Local dancers step out for their country in Turkey

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A PARTY of dancers from the Gordon School of Dancing, Montrose, has just returned from Turkey, where not only did they take part in the annual International Festival at Bursa, but they were the first-ever Scots to do so.

The dancers were Katie Burke, Louise Howatson, Kimberley Laing, Michaela Markowski and Syandayl Gove, who were accompanied by dancing school principal Mrs Robina Addison.

After landing in Istanbul, which is partly in Asia and partly in Europe, the dancers were driven to Bursa where they shared the stage at the 50th festival with dance groups from 43 countries from all over the world.

The invitation to the Scottish contingent was extended as a result of their participation in the eighth Chinese International Folk and Arts Festival last October.

At the opening ceremony two representatives from each country were invited to release a dove of peace after the Mayor’s welcome.

Katie and Syandayl performed this duty and then joined the rest of the group in the two-hour parade through Bursa, which has a population of 2.5 million people.

The parade ended in the park of culture and each country gave a five-minute performance.

Mrs Addison told us: “It was a very proud moment for me to watch my youngsters showing off our culture to such a vast audience, which included many dignitaries, with their usual enthusiasm and expertise.”

There were two performances daily in different areas of the city and the dancers became accustomed to performing in front of audiences of 3,500 people.

As the temperature was extremely hot all the performances took place into the evening.

A happy Mrs Addison concluded: “We returned home to the Scottish sunshine having had a great experience being part of such a prestigious event and meeting with so many dancers from so many countries.”