Instructors

Jillian MacLeod, Member SDTA
Jillian is a Champion Highland Dancer, an avid performer and a dedicated teacher. She began her dancing career at the age of 6 with Shelley Grant-Rovers and danced under her direction for 18 years. Jillian took her Associate Highland Exam at the age of 16 and started MacLeod School of Highland Dance the following spring. She took her Member Highland Exam in 2014 and passed with distinction.
Highlights of her teaching career include having her students dance and runner up the provincial level, a number of high aggregate awards at SDCCS events and watching her 14 oldest dancers compete in the large group choreography competition at SDCCS 2019 in Moncton NB. Jillian also planned a trip to Scotland in 2018 during which 17 MacLeod Dancers got to travel to and compete in Scotland, where every dancer came home with medals and memories to last a lifetime. She loves to see dancers improve and reach goals they believe to be unattainable - but the best part of teaching is our MacLeod dance family and seeing friendships develop and strengthen in the studio and beyond.
Highlights of her personal competitive career include representing Nova Scotia at the Canadian Inter-Provincial Championships on eight occasions, earning 9 Champion Titles including Atlantic Canada Closed Champion, Halifax Open Champion, and PEI Open Champion; as well as being 7th overall in the North American Open Championships. Jillian has also had success in choreography competitions, placing at the national level four times - the latest being with her good friend Taylor at a duet competition at SDCCS 2019 in which they competed with their own choreography.
On the performance side, Jillian was selected on three occasions to dance with the Canadiana Celtic Highland Dance Team performing at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2012 and the Basel Tattoo in 2016 & 2018. Jillian was also part of the 48 member international dance team that danced at the 10th Anniversary of the Kremlin Military Tattoo in Moscow, Russia. She was also a member of the Scotia Highland Dancers from the ages of 9-13; and was fortunate to travel and perform at Disney World in Florida.

Photo by Brent McCombs, AlterEgo Photography

Katie vanOirschot, Associate SDTA
Katie began dancing when she was 7 years old with Shelley Grant-Rovers, after she went to watch her cousin Jillian at the local Antigonish Competition and wanted to give it a try. Highlights of her dancing career involve representing Nova Scotia at the Canadian Inter-Provincial Championships in Winnipeg, MB and dancing at Walt Disney World as part of the Scotia Highland Dancers. Katie was a member of the Scotia Highland Dancers for 8 years and thrived on performing and travelling to different shows and tattoos around the maritime provinces.
Katie took a few years off dance after high school but when she moved back to Antigonish she realized she missed dance in her life and began coming to Jillian's adult premier classes. She competed at the Antigonish Highland Games in 2019, receiving 3rd Runner Up at the Premiership and when competitions were ceased during COVID she decided to study to become a teacher. Katie became an Associate of the SDTA in the summer of 2020, receiving Merit on her exam done through stressful ZOOM.
Outside of dance, Katie is a Dairy Farmer and an avid animal lover who began her teaching career teaching horse-back riding and now teaches dance classes once a week at the studio.
Jaelynn Rogers, Teacher Assistant
Jaelynn is a Premier dancer with the MacLeod School of Highland Dance. She is sixteen years old and a grade eleven student at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School in Antigonish. Jaelynn has been dancing since the age of three, but didn't join Highland until she was ten. She decided that Highland was a passion and was able to get to premier by the age of twelve. Some highlights of her dancing years include competing at the 2017 Scot Dance Canada Championship in Charlottetown, PEI and the 2019 ScotDance Championship series in Moncton, New Brunswick. In 2018 she travelled to Scotland with the MacLeod School of Highland Dance to compete in two competitions, and watch the World Highland Dance Championship in Dunoon. Jaelynn enjoys competing at many competitions around the maritimes and is a wonderful help with the younger dancers. Jaelynn also trains in other styles of dance including Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Step and Ballet.
Olivia Organ, Teacher Assistant
Bio coming soon!