Seattle Branch
Royal Scottish Country Dance Society


About Seattle Branch RSCDS

What is the RSCDS Seattle Branch
History of the Branch
Branch Organization


RSCDS Scroll of Honor Award 2007 for
Elinor Vandegrift


  Royal Scottish Country Dance
 Society honors  Irene Paterson
   with the Scroll of Honor 2010


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 (RSCDS), 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.

Purposes of RSCDS, Edinburgh, Scotland

a) To preserve and further the practice of traditional Scottish Country Dances.
b) To promote and encourage the formation of Branches.
c) To provide, or assist in providing, special education or instruction in the practice of Scottish Country Dances.
d) To promote/publish
information and music relating to Scottish Country Dancing and in particular to publish descriptions of Scottish Country Dances with music and diagrams in simple form and at moderate price to participants.
e) To collect books, manuscripts, illustrations and other memorabilia relating to Scottish Country Dancing and to the Society.

Seattle Branch, RSCDS

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.

RSCDS Society's 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.    In 2010 Irene Paterson also received this excellence award for her contributions.  Thanks to both ladies.

History of Our Branch

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] 

This year, 2014 we will celebrate our Ruby Fort Worden Weekend Workshop  in September, which attracts friends from many other cities each year. Our Branch continues to grow with many members of all ages amongst us. We have expanded our teaching staff and added several classes in greater Puget Sound at locations that work for our participants. We welcome all interested in Scottish dancing to join us.


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Organization of the Seattle Branch

The Branch is run by an elected Board, consisting of the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and two Members at Large.  These positions are elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in May and have terms of 1 year.  An Instructor Coordinator and Membership Secretary are appointed  by the Chair and confirmed by the Board. The immediate past Chair also sits on the Board for one year following his or her term as Chair.  This team meets regularly (typically half a dozen times a year) to conduct the business of the Branch.

Following are brief descriptions of the Board positions.  The detailed descriptions of each position can be found in the Branch Bylaws as Amended in May 2010, Section 4.  They are provided here for your reference.


Chair - Presides at board meetings.   Appoints  members to committees and is an ex-officio member of each. Facilitates running of Branch.
Vice Chair - Serves as chief officer in absence of Chairman.  Arranges locations and musicians for dances and events and oversees Burns event.
Secretary - Records minutes of board meetings and the AGM. Handles Branch correspondence and coordinates communication with HQ.
Treasurer - Collects fees, pays expenses, keeps accounts, monitors progress against budget and prepares annual budget for Board approval.
Instructor  Coordinator - Communicates between Board and teachers committee and chairs this committee.
2 Members at Large - Visit each class within the Branch (at least once per season) and inform classes of what is going on in the Branch. They communicate class concerns and individual information back to Board. They provide additional help for Board operations. *
Previous Chair - Helps provides continuity for Branch continuance. Non-voting member of

In addition to the Board, there are several committees. Typically a committee has a chair and 2 or 3 other members, although some, like Ft. Worden, or the Workshop committee, have several members with their own division of duties. Here is a list of the committees with a brief description.

 * The 2 Members at Large descriptions are not available in detail in the current Branch Bylaws.  These positions were evolved from what were originally called Class Representatives and have not been formally added to the Branch Bylaw Descriptions.


Teachers - Match teachers to classes. Recommend program of dances. Run teacher's workshop.
Nominating - Finds people to run for Board offices.
Equipment - Organizes and stores sound equipment for classes and parties. Maintains inventory of Branch sound possessions.
Music - Contacts bands to provide music for dances, enhances dancer awareness and appreciation of music.
May Ball - Organizes the Seattle Branch Ball.
Workshop - Puts on workshops other than Fort Worden.
Ft. Worden - Runs Fort Worden workshop.
Special Events - Arranges other events (e.g., dance demonstrations, trips to out of town dances as a group) in the community, promoting dancing.
Refreshments- Arranges punch, tea & coffee for parties and other events and helps to coordinate snacks selections.
Membership - Maintains membership records. Enrolls new members and processes new annual membership drive.
Publicity - Publicizes events and classes to members and the public.
Newsletter - Publishes The Puget Scot. Solicits articles about dance, Scottish events, etc. from all.
Web Site - Maintains the branch web site. Receives information from Board and committee persons and other branch advocates to update calendar and special event details.
Finance - Develops/maintains budget.
Fund-raising - Develops and runs silent auctions, raffles and other fund-raising activities.
Audit - Audits accounts and inventory of Treasurer,  Equipment, etc., and reports to membership annually.

 Updated 2/18/14

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