Dance keeps them on toes
Waimate is gearing up to host its next round of highland dance competitions.
Dancers from around the South Island will attend the event, along with representatives from Waimate, including Phoebe Todd and Victoria Wilson, both 17.
Highland dancing has played a huge part in their lives, both starting out as youngsters - Phoebe took it up 14 years ago, and Victoria, 12 years ago.
Their love of the dance has seen them compete in numerous competitions, including the highland dance nationals, recently held in Palmerston North.
Both girls have developed a great love of the dance and cannot imagine life without it.
"I love the social life, the people are just so nice," Phoebe says.
She also loves competing, which gives dancers an opportunity to catch up with the friends they have made over the years.
Phoebe says that though the competition can be intense, everyone gets on.
"The competitions aren't just competitions.
"I go and I'm just so excited to see everyone," Phoebe says.
"Its just a nice sport, really," Victoria added.
The girls are already gearing up for their next competitions, being held at the St Patrick's hall in Waimate on August 25, where about 30 competitors will perform.
Many of the competitors expected to attend are from South Canterbury, however the event also attracts dancers from Ashburton, Oamaru and Dunedin.
The event is one of three held in Waimate each year.
Victoria and Phoebe are both ambitious when it comes to their dancing. Both girls want to extend their dance skills, and pass on what they have already learned to other up and coming dancers.
"I've just completed all my exams in May so I get my diploma at conference in September. That means I can pretty much be a judge [at competitions]," Phoebe says.
She has also been teaching some of the district's young dancers and has enjoyed watching the results unfold.
"I enjoy watching their confidence grow.
"I just want people to have fun dancing."
However, Phoebe is quick to add that there is more to highland dancing than meets the eye.
"You learn about dedication and commitment. You have to dance and keep fit, and learn how to manage your time, and you've got to be a good competitor.
"You have good days and bad days."