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A trainee solicitor from Great Bernera has set her sights on dancing success – despite the fact that she hasn’t danced since Highland dancing classes when she was very wee.

26-year-old Amy Macleod from Breaclete is to form one half of a dancing pair in the massive fundraising event which is Strictly Inverness, set for 8-11 May at the Inverness Ice Centre.

Amy is a dedicated lifelong fundraiser, having already set up and run a charity (Motivated by Mervyn) in memory of her dad, who she lost when she was 16 years old.

In his memory she has raised money for a personal locator beacon for every sole fisherman in the Western Isles, and she felt the fundraising helped her to deal with the grief of her loss.

Now, she says, she is ready to give back to her new local community of Inverness. After losing her granny to MND last year, the work of the Highland Hospice felt like a good cause in memory of both her granny and her father.

Strictly Inverness is a large fundraising event with what organisers describe as ‘extensive commitment’ for participants.

A total of 32 competitors in 16 couples begin the event – none of them professional and all challenged to raise as much money as possible, a minimum of £1,000 each, just to compete.

Amy’s fundraising total at her online page ( has already raced past the target, with over £3,200 on the dial, but she’s no intention of resting on her laurels.

She’s been selected as part of a same-sex couple with Lana Ingram, a medical secretary from Culloden, and the pair have been matched with a professional dance tutor, who has picked out a dance style, music and steps.

Amy and Lana have to show up for three one-hour practice sessions a week over 12 weeks, as well as running numerous fundraising events and fitting their work in somehow.

Amy told “We’ve been asked to prepare a jive and a show dance. The jive is especially challenging because, as a same-sex couple, neither of us is going to ‘lead’ in the traditional sense, so we’ll both have to work hard.

“I haven’t danced in competitions since Highland dancing when I was wee, but I am quite competitive and a bit impulsive, which has pushed me to do this.”

On day one of the competition, Thursday 8 May, all the dancers will perform to a panel of judges which includes professional dance tutors and the man himself, Strictly’s Giovanni Pernice.

Over the next few days dancers will be progressively whittled down until just finalists remain, following the format of the favourite TV show.

Giovanni has issued an inspiring message to participants, saying: “Go and practice because I want to see some good dancing.

“Go and do your best – I’m pretty sure you will because you’re beautiful. I’m wishing you all the best of luck.”

At the event itself supporters can watch online, with a one-time paywall to tune in to the livestream, further adding to the total raised.

Meanwhile Amy has fundraising events planned back here at home, including a soup and pudding lunch at Bernera Community Hall between 12 and 2pm on Saturday 2 March and a race night with music from Willie Campbell at the Rangers Club in Stornoway on Saturday 16 March.

She and Lana have events in Inverness too, including a raffle, a family ice disco and a sparkling tipsy tea party.

All the money they and other competitors raise will be split between Highland Hospice, providing care to people faced with life-shortening illness, and Inverness Ice Centre, a registered charity fully owned by its members.

You can find out more about the competition as a whole, including how to watch, via the Strictly Inverness Facebook page at

The pictures show Amy (left) and Lana ready to train (Callum Mackay), Strictly judge Giovanni urging competitors on and the full competition team soon after selection – Amy is front right (Strictly Inverness).