YEARS of training have led three West Fife dancers to performing on some of the world’s greatest stages.

Ellie Forrester, who has been part of The Allana Brown School of Highland Dancing since she was just four years old, recently returned from Switzerland after taking part in the world’s second most famed military tattoo in Basel.

The 23-year-old, who lives in Dunfermline, auditioned online to qualify for the intensive event, which saw her train and perform for a full two weeks last month.

She said: “We got standing ovations every night – nothing compares – but my legs are still recovering!

“It was really warm, that was the main challenge, it got up to 37 degrees. It was also challenging with everyone being from different dance schools.

“It was a lot of rehearsal and a lot of work. We were still up practicing at 9pm at night, it was amazing, but tough.

“We had one thunderstorm show, that was scary but dancing in the rain felt pretty impressive, though at the time we thought ‘surely not’!”

Ellie has been all over the world thanks to Highland dancing, including performances in Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Norway.

“They are experiences I would never have got without Allana,” she added.

Allana, whose dance school will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, has a “hectic” month ahead, as two of her dancers, Louise Barton from Cairneyhill and Emily McLauchlan from Rosyth, take part in the Edinburgh Tattoo, while she also prepares for the Inverkeithing Highland Games this Saturday, and the world championships.

“I have had the girls since they were four,” she told the Press. "It has been nice to see them keep going – there are lots of drop-offs – and to see them developing.

“They have been committed to me as much as I am to them, a lot of pupils now are previous pupils' children, which is lovely to see, but I keep saying when the grandchildren come I will need to stop!.”

Ellie, who has previously performed in the Edinburgh event, works in event management and still tries to make at least one of Allana’s classes a week, while also doing her own training sessions and fitness classes.

“Edinburgh is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said. “It is a tough month, you have to commit to rehearsals, if I could have taken five weeks off then I would have done it.”

Allana, who is looking forward to watching Louise and Emily perform in the capital, called the show a “wonderful spectacle,” adding: “It makes your heart go fast, even after all these years.”

The Allana Brown School of Highland Dancing is based within Dunfermline High School and information can be found on the Facebook page.