Stephanie Grant has Highland danced around the world, but nothing compares to taking the stage at Columbus Field during the Antigonish Highland Games (AHG).
“It was always my favourite event,” she said.
Grant noted it provided a great opportunity for her late father, Alex, to see her dance.
“It was so special,” she said.
Grant’s first AHG competition came as a five-year-old.
“I loved it,” she said of her instant connection with Highland dancing, one that blossomed through years of learning and competition.
Highland dancing is a family tradition for the Grants, with Stephanie following in the footsteps of her grandmother and older sister, Shauna.
The Grant family’s connection to the Games is wide and deep – not only to dancing, but also piping and drumming. Her uncle, Kevin, who she recalled took her on her first trip to Scotland, excelled as a drummer.
“It is family,” she said of the annual celebration.
Some of the fondest memories came away from Columbus Field, including a Games’ lobster dinner hosted by her grandmother, Angeline, that brought together not only relatives, but also her dancing and piping and drumming ‘family.’
“I will never forget those times,” Grant said.
As for her Antigonish Highland Societys Games’ Hall of Fame induction, she said, “Oh my goodness, it is amazing.”
Grant noted she has “dedicated my whole life to it [Highland dancing].”
She said it was going to be great to share the stage with Gerarda MacDonald, one of her teachers with the Scotia Dancers.
Grant also noted the honour of joining one of her mentors, Janice Macquarrie, who is a member of the inaugural class.
“It’s pretty awesome – I am so proud,” she said.
In conversation a couple days before the July 11 induction ceremony, Grant said her only unfulfilled wish would be having her father and grandfather, George, alive to share the honour.
Her mother, Gwen, will be her special guest at the enshrinement celebration.
“She has been with me from the beginning,” Grant said.