AN Argentine dancer has travelled more than 7000 miles to the north-east of Scotland to attend the launch of a book of dances inspired by the land of his birth.

Charly Candia from Buenos Aires will be guest of honour at The Argentine Collection premiere taking place in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, this weekend.

Thanks to friendships he has made through the world of Scottish country dancing, he will be resplendent in a brand-new kilt specially made for the occasion.

A keen dancer, Candia struck up friendships with Jim Stott and Anne McArthur, stalwarts of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS). A few years back, he attended a RSCDS summer school in St Andrews led by Jim, and some time later welcomed Jim and Anne to Argentina for a holiday that included a Scottish country dancing workshop.

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The experience inspired Stott to devise a new suite of dances, naming them after the places he visited and the people he met during his South American travels. It took a team effort to bring together the dance book said McArthur.

She said: “Jim composed some of the tunes to match the dances and used tunes written by other musicians. Charly designed the book and I supported them both to ensure the book made it into print.

“As well as the book, James’s musical friends Susan and Shona Macfadyen and Ewan Galloway recorded a complementary music CD.”

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The Argentine Collection selection of jigs, reels and strathspeys is being launched at a dance at Westhill’s Ashdale Hall which takes from 2pm to 5pm on Sunday. Admission is £10 and includes tea and a raffle and can be paid at the door, with proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Support. Organisers say all are welcome to attend.

It will be the first public outing of Candia’s new kilt which was a “Christmas present” from McArthur, who won the star prize in a festive charity draw by Soy Kilts in Portsoy.

The wonder of digital technology meant that being on the other side of the world wasn’t an obstacle to kiltmaker Moira George getting started on the project. She was able to get the measurements and set to work crafting the bespoke outfit in Wicklow tartan – updating him at key stages along the way using a social networking platform.

Candia visited Portsoy this week for his final fitting and was delighted with the finished garment.