Harvey was raised in Port Hastings, Cape Breton. He started step-dancing at age 14 and soon found himself dancing in the summer Scottish concert circuit in Cape Breton and various parts of the Maritimes. Harvey is also in great demand as a step-dance instructor and has performed and taught in many parts of Canada, the US, and Europe.
Harvey has danced in Ireland at the University College Cork and for Irish Television in Dublin. He was a step-dance tutor for many years at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the Gaelic College in Skye and was a featured artist at the 2005 Feis Ross in Ullapool. Harvey has also taught step-dancing and performed at Ceòlas, a Gaelic Music Summer School in the Hebrides. Although he is primarily known as a dancer, Harvey Beaton is also an accomplished piano accompanist who has played with a number of Cape Breton fiddlers.