Deryck & Gareth
Mitchelson come from a family with a strong history in Scottish traditions,
in particular dance & music. Their mother, Wilma Tolmie, a reputable teacher
in the world of competitive Highland Dancing and former World Champion, introduced
the boys to Highland Dancing at a young age. This interest was encouraged and
indeed strengthened by their father, George, whose keen interest in piping,
Scottish music and song quickly lead to their involvement in other areas of
The brothers have taken part in competitions the world over, with a fair degree of success. Their competitive careers culminated with success at the World Championships where Gareth won 4 senior titles in 5 years and Deryck having his name on six titles covering the Juvenile, Junior and Senior section. In addition to World Titles the boys have won numerous Champion of Champion awards and other Championship titles, with Deryck holding titles for every Championship in Scotland.
However, their involvement in Scottish Dance does not end with competitive Highland Dancing.
For many years they were members of the world renowned British Caledonian Airways Pipes and Dance Group, which entertained at Scottish or promotional events the world over, in particular in Africa and the USA.
Deryck also has a very active interest in Scottish music, having his own Folk Band - The Cutting Edge. Much of the music that has been used in the Celtic Spirit routines was specially written by Deryck and played by his band at performances. This use of specially commissioned music enhances the performance as the music adds to the emotions portrayed in the dance, rather than being purely background.
Gareth's interest in Scottish dance extends beyond merely Highland Dancing to many of the traditional forms and is keen to maintain all aspects of the Scottish Heritage. The routines performed by the group were in the main choreographed by Gareth, who has spent considerable time creating new moves and experimenting with the use of traditional Scottish Step dancing as an accompaniment to main routines and as a main part of the show.
Tradition is very important to the group and they do not sacrifice the original steps and ideas purely in search of entertainment but always attempt to create a suitable mix and many of their performance still include complete steps and current competition dances.
The brothers feel that in performances too often emphasis is placed on choreographed ballet styled Highland dancing with music purely forming a background accompaniment. They are keen to amend this and return this Scottish Heritage to its true glory by marrying dance with music to let the Celtic Spirit come to life.