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Ceilidh Bands and Dances

What is a Ceilidh?

The original meaning of Ceilidhs was a Gaelic social gathering with folk music and dancing and occurred in Scotland and Ireland. They were opportunities for the young people to court and choose future marriage partners and were the main social outlet for rural communities of Ireland and Scotland. They would be held in informal settings such as pubs, village halls and even outdoors.

Ceilidh bands can consist of a mixture of instruments and typically are composed of fiddles, accordion, bodhran and tin whistles. More recently drums, electric guitars, banjos and bass may be added or substituted.

Dancing at ceilidhs mostly consists of set dancing where couples join a set of may be four or five other couples in a line, square or circle. Dancers may keep the same partner during the dance or it may be progressive where the partners separate during the dance and move to a new dance to form new couples. This can make Ceilidhs very sociable events and good mixers for a group of people who are unfamiliar with each other.

Often school children are introduced to ceilidh dancing at school in the form of country dancing where the can learn the basics of promenading, right hand and left hand stars, stripping the willow and sometimes the Gay Gordons. Re-introduced to Ceilidhs as adults they overcome their reticence for dancing and soon remember the fun that can be had by this sociable activity.

Ceilidh dances that might be remembered from your youth are The Flying Scotsman, The Virginia Reel, The Gay Gordons, TheDashing White Sergeant, Lucky Seven, The Circassian Circle and the most commonly asked for dance The Cumberland Square Eight (you probably remember that one for ‘the basket’ where the men in a mixed circle spin the ladies round and the ladies feet gradually leave the floor).

Denefield German Exchange
Dancing is a very enjoyable way of keeping fit and those who go to a Ceilidh will realise how energetic Ceilidh dancing can be. The Ceilidh band are also kept busy with playing three to four tunes per dance set and will set the pace for the dancing. As the dancers become more proficient the band may decide to play at a faster pace adding more energy to the dance and generally setting an exciting atmosphere to the event. So as well as having an outrageously sociable evening you will also add to your fitness in the process.

Hullabaloo Ceilidh Band

Ceilidh bands may be hired for many types of events such as weddings, milestone birthdays, fund-raising and socials. Hullabaloo is a typical ceilidh band that consists of a fiddle, banjo and bass and has been playing for events in the South East of England, mainly in Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire. Events range from evening wedding receptions, school fund-raising events, private functions, corporate team-building events and milestone birthdays and anniversaries. Hullabaloo ceilidh band has been playing for over fifteen years and is well known in the Reading and Kingston area. The Ceilidh band’s testimonials reflect its popularity with a variety of audiences ranging from young to old. Hullabaloo would welcome any enquiries to play at your next event and are available for bookings throughout the year.