After the massed pipe bands had withdrawn through the archway, a group of about ten dancers emerged onto the Kat balcony, where they posed for a moment, before stepping elegantly down the stairs onto the slightly elevated stage below.
They were dressed in knee-length tartan skirts, either a white blouse with a velvet vest, or a long-sleeved velvet top, knee-high socks in the same colour tartan, and the traditional lace-up dance shoes known as ghillies. The long thin swords they carried sent flashes of light across the arena, as the distinctive Celtic music began to play.
The group, referred to in the program as Celtic Dance Tapestry used to be known as the Alexander School of Dance; the school, which is based in the southern suburbs, is run by Hayley Johnston and Taryn Harkness.
The students learn Scottish Highland and Irish dancing, and have given numerous performances, including at the Edinburgh Military Tattoos of 2002, 2006, and 2007, at the 2008 Basel Military Tattoo (Switzerland), the 2009 Jinhae International Military and Honour Guard Festival (South Korea), the 2009 Netherlands Military Tattoo (Rotterdam) and the 2010 Norway Military Tattoo (Oslo). They also enchanted audiences at the 2007 and 2008 Cape Town Military Tattoos.