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A Highland fling down under for Wick sisters


By David G Scott

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TWO young Highland dancers are displaying their skills at a festival in Australia this weekend and don't even have to leave their home town of Wick.

Sisters Florence (14) and Olivia Murton-Armer (12) have been going through their paces for the 2020 Interactive Highland Dancing Festival (IHDF) by sending videos of their performances.

Florence is captured in mid-air as she does her routine. Picture: DGS
Florence is captured in mid-air as she does her routine. Picture: DGS

The girls learned their skills from the Lorraine Bremner School of Highland Dancing and, with the help of mum Jane, are filming videos of the Highland fling and swords routines.

The IHDF is hosted by the International Highland Dancing Festival Australia (IHDFA), based in New South Wales, which decided to hold a virtual festival this year and taking place this weekend.

"Because of Covid all the dance schools are closed and there are no dancing competitions," Jane explained.

Florence dances the sword at her garden on West Banks Avenue. Picture: DGS
Florence dances the sword at her garden on West Banks Avenue. Picture: DGS

"People from Scotland, Canada, New Zealand, America and Australia have set up this interactive Highland dancing festival so that all children missing out can still participate."

The IHDFA is normally a four-day event that has participants travel from all over the world to take part, providing for all categories and ages of dancer "with the utmost opportunity to compete in a safe, friendly, positive environment".

Olivia dances beside Wick harbour. Picture: Jane Murton-Armer
Olivia dances beside Wick harbour. Picture: Jane Murton-Armer

Jane added: "There is a Lorraine Bremner School of Highland Dancing Facebook page which shows some of the things the dancers have been doing during lockdown, including a thank-you video to all the key workers."

Florence and Olivia said they would have danced in the town's gala week celebration had it not been cancelled this year but are delighted to be taking part in the IHDF.

They have both won awards for their dancing in past competitions.

The virtual festival is, however, not a competition but more an opportunity to showcase global talents in Highland dancing.

For more information on the IHDFA visit its Facebook page.


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