About Us

The first PHDA dancers, 1953. From left to right: Nancy Strom,
Geraldine Calhoun, Mary McGilvra, Kathleen McGilvray,
Bonnie Blyth, Francis Skagen and teacher Helen Paterson
The PHDA was founded in 1958 by Helen Paterson and Sally McGilvray, along with local dance parents, to create in our area a greater interest in Scottish traditions and Highland dance.

The purpose of the PHDA is to foster and preserve the art of Scottish Highland and National Dancing, the attainment of proficiency therein, as well as the development of character and good sportsmanship.

PHDA hosts dance competitions and workshops in the Portland area. Dancers range in ages and dance levels. Competitions are a great place to meet local teachers and introduce your child to the sport. PHDA also offers various dance scholarships to Premier and Pre-Premier dancers. 

The Portland Highland Dancing Association (PHDA) is registered with the State of Oregon, under the Charitable Trust and Corporation Act, as a nonprofit public benefit corporation. The Executive Committee of the PHDA operates and abides by the rules and regulations required to maintain such status set forth by the State of Oregon Department of Justice.