The Scottish Official Highland Dancing Association (S.O.H.D.A) being the oldest remaining “specialist” association of its kind in Scotland, was formed in 1947 by a few well-known teachers and dancers of that decade and has since developed into a strong body of technically-minded Dancers, Teachers, Associate Teachers, Adjudicators, Examiners, Lecturers and Dance Schools.
During the 1950's and 60's the dances that were performed in competitions were the Highland Fling, Sword Dance, Shean Truibhais, Reel, Sailor's Hornpipe and Irish Jig. Then in the early 70's national dances like Flora MacDonald’s Fancy, Scottish Lilt, Highland Laddie and Barracks Johnnie started to appear on the dancing programmes and now all 10 dances are a regular feature on our syllabus.
Over the past couple of decades our experienced technical committee have delved into the archives of our beloved art and unearthed at least three dozen Hebridean Dances / Lesser Known Dances which our teachers are passing on to their pupils as a pleasant change from the standard dances and they are proving very popular with all. So popular, in fact, that we now hold an Annual National Dance Championship where the program consists of 10 of these so-called “lesser-known” dances.
The popular monthly indoor competitions are held from September to May in prominent centres throughout Scotland, most of them culminating at the end of each season in the respective championships, for example,
The City of Edinburgh Championships,
The City of Discovery, Dundee Championships,
The Scottish Championships,
The British Open Professional Championships,
The British National Championships,
The Stirling Bridge Championships etc.
During the summer months the SOHDA help organise the dancing events at many of the top Highland Games, where dancers from ALL dancing organisations are more than welcome to come along and compete. This underlines our motto –
"All Dancers Welcome!"
Over the past few decades the SOHDA has been spreading its wings throughout the globe and has affiliated in friendly harmony with similar free-thinking dancing organisations in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. In Australia, the Victorian Scottish Union (VSU) and the Highland and National Dancers of Australia (H&NDA) have linked up with us and we regularly exchange dances, ideas, videos, cassettes, etc., on our mutual hobby, and similarly in Sweden, the Stockholm Caledonian Dance Circle (SCDC) has also affiliated with us, and all concerned are learning more and more about the histories and dances “frae a’ the airts!”