about the director
Jessica McElhaney (neé Bach) began dancing and competing in 1999, thanks to an exposure to Highland dancing through her grandfather's "Irish" pub which had Highland dancers and bagpipers perform every St. Patrick's Day. Her competitive and performance career has included such highlights as performing at Epcot Center in Disney World, winning various awards, and dancing in theatres at the premier for the Pixar film Brave.
In 2010, Jessica became certified to teach competitive Highland dance by becoming a member of the British Association of Teacher of Dancing. She also became a member of the ScotDance USA, the organization for Highland dance teachers in the U.S. In 2017, Jessica was elected as the Western Regional Delegate for ScotDance USA which gave her a two-year seat on the National Board of Directors. She is currently a Member of the Scottish Dance Teachers' Alliance. In 2018, Jessica and her local Sacramento-area teachers formed Scot Dance Sacramento to promote Highland dance in their area.
These days, Jessica travels more extensively than ever in order to attend performances, competitions, workshops, and conferences with her dancers to help them as successful as possible in their efforts. Her students' successes and perseverance are what continue to drive her to be the best teacher she can be! She credits her teacher and mentor, Kyla Groeschel, for providing her the tools and encouragement to excel as a dancer and teacher and to begin the road to becoming a Highland dancing judge.