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 returned to the International Stage at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto (ON) in August 2019. Visitors fell in love with the vibrant and entertaining Amethyst dancers.

Artistic Director and Choreographer

Miss Meg Grandmaison, Artistic Director

Meg began dancing at the age of three. She has completed amateur examinations through the British Association of Teachers of Dance (BATD) in traditional highland & step dance as well as tap & jazz and is an Associate of the BATD in the Highland branch. Meg and has been teaching a recreational Highland program since 2010 and expanded to include a competitive program in 2019.

Meg has been a member of the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Highland dance team for 15 years and is an alumna of the Amethyst Scottish Dancers of Nova Scotia after 16 years as a member of the Highland troupe as well as the inaugural Stepdance troupe. Meg has performed in Canada, the United States, Bermuda and Dubai with Amethyst, and continues to share her love of Scottish dancing with the next generation of Amethyst dancers.

Step Instructor and Choreographer

Cindy Penney instructs the Amethyst Step dancers and step choreography.


Assistant Instructor

Heather Chow began dancing at the age of seven after learning about her mother’s dance career. Through the British Association of Teachers of Dance (BATD) she has completed amateur examinations for highland dance in the traditional, national and theory levels. In 2016 Heather successfully completed her Associates examination earning her a license at the Associate level with the BATD for highland Dance. Heather has taught recreational level dancers since 2015, and since 2017 has also taught competitive dancers. In 2019, Heather decided to open her own dance studio alongside her mother to help share their love of highland dance.

Heather has been a member of the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Highland Dance team for two years and continues to work with the current team’s choreographers as an administrative assistant. Outside of dance, Heather recently graduated from Saint Mary’s University. Heather is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Amethyst dancers and share with them her love of dance.

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.

Amethyst Founder Joseph Wallin