Ceilidhs are a great way to break the ice and meet lots of people in a fun and informal way. A ceilidh (pronounced “kay-lee”) is a night of traditional dancing where everyone can join in, regardless of age or ability. No previous experience is necessary as the band will bring a ‘caller’ who will explain how to do each dance before it starts.
Ceilidh dancing is great fun. Some of the dances, like ‘Strip the Willow’, are quite fast and people often call out or ‘whoop’ whilst dancing! Others, like the waltz or Canadian Barn Dance, are more sedate. Your ceilidh band caller will look at your audience/gathering/guests and decide how best to ‘pace’ things: whether to do lots of fast energetic dances or more slow ones; whether to stick to the old favourites (Dashing White Sergeant, The Gay Gordons, Circassian Circle) or to try something a bit more unusual. The band will usually be happy to play a few ‘listening’ sets if required. This gives people to get a chance to catch their breath, take a break, have a chat, relax and listen to the music etc.
One of the fantastic things about a ceilidh is that it brings together people of all ages, abilities and musical tastes in a fun way. Ceilidhs are not competitive, but welcoming and inclusive – even if you knew nobody at the beginning of a ceilidh you will have made some friends by the time it finishes!