Dawn & Helen MacDonald

Cape Breton

Dawn MacDonald-Gillis and Helen MacDonald began step dancing at the ages of five and eight under the tutelage of Kaye Hanrahan in New Waterford. With strong ties to the Iona area, they grew up surrounded by traditional Cape Breton music. By the time they had reached their teen years, their synchronized footwork had them invited to perform in many concerts in Cape Breton and beyond. Furthermore, they began teaching step dancing, both privately and for other dancing schools in the industrial Cape Breton area. Dawn and Helen’s dancing skills have been featured in the DVD Buddy MacMaster in Concert, on tours with Natalie MacMaster and the Barra MacNeils, and in stage productions including Howie’s Celtic Brew. Internationally, Helen has also showcased her skills with the group Dannsa in Scotland and at Stair na Fèil, an Irish dance festival in RosMuc, County Galway, Ireland. They both continue to teach step dance workshops at various professional conferences as well as at Colaisde na Gàidhlig / the Gaelic College, St. Ann’s and at Fèis an Eilein, Christmas Island, among others. Dawn and Helen have been frequent performers at Celtic Colours since 2010 and it’s a pleasure to welcome them back once again.

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