The Prestonpans Highland dancer takes to the world stage

A young Highland dancer from Prestonpans took to the world stage on Thursday as she danced at the Cowal Gathering in Dunoon, Argyll.

Alex Anderson, 11, attends Dannsa Gu Bráth dance school in Cockenzie, and owner Chloe McClean, 22, expressed her pride in the young dancer.

Speaking ahead of the event, she told the Courier: “I don’t think she understands how successful this is.

“Cowal is the pinnacle of highland dancing, it’s where the world highland dancing championships are held, so we’re really excited for that one.

“She’s taking everything in her stride and I’m sure she’ll pull through just fine and have an amazing time.”

Alex was recently chosen as part of a squad to represent Lothians in the region’s final in Oban in May next year, having taken part in the International Festival of Dance and Performing Arts last week .

Chloe said: “She qualified for what is essentially the zone final.

“All the venues in Scotland are divided into different regions and she will represent Team Lothian.

“She has been dancing since she was about six years old, but she only recently started competing, so it was not at all expected that she would realize what she did.”

Chloe, who lives in Edinburgh, set up the Cockenzie School of Dance in November 2020, with the aim of identifying dancers from the East Lothian region.

She said: “There are already dance schools here, but not many, and I thought it would be a chance to reach people in this area and get them involved in the dance.

“We have just under 30 dancers now and it’s amazing to see them embracing Scottish culture.

“I know dancing with swords and stuff isn’t really ‘cool,’ so it’s nice to see they like it.”