however it took bit longer to learn the formations and dances! She has taught a General Class in Fort Langley for the last 15 years, and was the Artistic Director of the Vancouver Branch Demonstration Team for 6 years. She has taught workshops throughout North America and has been a core teacher at TAC Summer School and St Andrews. Rebecca was born and raised in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. She very recently has moved to the Okanagan and is residing in Summerland.
ELLIE BRISCOE, Alexandria, Virginia
Ellie Briscoe first started Scottish Country Dancing in 1977 with the brand-new Livermore class, recruited from the Del Valle Folk Dancer group. Asilomar was the first big workshop she ever attended!
Ellie danced in the San Francisco Branch until just after she took her own Teacher's Certificate in 1982. She has taught at workshops across North America and in Cyprus and Japan. She has tutored RSCDS teacher candidates for 20 years, and in 2016 was appointed an RSCDS Examiner and currently serves on the Society's Education and Training Committee.
Her favorite aspects of SCD are the music and how it drives the covering and phrasing, the teamwork, and the way people grin when they "get it."
DOUG MACDONALD, Claremont, California
I started dancing in 1986. I had some great teachers early in my dancing career, but I think going to Asilomar for the first time in 1990 was a decisive factor in making me take the dancing seriously and pursuing it further. I started teaching in Pasadena in 1992, and have taught regularly in southern California since then. I’ve danced with various groups and demonstration teams in the area, including the Tartan McMidgets, who have appeared several times to great acclaim at Asilomar.
I came to California to do graduate work at Caltech, where I did research on the subject of black hole electrodynamics. I now work as an aerospace engineer in the area of guidance, navigation, and control.
Besides dancing, I enjoy playing volleyball and doing genealogical research.
I’ve always considered Asilomar to be the crown jewel of weekend workshops. The elective classes, and especially the always inspiring Sunday morning class, have probably been a greater influence on my dancing and teaching than any other single thing. It’s a great honor and pleasure to be teaching here in 2019.
RAPHAËLLE ORGERET, Lyon, France
Raphaëlle was introduced to Scottish dancing by her mother and attended Summer School for the first time in 1998. She was hooked and has not stopped dancing since. She passed her teacher’s certificate in St Andrews in 2008. She teaches her branch class in Lyon and a children’s class there too. For several years she coached a team for the Newcastle Festival comprising friends from across Europe and called it the International Team. She now coaches her Lyon branch team for the competition.
Raphaëlle has taught at the RSCDS Summer School, the Winter School and Spring Fling as well as workshops across Europe. In 2018 she taught at the Australian Winter School.
TIM WILSON, San Francisco, California
In my non-dance life, I am a librarian/archivist in the San Francisco History department of the San Francisco Public Library. My daily work involves helping others find the answers to their research questions--which is sometimes akin to treasure hunting.
I've been folk dancing since 1988 when I began Israeli folk dancing in the Philadelphia. When I moved to San Francisco, California in 1996, a friend thought I'd probably enjoy Scottish country dancing. I've been hooked ever since. The figures of Scottish dancing, the interplay of couples, and the music, all inspire me to devise dances. I count myself lucky that a few have been danced outside of the San Francisco Bay area.
I earned my full certificate in 2007 and have been teaching in the San Francisco class rotation since then. I’ve had the good fortune to teach workshops in the U.S. and abroad. It has been great to meet dancers around the world and to experience first-hand the welcoming nature of our global dance community.