Dancers back at show
After a lay-off of eight years, Highland Dancing is making a welcome return to the A&P Show on Saturday, February 28. Highland Dancing is very popular in North Otago with more than sixty regular students taught by three local teachers – Jenny Kinzett, Philippa Taylor and Kimberley Mavor.
Mrs Mavor explains: ‘‘The Mosgiel competition has moved to March so it opened a window to bring Highland Dancing back. They’re very keen to have us back and all going well we should have a successful day.’’
Dancers can enter on the day from 9am with competitions starting at 10am.
‘‘I’m confident we’ll get quite a few because there’s
a number of local dancers now so it’ll be a perfect outing for them.’’
The life of a Highland Dancer can be busy with many competitions including the nationals which will be held in Ashburton this year. Last weekend there was the local competition at the Scottish Hall.
The return to the A&P Show brings special memories for Mrs Mavor.
‘‘I danced at the A&P Show for many a year. It used to be in November on a Wednesday, I’ll never forget, a day off school so you could compete.
‘‘And the highlight for me was, you used to win 50 cents and a card, and I tell you what, for a day’s dancing, that bought you quite a few rides back in the day on the ferris wheel and what have you.’’
For students there are 10 set dances to learn along with some fun dances.
‘‘Usually you start by learning the Highland Fling, then the Irish jig, you move on to the Sword Dance, Sailor’s Hornpipe and the list goes on.’’
The A&P Show competition features six different dances in five age categories: under-7, 8, 10, 12 and 14.
‘‘The seniors won’t be performing but some will help out on the day, which is encouraging for the young ones.’’
The association between Highland Dancing and the A&P Show goes back many years. Mrs Mavor hopes it will become a regular event again from now on.
‘‘It’s always been quite a traditional thing and it’s nice to bring it back – a fun day out and a chance for the girls to show their stuff to others, and for others to see what Oamaru’s got to offer with Highland Dancing.’’
Skills: It’s a fun day out and a chance for the girls to show their stuff.