Highland dancers from all over Scotland are heading for Lewis this weekend, as the biggest ever Hebridean Celtic Dance Festival kicks off on Saturday (July 20th).
Hosted by the Lynn Maclean School of Dancing, the annual event has been drawn into the HebCelt fringe programme and has attracted the highest number of entries since it began in 2012.
As a result of receiving 88 entries from as far afield as Fife, Stonehaven, Ardrossan and Glasgow, the festival has moved to Ionad Spòrs Leodhais, where doors will open to the public to watch each dancer compete in up to four dances each, solo or in groups.
Judging through the day will be sisters Christine and Kathleen O’Donnell from Paisley, and Pipe Majors Larry Ferguson and Alan Macdonald – both from Lewis – will be maintaining the all-important sound and rhythm.
After a morning of traditional Highland Dancing there will be a new section of choreography in the afternoon.
The whole event has been sponsored by Celtic Clothing of Bayhead, who have covered the cost of medals, and trophies donated by other sponsors have been named after places throughout the Western Isles.
Lynn Maclean told welovestornoway.com: “We all love dancing first and foremost and this competition was originally set up as part of the Lewis Highland Games. When that stopped I approached the Hebridean Celtic Festival to see if they would be happy for it to run as part of the festival.
“It started very small in 2012 and now, in its eighth year, it’s built up so that it is too big to fit anywhere but the sports centre. It’s open for anyone to come along and appreciate the performance, especially the choreography which is quite a spectacle.”
The Hebridean Celtic Dance Festival is at Lewis Sports Centre, with registration starting at 9.30am and dancing beginning at 10am. Entries to compete are closed, but the event is open to spectators throughout the day.
Picture shows members of the Lynn Maclean School of Dancing at a festival in Harris earlier this year.