Celebration of milestone muted

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On their toes. . . Heriot dancers Bella Young (left) and Ellie Roulston (both 7) take part in the Southland championship under-8-years highland fling at the Gore and Districts Piping and Dancing Society highland dancing competition on Saturday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

It was a low-key celebration for a Gore club that achieved a significant milestone on Saturday.

The Gore and Districts Piping and Dancing Society held its 70th highland dancing competition.

President Susan Harris said the society had planned to host a dinner and cut an anniversary cake.

However, in light of Covid-19 restrictions, these events were cancelled.

“We will just wait until our 75th.”

There were 52 entries, which was slightly up on last year, Mrs Harris said.

“We were more than pleased with how it went with the restrictions that we had in place.”

The group was fortunate to have the services of Invercargill piper Jordan Caig.

“He used to be a highland dancer up until he was about 14 and then he chose to be a piper for the competitions which is really good, because a dancer who is a piper has really good rhythm and knows the speeds and steps.

“We are very lucky in Southland.”

If groups did not have a piper a recording was used.

Dancers came from as far as Christchurch and were aged from 6 to 28. Some of the events were Southland championship events.

Each club in the region was assigned championship dances to run as part of its competition.

Highland dancing numbers are on the rise, particularly in the under-10 and under 12-year-old bracket.

“It’s really good for brain development.”

If anyone was interested in highland dancing they could contact Mrs Harris on 027-210-6334.