In 2006, I was honored to produce the first Heartland International Music Tattoo in DeKalb County at Northern Illinois University. The show included 22 different dance ensembles, brass bands, bagpipe bands and other pageantry units. Featuring over 300 entertainers, this two-hour show was patterned after the world famous Edinburgh International Tattoo in Scotland.
One of the unique dance groups in the show was the Thistle and Heather Highland Dancers, a wonderful group of young ladies showcasing the dances of Scotland. One of the younger dancers stood out as a future star in the world of Scottish dance. Her name was Annika Strolle, the daughter of the dance team’s choreographer and Director, Nancy Strolle. Over the years, it has been exciting to see this young lady develop as a national champion dancer, and also a successful model and beauty pageant winner.
Annika has won many awards for dancing and was invited to be one of the 80 Scottish dancers to perform at the Edinburgh International Music Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland. These premiere dancers came from all over the world to be part of this 20 performance showcase.
Annika Strolle could well use the ABBA song, Dancing Queen, as her theme song. Over the past four years, Annika has risen through the ranks of the Miss Illinois Scholarship Pageant and is the current Miss Heartland (a coveted crown from the Central Illinois area). Not only a pretty face, she excels in the arena of education, graduating with top honors from Dominican University with a degree in Corporate Communications and a minor in Theater.
You can see Annika and the dance troop, Thistle & Heather Highland Dancers, appear this Friday at 7:00 p.m. at the historic Egyptian Theatre, 135 N 2nd Street, DeKalb, IL as a part of the exciting Red Hot Chilli Pipers show. Tickets are available online or at the Egyptian Theatre Box Office.
(Note: Michael Embrey was the Executive Director/Producer of four Heartland International Music Tattoo shows and has been a guest of the Norfolk Tattoo and the Edinburgh International Tattoo.)