ACT News

Canberra Highland dancer performing at Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Melbourne

Jessica Girvan, 25, will be resplendent in kilt, hose and pumps in February. The Charnwood resident was one of 50 Australian Highland dancers selected by OzScot Australia to perform in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Melbourne. It will run from February 12 to 14, 2016.

Girvan said she remembered watching the Edinburgh Military Tattoo as a child with her grandmother (she has Scottish ancestry on her mother's side). She began studying at the Joy Reiher​ School of Scottish Dancing 18 years ago, said has performed in four Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoos in Scotland (in 2009, 2012, 2014 and this year), and in an international version of the event in Sydney in 2010.

Jessica Girvan has been selected to perform at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo as part of the contingent in Melbourne.
Jessica Girvan has been selected to perform at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo as part of the contingent in Melbourne. Photo: Elesa Kurtz

She said she was looking forward to another opportunity to perform in the Tattoo on home soil.

"It was great," she said of being chosen as one of 1200 performers to take part in the Tattoo in Melbourne's Etihad Stadium, which will feature a full-sized replica of Edinburgh Castle.

Girvan has competed in Australian Highland dancing championships, regularly placing in the top six if not the top three, and last year competed in the world championships in Dunoon, Scotland.

"I was very sick on the day so it was not my best performance," she said. "I'll go back again next year or the year after."


But for now she was dedicated to preparing for the Tattoo, with regular classes and other training.

She will also take part in the Champion of Champions Championship in Adelaide in March, the Virginia International Military Tattoo in the United States in April, and the International Highland Dancing Championships on the Central Coast in July.

Meanwhile, she is applying for jobs in forensic science, which she studied at the Canberra Institute of Technology.

Girvan said she regarded Highland dancing as a sport.

"You need a lot of stamina ... it's very, very physically demanding," she said. "You're jumping from start to finish."

She said she loved the athleticism of it and the fact that it was a very technical form of dance.

"All the steps are set by Scotland and my brain likes working at that technical level to produce something like that and make it look easy when it's actually quite difficult."

Tickets for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Melbourne are available from Ticketmaster: phone 136100 or see Website: