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About Scottish Dance Society


The Scottish Dance Society is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation based in Bellingham, Washington.  The Society is dedicated to honoring the traditions of Scottish dance and sustaining the cultural performing art form through educational endeavors, activities and events.


Executive Director Heather Richendrfer is a Bellingham native. Highland dance and Scottish cultural performing arts are her life work. Her dance school celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2024. Heather is a Life Member of the British Association of Teachers of Dance and a member of the Royal Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing Worldwide Adjudication Panel.

In 2018 she encouraged the local community to assist her in bringing back a full-scale Highland Games to Whatcom County. That year the goal was achieved when the Bellingham Scottish Gathering was born.

Under her direction; the event was held again in 2019 featuring 14 bagpipe bands, 125 dancers and 110 pipers and drummers and 40 amateur athletes competing. The Covid-19 pandemic ceased plans for 2020 and 2021. In 2022 and 2023 the Highland Games were back with successful events.

2024 is a year of change as the June 1st Scottish Gathering moves to a new home. Hosted by the City of Blaine; the Highland Games site includes Marine Park and Semiahmoo Spit along the Salish Sea. The Bellingham Open Highland Dancing Championship is a new feature in 2024.
Semiahmoo Golf Club hosts the Scotland FOREver Day of Golf to complement the Gathering on May 30, 2024.

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