About the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society - Seattle Branch

Scottish Country Dance is the social dancing of Scotland. It combines the grace of ballet footwork with the figures of modern progressive social dance. The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, founded in Glasgow in 1923, is an international organization dedicated to the preservation and practice of the country dances of Scotland. Currently, the RSCDS has over 20,000 members in over 160 branches and 500 affiliated groups around the world. To learn more about RSCDS visit their site.

Who Were Are

The Seattle Branch is a nonprofit corporation in the State of Washington. All members of the Branch are members of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, 12 Coates Crescent, Edinburgh, Scotland. The Branch teaches weekly classes in several locations in the greater Seattle area and gathers for monthly social dances and special occasion events, holds dance workshops, and gives dance demonstrations at community events.

Our History

In the spring of 1963, two teachers from Scotland, Ian Munro and Mairi MacRae, began a Scottish Country Dance class at Montlake Fieldhouse. The group grew and in 1965 formed The Seattle and District Scottish Country Dance Club. Steve and Iris Woodruff obtained teaching certificates, and Noel Lillie joined the group about 1969. We had workshops with out-of-town teachers and an annual dance every June with visitors from Canada and points South. In 1973 there was a membership slump and we danced in the Woodruffs' basement. The first Fort Worden Weekend Workshop was held in September 1974. In 1976, Elinor Vandegrift joined the group as another teacher. In 1978, the first May Ball was held at the Mountaineer's Club. We became a Branch of the RSCDS in September 1978. [from Happy Birthday to Us! by Nancy Covert, Bob, and Kathy Bannister. The Puget Scot, Sept. 1988]

Scroll of Honor

For outstanding contribution to the preservation of Scottish Country Dancing, Elinor Vandegrift received recognition from The Society for the year 2007. She has been one of our Northwest teachers for many years. (See picture at top) In 2010 Irene Paterson also received this excellence award for her contributions. Thanks to both ladies.