Highland dancing remained very popular in the 2000s, enjoyed by the many descendants of Scottish immigrants and others attracted by the discipline, technical challenge and history of the dance. Highland dance is one of the most visible of all cultural dances, seen at A & P (agricultural and pastoral) shows and Highland Games. It also boasts two national organisations. The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dance was set up in 1946 to maintain the dances brought by settlers. In the 2000s it had a network of teachers across the country and had developed a programme for pre-schoolers. ScotDance NZ was formed in 1999, after New Zealand participants returned from a large Highland-dance conference in Las Vegas excited by new developments in the style. Here Tara Harris and Jenna Wheeler compete at the New Zealand Highland and National Dancing Championships in Invercargill in 2009.
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Cover photo courtesy of Southern Exposures Photography