Gemma Baillie is a member of the BATD and represents Granite City festivals as a deputy delegate on the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing. She is an RSOBHD registered adjudicator and was an RSOBHD competitor for 22 years for which she danced with Wilma Tolmie, she won many championship titles over the UK including the UKA, BATD, British Open and European Championships. She also qualified to dance in the world championship finals 14 times and finished in the top six in the adult world championships in 2003, 2008 and 2009. After finishing competing, Gemma enjoyed dancing at the 2013 Basel International Tattoo and more recently, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo when it was on tour in Australia and New Zealand. Together with Rachel Mclagan, Gemma organised the 2010 charity highland dancing concert, assemble and leap to honour the 60th anniversary of the board whilst raising over £8000 for action Duchene and the MS Society Scotland and in 2013 ran a charity highland dancing competition in Aberdeenshire in aid of breast cancer campaign.
Jennifer Miller has been involved in Highland dance since the age of 5. Jennifer was very successful in competition, winning several championships across the US and Canada. She was the US National Champion twice (1987 & 1988) and placed in the overall top six in the US for thirteen consecutive years (1986-1998). Jennifer received her degree in dance from Oakland University, where she was a scholarship student and the recipient of the Jakob Decker Dance Award for outstanding performance. Jennifer has danced on the Central Michigan University Dance Team “Chippettes”, the Oakland University Dance Team “Images”, Oakland Dance Theatre and the OU Repertory Dance Company. She has danced professionally with Patterson Rhythm Pace Dance Company in Michigan and the Celtic Dance Theatre of Arizona where she was selected to be a soloist in the west coast tour of “Fire and Grace”.
Jennifer has been teaching dance for over 17 years. Along with teaching Highland, “Miss Jen”, as her students call her, has also taught jazz, ballet, tap, hip hop, modern and lyrical at many different schools and studios and has also taught classes at Oakland University. Jennifer is an adjudicator for the Michigan Educational Theater Association and is an accomplished choreographer. She has choreographed over 30 musicals for several different theater companies in Michigan including the Groves Performing Arts Company, where she worked for four years with Evan Kasprzak, finalist on the hit FOX TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” and currently performing in the Broadway musical “Newsies”.
Jennifer is a member of FUSTA and the BATD and is the chairperson for the St. Andrew’s Society of Detroit Annual Highland Games dance competition. She opened her own dance school, the Lakes Area School of Highland Dance, in 2003 where she went from having only 3 dancers to having 42 dancers in just three years. Her students perform annually at the Michigan Renaissance Festival and have also performed at the Magic Kingdom inside Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Her students have won many awards and scholarships and she has had dancers representing the Midwest Region at the US National Championships for the past three years. She was honored to receive the Max MacLeod Memorial Award for Excellence in Highland Dance Instruction in 2009 and is thrilled to be teaching at the Ohio Scottish Arts School this year! Jennifer lives in Highland, Michigan with her husband, Greg Combs, and their six children, Henry, Nate, Maddie, Tucker, Caden and Ellie.
Alison Plemmons was born in Park Ridge, IL to her parents, Sheila and Tom Mittig. Her Mom, Sheila, is a Highland Dancing teacher and from a very early age Alison loved to watch her Mom’s classes. Almost as soon as she could walk, Alison began trying to dance and therefore her Mom decided that she might as well teach her properly. Alison’s dancing prowess progressed quickly and in 1986 and 1987, she won the USIR Junior Championships (15 and under) and in 1987 She and her Mom were awarded the Australia award that was given to the dancer of the day and her teacher. In 1988 and 1989, she won the USIR Senior Championships and in 1989 again the Australia award this time sharing it with another dancer and her teacher. Alison also won many other competitions and Championships including Regional Championships. Alison is a Member of the British Associations of Teachers of Dancing (BATD) is the Secretary of the Great Lakes Region of the B.A.T.D. In 2010 Alison qualified as a member of the Scottish Official Board Judges panel. Alison has judged in Canada and the U.S. She has also taught at many workshops and Schools including the Ohio Scottish Arts School for many years. Alison has many students who are doing very well in competition and she is proud that one of her students is the won the USIR Senior Championship and will have her name on the same trophy as her teacher. Alison is married to Andy Plemmons and they live in Hartland, Ml with their two sons, Devin and Brandon.
Joy (Allen) Tolev started dancing at the age of 3 under the instruction of Mrs. Evelyn Murray in Toronto, Ontario. During her competitive days she successfully competed in many highland dance competitions and championships throughout Canada and the United States.
She has been teaching at her own school of highland dancing in Toronto for the past 30 years and has produced many dancers of high caliber who have captured titles in various championships including the Ontario, Canadian, Scottish, Commonwealth and World Championships. There have been over 25 Canadian Championship Titles, many Scottish and Commonwealth Championship titles and runner-ups, and a World Champion who holds 10 World Titles.
She is a Fellow and Examiner of the B.A.T.D., North American Co-ordinator of the B.A.T.D., and adjudicator on the S.O.B.H.D. Judges panel.
Joy teaches annually at the Ohio Scottish Arts School which is a week camp in June, the Delco Workshop in February and travels across Canada, United States, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand, judging, examining and conducting workshops.