The Pure Joy Moving Company was formed in 1978 to allow those dance students with exceptional ability, combined with dedication and motivation to experience the ‘dance workshop’ environment.  Since the inception of PJMC, over 200 dancers have enjoyed the specialized and focused training this workshop provides.  Dancers are culled from the student body at MacKinnon Dance Academy.  Those who show promise, have great attendance, and who enjoy dance as their primary activity are the only ones considered for selection.

The PJMC has performed in four of their own concerts to sold-out audiences, as well as hundreds of club dates and community based programs.  The PJMC of 1994 was invited to China as part of a cultural exchange, where they performed six weeks with Russian and Chinese Dancers.


Our Highland Choreography group consists of selected senior dancers from the Highland Dance Department.  The choreography group, recently renamed ‘FLORA’ in honor of Joy’s Scottish Grandmother, performs dances which utilize their ballet, jazz, and tap techniques, but are dominated by the Highland dance vocabulary.  All dancers have or have been competitors in Scottish Highland Dance events throughout the country.  This group is by invitation only.  If your group would like to book ‘Flora’ for a performance, please call the studio at (805) 485-0115 and ask to speak with Joy MacKinnon, Director of Flora or by email at joy@mackinnondanceacademy.com.



Pumping Metal Tappers is a dynamic group of entertainers that have been together for about six years.  They have literally “grown-up” together, both as youngsters and as developing dancers.  Three complete evening concerts have been presented by the Pumping Metal Tappers as well as dozens of club dates and special dates.  Their energy and sense of fun is what makes this group worth watching.

Pumping Metal Tappers are MacKinnon Dance Academy based.  The choreographer is Anna Reed Sanchez.  The Pumping Metal Tappers are a unique group of terpsichorean experts.  Their playful interpretations of rhythms and styles will add an exciting dimension to your next special event.  The group is available for hire.  If you would like to book the Pumping Metal Tappers, please contact the studio at (805) 485-0115 or via email to joy@mackinnondanceacademy.com.


Joy MacKinnon brought Scottish Highland to the Ventura County dance community in 1973.  Her early training in Scottish Highland dancing was by her grandmother and aunts – all of whom were competitors in the Scottish Highland Games.  She was raised in a family where Scottish dancing was as much a part of any gathering as was shortbread, mince, Scottish meat pies, scones, teas and orange marmalade.  Joy’s grandmother made kilts at her ironing board for many people in the Scottish community of Detroit, Michigan and for those in Ontario, Canada, including Windsor.  Joy’s grandmother was an integral part of the Scottish community – belonging to the Daughter’s of Rebekkah and other Scottish-based cultural organizations.

Scottish dancing has not changed much over the years, however as recently as the Fifties, the steps were organized, defined, and brought together by the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing in Scotland.  The SOBHD regulates all of the Scottish dancing taught anywhere in the world.

Dances taught at MacKinnon’s include:  The Highland Fling, the Sean Tribuhas (prounonced Trews), the Sword, Highland Reel, Reel of Tulloch, and the Strathspey.  National dances also include:  the Scottish Lilt, the Earl of Errol, Flora MacDonald’s Fancy, the Highland Laddie, and the Barracks Johnny.  The Sailor’s Hornpioe and the Irish Jig (a Scottish version of the lively Irish dancing are also taught.

MacKinnon Dance Academy has produced dozens of beautifully trained Scottish Highland dancers since 1973.  Some have gone on to complete in the world games in Scotland, and many have taken their teacher’s credentials and are preserving the tradition through their classes.  Joy MacKinnon has produced two ‘Celtic’ dance concerts for the Ventura County community, and has been an advisor for the Ventura Arts Alliance during their work on recent Celtic Fairs and Festivals in Oxnard and Camarillo.

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