Carluke dancer is a veteran aged just 14

Although only 14 years old, Niamh is already something of a veteran in the world of Highland dancing.
Although only 14 years old, Niamh is already something of a veteran in the world of Highland dancing.

The name of Niamh Donnelly has now been added to the long list of honour of Carluke girls who have made their mark in the world of Highland dancing.

Although only 14 years old, she is already something of a veteran when it comes to this discipline.

She actually started her dance education at the very tender age of three years old, meaning that she had over a decade of experience behind her when she recently entered the Pre-Championship heats for the forthcoming Central Scotland Championship to be held in Paisley.

She won her stage of the competition and now moves on to compete in the big event.

As if this wasn’t achievement enough for the former pupil of Carluke’s St Athanasius Primary School and now St Aidan’s HighS chool student, she added to what was an excellent 2018 for her by being nominated to take part in the SDTA European Highland Scholarships where she went on to win the junior section.

All this has thrilled and delighted not only Niamh’s family but also the Carluke dance school she has been a member of from the very start of her career.

With Carluke a long, long way south of the Highlands, an explanation for why it keeps producing dancers who excell in its traditional form of dance might just be down to mentors like the Gillian Chapman School of Dance.

Formed in 2002 - a few years before Niamh was even born - the school tutors youngsters not only in Highland dancing but also runs classes in tap, jazz/disco, Street and cheerleading.

Of Niamh’s 2018 successes, Gillian Chapman commented: “This was an excellent achievement and we are extremely proud.” The school has now a five straight year record of students nominated to the Scholarships.