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Desirée Pahl

Artistic Director


Desirée Pahl, the dynamic leader behind Acclaim Celtic Dancers, is not only a Nanaimo Women of Influence awardee but also the recipient of the "Women in Business" Award 2024 from the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce. She is an Instructor, Choreographer, dancer, and Celtic enthusiast. She is also a licensed Early Childhood Educator (Assistant) in practicum for fully licensed ECE. She has been educated in a variety of teaching methods including Reggio, Waldorf, Montessori, etc. She believes strongly in inquiry-based learning and age-appropriate pedagogies.


Desirée danced under Anne Reid (Highland) and Maggie Owens (Irish) and is a member of the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing and is a registered Teacher with ScotDance Canada. She is also a mother. Her artistic vision is advocacy through multicultural dance fusion and educational partnerships ultimately showcased in Nanaimo via performances and unique pop-up style events.


Desirée is the dedicated President on the Board of Directors for Crimson Coast Dance Society. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Victoria Highland Games Association, Campbell River Highland Gathering (Salmon Fest) trophy sponsor and Island Fantasy Ball Bronze Sponsor and trophy sponsor. 

Desirée was the first to perform Highland Dancing daily for many summers at Nanaimo’s historic cannon firing ceremony at the Bastion downtown. She takes great pride in supporting the Highland Dance community and other unique forms of dance such as Latin (through her affiliation with Salsa Dancing Nanaimo) modern and contemporary dance (through her work with Crimson Coast Dance) right here on Vancouver Island. 

Professional Memberships:


Member of Scottish Dance Teacher's Alliance since 1999

Member of ScotDance British Columbia & Canada

Member of CID (International Dance Council)

Member of the Canadian Irish Dance Company

Professional Member of BC Highland Dancing Association

Member of the Cowichan Valley Highland Dance Association 

Trophy Chair - Board of Directors, Victoria Highland Games Association 

Vice President, Board of Directors - Crimson Coast Dance Society

Administrator for Salsa Dancing Nanaimo

BC Early Childhood Educator Registry Certification

Member of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce

Member of the Port Theatre 

Member of the Nanaimo Theatre Group

Member of the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra


We would like to gratefully recognize and acknowledge that we live, learn, and work, on the unceded territories of the Snuneymuxw, Snaw-naw-as, and Stzuminus people. We also acknowledge the ancestral and continued connection to this land of the Métis Nation.


We recognize that Residential Schools and other acts of colonization have resulted in broad inequities for Indigenous people in Canada and that these inequities create significant and unique barriers for Indigenous children. We are endeavouring to advocate for services which are inclusive and accessible to all community members. 

Put your Accomplice Action to work! Support Munu Canoe Family's Tribal Journey TODAY by making a contribution to the costs of keeping their Culture Alive.


Diversity and Inclusion

We prioritize diversity and inclusion by creating a safe space for all participants to take part in and learn authentically. To us, belonging means being a part of something bigger, being accepted and seen for who we are as individuals and what we can ALL contribute.

Pride Parade

Big Dreams
Big Collaborations

Imagine what you can do

We frequently enlist professional guest choreographers from other multicultural dance practices (including Salsa Dancing Nanaimo, Vancouver Island Bhangra, Afro Fusion Sharqi Dance and more) in which we provide fusion workshops, collaboration, and to perform with (and alongside) to support our commitment to diversity and inclusion. 




The only way these dance opportunities are possible in this little city is through the support of many individuals, guest 
artists/performers/instructors, organizations, funders, our community partners, and the City of Nanaimo. We are so appreciative. Thanks to our volunteers and our team - who create the magic. 

Finally, we thank the Celtic community for embracing our passion and allowing us to bring a taste of Scottish and Irish culture to our participants – in the most fundamental of ways.

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