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Ceilidh Dancing

Ceilidh Dancing

A ceilidh dance is a high energy good time, with as much laughing and “heuching” (whooping it up) as dancing.  Footwork ranges from walking to skipping to a simple heel and toe.  Movement is in repeated patterns that can be quickly grasped. The point is to have fun with friends you know and friends you don’t, to let the music carry you, and to move in rhythm together.  The dances include round-the-room couples dances like the Gay Gordons and the Canadian Barn Dance, dances in which the dancing unit is three people, like the Brittania Two-Step and the Dashing White Sargeant, and even the Eightsome Reel, done in a square dance formation.
  
Our ceilidhs traditionally finish with a boisterous Strip the Willow, which is something like a Virginia Reel, in which the lead couple finishes their turn with a “shoelace” figure, alternately swinging their partner in the middle and everyone in turn along the side til they reach the bottom of the set.  Famously, a Strip The Willow streaming down Princes Street in Edinburgh at the turn of the Millenium in 2000 included 1,914 dancers – a Guinness Book World Record!

Authors and Curators

  • Pat Tillotson

    Pat has gone through her teaching exams with the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and currently teaches the Brunswick, Maine class, having taught for 21 years. She also organizes a demonstration group who perform at various locations in Maine. Having run a Bookstore for dancers in the past, she has accumulated a large collection of dances and music for them. Pat currently is the Past President of the St Andrews Society of Maine.

  • Laura Scott

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