Highland dancers to compete in state titles

A NICHE dancing cult will head to Ballarat this weekend, awash with tartan and kilts.

Sharni Plover, 12, and Ella Donovan-Clancy, 11, prepare for this weekend’s Ballarat Highland Dancing State Titles. PICTURE: DYLAN BURNS

Sharni Plover, 12, and Ella Donovan-Clancy, 11, prepare for this weekend’s Ballarat Highland Dancing State Titles. PICTURE: DYLAN BURNS

The city will host the Highland Dancing State Championships, with about 50 competitors competing across three dancing disciplines. 

Ballarat Highland Dancing teacher Christine Plover raised about $1000 from local businesses to bring the event to the area.

“The support has been fantastic,” Ms Plover said.

Ms Plover began teaching the art to her daughters in Ballarat four years ago and has seen membership grow in the past two years.

“It’s so different to anything else like ballet or any other form of dance,” she said.

From humble family beginnings, the local dance group has grown to 30 members, ranging in age from four to 16.

“It’s all been from word of mouth really. We go and perform at local shows, at nursing homes, all free of charge,” Ms Plover said. 

The older generation was particularly fond of the dance, given many had Scottish heritage, she said. 

Dancer Ella Donovan-Clancy said she enjoyed the dancing because she made friends and had the support of her family.

Current under-12 state champion Sharni Plover said competing throughout Victoria was a highlight. 

About 20 out of the 50 dancers competing are from Ballarat, which Ms Plover said was a testament to the region’s interest in the art. 

The championships will be held at Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School, Wendouree, on Saturday from 9am to 4pm.

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