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Person Mary Shoolbraid Brandon 50

1925 — 2016
Honolulu & Los Angeles, USA
Areas of activity
  • Deviser of dances
  • Publisher of dance descriptions
  • Composer of tunes
Member of

Mary Shoolbraid was born April 6, 1925 into a dancing family in Leslie, Fife.

She got her RSCDS Teacher’s certificate in Scotland. Then in 1955 she moved to Vancouver, Canada. There she formed adult and children SCD classes. In 1961 also her brother Murray Shoolbraid joined her in Vancouver.

She also played a role in bringing Miss Milligan over for her first visit to Vancouver. Her visits then led to the founding of Vancouver Branch in 1964 with Mary as one of the first commitee members. She also was the 1st teacher of the Gleneagles Club in West Vancouver.

In 1965 she met David Brandon from Los Angeles. End of 1966 they married and Mary moved to LA. Mary and David were leading figures in the Los Angeles Branch which David helped founding earlier in 1966. She also widely promoted SCD in Southern California as far south as San Diego.

In the early 1970s they moved to Hawaii due to David’s work, where they founded the Hawaii Branch in 1973.

They also travelled to Japan. While Mary gave workshops and mentored teacher candidates, David helped in the formation of the Tokyo Branch 1984.

Later Mary and David hosted Miss Milligan when she visited the Pacific Islands on her last tour to the US and Canada.

Mary and David returned to Los Angeles after more than 20 years on Hawaii.

Mary received the RSCDS Scroll of Honour In 1987 for her contributions and devotion to the Branches of Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Diego, Hawaii and Tokyo.

During her dancing life Mary has devised a large number of dances many of which have been published in her books “Dances With a Difference, Vol I”, “Memories of Fife”, “The Emigrant Scot” and the “Honolulu Book” of the Hawaii Branch. Furthermore Mary was appointed one of the first RSCDS examiners for North America.

Mary died on March 9, 2016.

There is a very informative article by Simon Scott about her dancing life in the May-Aug/2016 issue of the White Cockade released by the Vancouver branch. Furthermore, the booklet A History of SCD in Vancouver provides many more information on Mary and her involvement in SCD and the Vancouver Branch over the years.

Dances With a Difference, Vol I Mary Shoolbraid Brandon 1998
Emigrant Scot, The Mary Shoolbraid Brandon 2016
Memories of Fife Mary Shoolbraid Brandon 2014