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The NDAA Highland exams are based on the technique laid down by the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing (SOBHD) Edinburgh Scotland

Highland Examinations are -

  • Preliminary (Assessment only for 4 to 6yr olds)
  • Pre Grade
  • Grade One
  • Grade Two
  • Grade Three
  • Grade Four
  • Grade Five
  • Elementary
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • Solo
  • Teaching Certificate (Elementary)
  • Teaching Certificate (Intermediate)
  • Teaching Certificate (Advanced)

National lesser Known Examinations are -

  • Grade One - Flora McDonald's Fancy
  • Grade Two  -  Scottish Lilt
  • Grade Three  -  Wilt thou go to the Barracks Johnnie
  • Grade Four  -  Highland Laddie
  • Grade Five  -  Village Maid
  • Elementary  -  Scotch Measure
  • Intermediate  -  Blue Bonnets O' the Border
  • Advanced  -  Earl of Errol

Jig and Hornpipe Examinations are  -

  • Jig and Hornpipe Junior
  • Jig and Hornpipe Intermediate
  • Jig and Hornpipe Advanced


In 1951, the first National Dancing Association meeting was held at Langridge's 222 George St Sydney. A Member of Parliament was invited as it was felt to be an important event.

A 1952 British Ballet Organisation Bulletin quotes the following -
"The Scottish National Examinations sponsored by our organisation are the first of their kind in Australia.
The First Grade Syllabus was explained by Mrs A. Wathen and demonstrated by Miss Dorothy Cowie to about fifty local teachers as well as Madge Gannon of Bathurst and Stella Anderson of Crookwell, at our Annual Conference, held the first Monday in May."

The syllabus was arranged under the Technical guidance of Mrs Mabel MacInnes - one of Sydney's most widely known National Teachers, who had visited England and Scotland and brought back a lot of data on the subject.

It was announced at the meeting that the First Grade Highland theory book would be available to students of Teacher Members at 4/- per copy.
In the working out of this syllabus it was noted that several items were contra to what had been taught locally for many years, so it was decided that the National Dancing Association should accept all decisions made by The Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing.

The BBO London became an affiliated member of the SOBHD with Miss Adeline Calder and Miss K.E. Garland their two Delegates.

At an Annual General Meeting held 13th May 1956, it was decided that the National Section of the organisation should in future be known as the National Dancing Association of Australia and become affiliated with the
B.B.A.O. This amalgamation had the full approval of its Chairman, Mr E. Kelland Espinosa.

When communications broke down in the 1980's, after Mr Espinosa's passing, many teachers of B.B.A.O broke away to form Ballet Australasia Limited and The National Dancing Association in Sydney, July 1989.