D&E dancer performs for Queen Elizabeth II

Davis & Elkins College Highland Dancer Gabby Pealer, front right, displays a framed certificate...
Davis & Elkins College Highland Dancer Gabby Pealer, front right, displays a framed certificate from Elkins Mayor Jerry Marco recognizing her representation of the community. Pealer is currently performing with Sons of Scotland Pipe Band in Scotland and received the certificate after the crew’s show for the Lord Provost of Edinburgh.(Davis & Elkins College)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT
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ELKINS, W.Va (WDTV) - A Davis & Elkins Highland Dancer missed her first week of classes to represent the College in performing throughout Scotland with the Sons of Scotland Pipe Band of Ottawa, Canada.

Gabby Pealer, a junior at D&E, is the only American and featured dancer performing with the group.

Highlighting the premier band’s tour was a private performance for Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral, the royal family’s summer estate in Deeside.

The event marked the Platinum Jubilee celebration for the Queen’s 70th anniversary of her reign.

Pealer said on Tuesday she had a mixture of excitement and nervousness for the performance.

Each of us in the group, musician, dancer, or guest, has a mixture of excitement and nervousness for our performance. I could not be more happy to represent my country as the one American citizen and featured dancer in this tour. My band mates have created the best atmosphere I could hope for, and we all feel like family in our residential flats. Although tomorrow presents our greatest performance yet, I feel peaceful. With over 160 performers and guests to be hidden on the lawn of Balmoral Castle, and a private reception in the adjacent cottage for performers to meet royals currently staying at the castle, it will be a venue not soon forgotten.

Gabby Pealer on Tuesday before the performance

Pealer and the band have made their mark all around Edinburgh putting on shows for the Lord Provost of Edinburgh and at Stirling Castle.

The Sons of Scotland have performed regularly for Queen Elizabeth since 2005, each year by simply making the request.

“Gabby has worked incredibly hard on her dancing and she is so deserving of this amazing opportunity,” said Katy Dillon, advisor to the Davis & Elkins College Highland Dancers and Pealer’s mentor for several years. “D&E has always been so supportive of Highland dancing, and we are thankful that they sponsored Gabby on this trip of a lifetime.”

Pealer joined the D&E troupe in 2020. She dances at the premier level and earned her Highland Dance Teaching Certification last year.

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