What to Expect on the Night
A barn dance, or ceilidh (pronounced 'kay-lee'), is a social event involving music, dancing and quite simply having a good time! Itís known by many names, including Ceilidh / Ceili / Barn Dance / HoeDown / TwmPath / Contra / Square Dance.
It's inclusive, catering for all ages and levels of experience (including absolute beginners). Even if you have 2 left feet you can still have a whale of a time at a ceilidh!
As Caller, Iím in charge of the evening. My job is to get people up to dance, to get them standing in the right place, and then to teach them the dance. This is called "walking through", and as the dances are chosen to match the ability of the people, this doesn't take long.
The dances are usually in sets of people (with dancers arranged in squares, circles or facing each other in a line). Some dances are danced just as a couple. Typical "moves" that dances are made up of include things like right hand star, left hand star, circle left, do-si-do. Don't worry, Iíll guide you through this part.
When Iím sure that everyone is comfortable with the moves and dance figures, the music starts - but you're still not on your own! I will now "call" the dance, which means I will remind you what to do next as the dance progresses.
The emphasis is always on the fun side and getting it wrong is as much fun as getting it right. After all, everyone is just there to enjoy themselves.
For those not wanting/able to dance, a ceilidh is also great fun to watch. Just relax and listen to the traditional music. There'll still be the chance to talk and catch up with friends while you watch the fun going on.