Chairman of the RSCDS until November 2018, Helen Russell started dancing at the age of 7 and obtained her Teacher's Certificate in 1971, having been taught by Miss Milligan. Since then she has taught workshops, day schools, weekend courses, teaching skills courses, and tutor training courses all over the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Canada, and many European countries. Since returning to summer school in St. Andrews as a teacher, she has taught basic Highland and Ladies' Step dancing and all levels of SCD. She is currently an examiner for the RSCDS. For 3 years Ms. Russell was convenor of the RSCDS Education and Training Committee. She has also been involved in editing several RSCDS publications, including "The St. Andrews' Collection of Step Dances." More recently, she was convenor of the RSCDS Manual working group, which produced the third edition of the RSCDS Manual of SCD.
Ellen Sears started dancing in 1989, began teaching in 1995, and received her full certificate in 2004 at TAC, having worked with John Middleton. She lives and teaches in New York City, where she is currently president of the New York City branch. She has danced on many demonstration teams and recently taught at several East Coast workshops. Ellen loves all forms of dance and music, but it is the passion expressed by the driving reels and elegant strathspeys that makes SCD her favorite. She delights in its precision and phrasing. Before retiring, Ellen designed lighting for architecture.