July 5-11, 2024


In 1965, Highland dance teacher Sally Southerland from Charlotte, NC; Ludovic Grant-Alexander, the director of The Citadel Pipe Band in Charleston; and the developers of Invershiel, a replica of a Scottish Highlands village at the foot of Grandfather Mountain gathered to imagine a summer program to teach dancing, piping, and Scottish history and culture. The first Highland Arts Camp opened in June 1966 with 20 campers on the campus of Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, and the tradition will continue on that same campus in 2024.


Trisha Bacon began highland dancing when she was six years old at the San Jose School of Scottish Dancing under the direction of Norine Harmon. During her competitive career, she was the winner of eleven championship titles, finished in the top six in the United States Inter-Regional (USIR) Championship ten times, qualified as a World Championship Finalist twice, and medaled in the World Championship finals in 2001. Read more.


Towns is a Fellow of the BATD in the Highland and a Member in National. She has served on the ScotDance USA Board of Directors as the Southeast Delegate 12 years and stands on many committees. She has taught at dance camps and workshops in Florida, Georgia, New York and North Carolina and loves working with dancers on technique and timing, as well as choreographing non-traditional pieces. Read more.