Dance school’s success continues

Mollie-Mae Aiken (left) and Eilidh McTaggart of the Anne McIlroy School of Dance.
Mollie-Mae Aiken (left) and Eilidh McTaggart of the Anne McIlroy School of Dance.

Two dancers from the Anne McIlroy School of Dance in Rothesay recently celebrated success, making their mentor extremely proud of her girls.

Eilidh McTaggart (9) kept up her impressive recent run of trophy winning performances with further competition successes. Firstly, she won the Deer Park Shield with straight first places in the intermediate section at Inveraray Indoor Competition. Then at the Rosneath Peninsula Highland Gathering she won both the Highland and national trophies with three first places, a second and two thirds.

Fellow pupil Mollie-Mae Aiken (14) won the overall Highland trophy for premier 15 years at Rosneath Highland Games last month.

Anne McIlroy, who has run the school for 60 years, was full of pride for her dancers.

She said: “They work hard. Mollie-Mae is no that wee now. She is 14 and a very grown up 14-year-old. Eilidh is still a young girl.

“They put a lot of work into their dancing. And their parents support them, travelling away to the various games.

“And it’s not just on the day. They practice like mad so they really deserve this success.

“I’m very proud of them. We are all proud of them.”

Anne has been closely following the girls’ progress.

She said: “Mollie-Mae has been dancing for about four years. She came here late.

“Eilidh has been dancing for about six years. She got into it early. She was about three when she started.

“It’s amazing what they can do at that age. They don’t do dancing as such. But they have got a lot of rhythm.”

And the dance school owner is delighted with how this year has gone. She said of her pupils: “They have started off this year really well. Our dancers have been at quite a few competitions so that has led to us winning more medals. It’s been a very successful year for the dance school.”

As well as success in competition, Anne is happy that her dancers are able to show off their skills to visitors to the island, by performing at the Glenburn Hotel every Wednesday evening.

She said: “They all go just to get the chance to dance in front of people. They are at the heart of the show.

“They really are ambassadors for the island. Nobody in Rothesay sees what they do. But they are tremendous ambassadors for the island. It’s just really the tourists that see what they do.

“They are keeping alive the tradition of Highland dancing on Bute, while also keeping themselves fit.

“The people at the Glenburn Hotel think it’s amazing. The dancers are superb and a real advert for the island.”