A True Champion


What makes a Champion dancer – talent, hard work, dedication, a strong will, a great teacher and a very supportive family, that’s just the start and Morgan has been extremely lucky to have all of the above. Add her passion for Highland Dancing and this young lady has truly put our country on the map.

Coming from New Zealand, thousands of miles away from the “hub” of Highland dancing, it is a credit to the dedication of ALL New Zealand SOBHD teachers, that although our numbers are small, our standard has kept improving and at the forefront has been Judy Clark, who has devoted the last 10 years to making Morgan the sensation she is and coupled with the incredible emotional and financial support of Morgan’s parents Paula and Mark, the gifted dancer was on the road to success at an early age.

All of us in our small dancing community have watched this young girl grow from a bright eyed, bouncy little dancer, to a beautiful, very dedicated and disciplined young lady. As a young academic, Morgan could have easily followed so many of her predecessors and left dancing behind her to go to a University around the country, but she didn’t, she knew that Uni would interfere with her dancing and so stayed to pursue her dream of World Championship success. It has been lonely at the top, with many of her NZ dancing friends dropping out either because it was virtually impossible to beat Morgan or because their passion had diminished, and many dancers in her position would possibly cruise though a competition knowing that they just needed to get through each dance, but not Morgan. Every spectator at every competition has had the privilege of witnessing the best she can give. Even dancing out at events where people have no idea what she is doing – she gives her absolute best and she could so easily have become cocky and obnoxious, but she has remained a gracious and extremely grounded individual.

Over the years, even though we would like to admit that we competed against Morgan, she mainly competed against herself and the very few times that anyone beat her, we all knew most were a momentary lapse or she had made a mistake and it is a credit to her that every year, without ANY major competition she heads off to Scotland, not having any idea how her rivals are dancing.

Now as a young teacher, she is like the “pied piper” of dancing having built up a studio of over 60 pupils in New Zealand’s 15th largest city. Youngsters flock to her as she teaches with such enthusiasm, the enthusiasm many of us remember as young teachers, and once again she gives 120% of herself, highly devoted to her pupils throughout the whole days dancing, many times while she is preparing to dance herself. As we all know, just because you are a great dancer, its never a given that you will be a great teacher and in most cases the opposite and it normally takes years to produce a certain standard but the Morgan B Dance School has had enforced in them, the dance ethic of their teacher and no teacher in the world could make them any better.

The definition of a Champion is “a person who has defeated or surpassed all rivals in a competition” and Morgan Bamford has certainly achieved that many, many times, but its not all about winning, as many winners have come and gone and no one remembers their name, but Morgan is certainly not one of those and our flourishing future is dependant on that. She is a true Champion in every sense of the word and we are very proud of her.

2012 Another Successful Year for New Zealand Dance


Once again NZ dancers competing of the World stage have taken major honours in 2012, starting from the Champion of Champion event held in Launceston Tasmania at Easter. Approximately 20 New Zealand dancers competed against nearly 500 from Australia and round the world and once again the quality and standard of our dancers had them on the podium consistently throughout the weekend.

New Zealand dancers travelled to Australia over the year and then to Scotland and Canada and below are just some of the prizes they received.

Morgan Bamford – New Plymouth
World Adult Championship – Runner-up
Champion or Champions 16yrs and over – Winner

Shannon Elphick – Wellington / Scotland
Tasmanian Championship 18 yrs – 4th
Australian Commonwealths – 3rd
Eastern Australian – 3rd

Liam Elphick - Wellington
Tasmanian championship 15yrs: - Winner
Champion of Champions 13-15 yrs: 3rd
Australian Commonwealths 13-15yrs: 3rd
Eastern Australian 13-15yrs: - Winner
Grand Australasians 14/15yrs: 2nd
The Internationals 14/15yrs: Winner
British overseas U16yrs: 4th
British Open 15yrs: 6th
Commonwealths 15yrs: 4th
Scottish (Cowal) 15yrs: (8th)

Abby-Jane Taylor – Central Hawkes Bay
Junior World Championships Cowal - 5th
14 and 15yrs World Pipe Band Championship - 3rd
British Open Championship - 2nd
Isle of Bute Championship - Winner
Commonwealth Championship - 2nd
Scottish Championship 14yrs - 2nd
Juvenile Championship 12-15yrs - 5th
Tasmanian Championship 14yrs - Winner
Champion of Champions 13-15yrs - Winner
Salamanca Celtic Challenge - Winner

Abigail Shanks - Central Hawkes Bay
Premier Restricted 12-13yrs Salamanca Challenge - 3rd

Holly Keir – Central Hawkes Bay
Tasmania Championship - 13yrs Champion - Winner
Champion of Champion 15yrs & under - 4th Place
Australasian Championship, Sydney - 12/13yrs - Winner
World Pipe Bands Championship Glasgow, Scotland 12/13yrs - 3rd
British Open Championship Edinburgh, Scotland 13yrs - 3rd Place
Bute Championship Rothesay, Scotland 12/13yrs Championship - 4th Place
Commonwealth Championship Stirling, Scotland 13yrs Championship - 3rd Place
Scottish Championship Dunoon, Scotland 13yrs Championship - Runner up
World Juvenile Championship Dunoon, Scotland - 13yrs Qualifier

Elysha-Rose Grant - Central Hawkes Bay
Tasmania Championship - 12yrs - Runner-Up
Champion of Champions -12yrs & under - Runner Up
Salamanca Celtic Challenge - 12yrs - Winner

Georgia Rathbone - Central Hawkes Bay
Tasmania Championship - 12yrs - 3rd
Champion of Champions - 12yrs & under - 4th
Salamanca Celtic Challenge - 12yrs - 3rd

Katie Reisima – Central Hawkes Bay
Tasmanian Championship 12yrs – 6th
Premier Restricted 12yrs Salamanca Challenge - Winner
British Open Pre-Championship 12yrs – Winner

Libby Taylor – Central Hawkes Bay
Tasmanian Championship 11yrs - 2nd
Champion of Champions 7 - 12yrs - 3rd
Salamanca Celtic Challenge – 11yrs - Winner

Shannon Vesey – Northland
Gosford Internationals – Winner Novice