About Us

The Amethyst Scottish Dancers of Nova Scotia began as a highland dance troupe that was founded in 1985 and has been entertaining audiences ever since. The Halifax Highland Dancing Association (HHDA) along with the first Artistic Director, Mr. Joseph Wallin, wanted to share their love of Scottish dancing with people in Nova Scotia, through Canada, and abroad. A step dance troupe was added to Amethyst in 2006.

Amethyst dancers are highly trained in the art of highland and step dance. They blend Scottish steps and dances with both traditional and modern music and choreography. Dancers ages range between 9-25. We also collaborate and perform with live and local musicians, including Cassie and Maggie MacDonald, Party Boots, Christy Hodder, 78th Highlanders, and the Dartmouth Pipes and Drums.

Performances are our opportunity to share our love of dance and music with a modern and entertaining flair! Amethyst performs at conferences, trade shows, award nights, cruise ships, international tattoos, and many other events, at the local, national, and international levels. Audiences have been entertained in Florida (US), Texas (US),  the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and as far as Dubai (UAE).

Most recently, Amethyst dancers shared the International Stage at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto (ON) in August 2016. Visitors fell in love with the vibrant and entertaining Amethyst dancers.

Elizabeth McCorkell

Amethyst Artistic Director and Choreographer

Elizabeth McCorkell is the Artistic Director of Amethyst Scottish Dancers of Nova Scotia. She also instructs the Amethyst Junior and Senior Highland troupes.

Elizabeth has had many years of dance experience as both a Fellow of the Scottish Dance Teachers’ Alliance and as a performer with additional experience in Ballet and Step dance. She has danced both competitively and as a member of several Highland dance troupes across Canada and in many other countries including Scotland, France, Belgium, USA, and China. She has had many incredible performance opportunities including international festivals, Tattoos and dancing for Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during their most recent visit to Nova Scotia.

Elizabeth is currently the Co-Director of the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo’s Highland dance team, directs her own dance studio, McCorkell Academy of Highland Dance in Halifax, and plays snare drum with two local Pipes and Drums bands.

Amethyst Step Instructor and Choreographer

Cindy Penney instructs the Amethyst Step dancers and step choreography.


Amethyst Founder Joseph Wallin

Joseph Wallin is the original Artistic Director and Choreographer for the Amethyst Scottish Dancers of Nova Scotia and held the position for 25 years. He has performed and taught in Scotland, England, Mexico, Dubai, and throughout the United States and Canada. He is qualified by 5 dance teachers associations in 10 dance forms. He is an internationally renowned choreographer, including choreographer with the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo for 32 years. He also choreographed many stage and television productions, both at home and abroad, including CBC program Ceilidh. He has served and been an executive on the Executive Council of the British Association of Teachers of Dancing and several other dance associations. Amethyst is pleased to have worked with Mr. Wallin over the years.