Originally from North Berwick, near Edinburgh, Linda Henderson now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area but travels home to Scotland whenever she can. Linda has been dancing all her life. She began Scottish Country Dancing at primary school and is a former competitive highland dancer.
Linda grew up in a musical household. Her father plays accordion and she played piano in a SCD band; her musical background has a big influence in her teaching as she is passionate about the blending of the music and the dance.
Linda is married, has three grown children and works in elementary school. Before moving to California, she worked for the Scottish Tourist Board.
Linda has taught adult and youth classes in the RSCDS San Francisco Branch, and workshops throughout the United States (including Hawaii), Canada and Europe. She has been on staff at St. Andrews Summer School, Australian Winter School, Pinewoods Dance Camp, and TAC Summer School.
It gives Linda great pleasure to share her heritage and to inspire others to enjoy the music, fun and friendships made through Scottish Country Dancing.
RSCDS Certified Teacher
William Williamson, a Scottish Highland and Country Dancer since a child, leads a life steeped in music, song, and dance. William lives in Amisfield, a village with a vibrant community, where he and his wife Linda teach Scottish Country Dancing.
Scottish Country Dancing has always played a large part in William’s life and he performs and teaches in many parts of the world. In 1980 he danced for the Royal Family at Holyrood Palace for the Queen Mother's 80th birthday. He is a long time member of the Dumfries Branch of The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and has taught at the Society's AGM, Winter School, Summer School and overseas.
William studied music at Napier College and Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh and afterwards took up a teaching post at Moffat Academy. He conducted The Old Well Singers, a community choir he founded in the mid 1990’s. It was part of The Old Well Theatre in Moffat where he was music director for thirty years before retiring in 2014.
William is a well-known singer and has a recording of songs from Dumfries and Galloway called “My Bonnie Gallowa” and another “The Folks Who Live On The Hill”. He enjoys singing the songs of Robert Burns and as a look-alike played the great man on the BBC’s famous children’s television program Blue Peter. William was a freelance broadcaster with the local BBC radio station where he presented the early morning breakfast news program Solway Report and produced and presented many different programs for the national station including the popular Macgregor’s Gathering. He has also been a guest on the BBC’s Saturday night dance music program Take the Floor.
William enjoys walking in the hills and promoting the culture of Scotland.
Maureen (Mo) was born into a musical family in Keith, Banffshire, Scotland. She started dancing at the age of 3 and began piano lessons at 4, because according to her mother, “It was the only thing that made her stay still for more than 30 seconds!”
Mo was educated at Keith Grammar School, and during that time, started playing in her dad’s very successful function band. At 16 she took up the fiddle, and quickly started playing in her dad’s other band – the Scottish Country Dance Band. Mo went on to study music at Aberdeen University graduating with honours in piano performance. Whilst in Aberdeen, she featured regularly on Grampian TV and BBC Radio Scotland becoming a regular on the popular “Take the Floor” program. She has also featured, playing both fiddle and piano, on numerous CD recordings over the years.
Mo was Music Director for the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society for 10 years, a role that took her to Australia, New Zealand, and many European countries to educate musicians how to play for Scottish Country Dancing.
Nowadays Mo works as a piano teacher and accompanist, but is also widely known as an adjudicator of traditional music competitions. Mo lives in Perth, Scotland with her husband, accordionist Neil Copland.
Neil is originally from Dundee, Scotland but now lives in Perth, Scotland. He has been playing the accordion since the age of 7, and competed as a soloist and duetist from the age of 8 in Festivals across the UK winning prizes at all levels in both Classical and Traditional music sections. At 17 he started teaching the accordion, and in 1979 he became the Music Director of Dundee Accordion Band/Groups. The ensembles had notable successes at both the Scottish and UK Championships on numerous occasions and he remained at the helm until the mid 1990s.
Neil and his Scottish Dance Band have experienced great success; for 35 years they have traveled Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Europe, and across the UK playing for SCD Balls or teaching at musicians' workshops. Neil has a number of RSCDS and BBC “Take the Floor” recordings with his band and is regularly called upon to adjudicate at Festivals for both classical and traditional music sections.
Neil is a former Chairman and Treasurer of the National Association of Accordion & Fiddle Clubs (NAAFFC) Festival Committee, was Vice Chairman of the NAAFC from 2006-2012 and served on the Executive Committee since the early 1990s. Neil is a Trustee and Treasurer of Perth & Kinross Music Foundation, and also President of Perform in Perth (Perth's annual competitive music, dance, and drama Festival).
Neil was a member of the Management Board of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (between 2006-2009 and 2011-2014), and was also a member of its Finance & Governance Panel for almost 10 years until 2017. He has also been a Governing Member of the National Accordion Organisation of the UK since 1985.
ELON, NC, USA
Mara Shea has been playing with violins since her mother decided her child had a really good sense of pitch and enrolled her in music school in New Haven, Connecticut. After studying classical violin for 10 years and then taking a 15-year break, Mara discovered folk and dance music. She has been happily playing for dancers since the 1990s—various styles of English, Scottish, contra, ceilidh—and her fiddle has taken her to balls, dance weekends and concerts throughout the US, Canada, England, Scotland, and Europe.
Mara has played and taught at many dance camps including Pinewoods, TAC Summer School, Berea Christmas School, Ramblewood, Scottish Weekend, Stone Mountain, Unicoi, and the John C. Campbell Folk School, in Brasstown, North Carolina. She has numerous recordings with her contra dance band, The Elftones, as well as with other wonderful musicians such as Dave Wiesler (Heather Hills) and Rhiannon Giddens (All the Pretty Horses).
In 2018-19 Mara lived for a year in Scotland, where she earned an MLitt in Ethnomusicology from the Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen. Back home in North Carolina, Mara lives in Elon, where she teaches Celtic fiddle and frequently plays for dances. For more on Mara, and to listen to some of her music, visit her website: www.MaraShea.com.