Schoolgirl conquers her fears to take part in aerial display

Monday 22nd October, 2018

A local school girl has vowed to conquer her fear of heights to take part in a thrilling aerial display at Paisley Halloween Festival 2018 – going 120 feet above the ground!

Bethany Docherty, 14, from Johnstone, is one of the young volunteers at the heart of this year’s Halloween spooktacular, which is a major event in Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 celebrations.

Bethany is training with leading aerial dance theatre company, All or Nothing, and will be part of the spectacular routines which will thrill crowds throughout the evening.

All or Nothing has choreographed a dance piece involving 50 young people for a Flying Witches performance around Paisley Town Hall and Abbey. The professional performers will soar up to 120 feet high, while the young people will perform up to 20 feet off the ground.

The fourth year Castlehead High School pupil says the whole experience has given her a confidence boost – as well as helping her beat her phobia.

Bethany said: “I’m actually terrified of heights but I’m pushing myself. I need to get over it one way or another and it’s better I do it with my own will.

“I wanted to take part because I thought it would be fun and I wanted to put myself a bit more out there.

“If I get to perform on the night it will be scary but amazing and just very energising.

“The biggest challenge for me has actually been coming along to the Halloween meetings for young people and socialising, but people have been very supportive.”

All or Nothing’s director, Jennifer Paterson said: “Getting involved in aerial is a great way to conquer your fears and it’s good to have a healthy respect for heights.

“It’s been great to work with young people who are part of Paisley to co-create something quite magical for this year’s Halloween Festival.”

The festival, supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, has been significantly enhanced for the themed year. From aerial dancing and circus skills to photography and rigging the lights, young people are at the forefront of the Paisley event.

Watch the video with Bethany, above, as she talks more about overcoming her fear of heights to take part in this year’s festival.