About Us

The PHDA was founded in 1958 by Helen Paterson and Sally McGilvary, along with local dance parents, to create in our area a greater interest in Scottish traditions and Highland dance.

Portland Highland Dancing Associations' purpose is to foster and preserve the art of Scottish Highland Dance. 

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. Learn more about dance scholarships and how you can support the dancers.

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

Mission Statement

The Association shall have as its purpose to foster and preserve the art of Scottish Highland Dancing and National Dancing, the attainment of proficiency therein as well as the development of character and sportsmanship.