August 20, 2018
When was the last time you attended a Ceilidh? Perhaps you never have but if you have danced as part of a Ceilidh/in a Ceilidh (it’s hard to know the correct grammar), then it is most likely to have been at a wedding where all ages convene upon the dance floor and learn the moves as you go. It really an excellent choice of entertainment for a wedding, but how well does it work when there’s nothing to celebrate?
One of London’s longest running dance nights, Ceilidh Club was established in 1998 for a group of friends and family to get together and dance the night away in the classic Gaelic tradition. From small acorns do large oak trees go and so it has proven with Ceilidh Club, which now sells up to 200 tickets 3 – 4 times a month encouraging all members of the public to get together and strip the willow (to name one such dance that you’ll be partaking in).
As with a Ceilidh at a wedding, there is a superb live band to take you through the evening and a superb caller to announce each dance move to the crowd. You don’t need to any dance moves ahead of time and you’ll be glad to know that nobody takes it too seriously; it’s all about having fun in a relaxed atmosphere. There is no dress code – though apparently people dress up a little more for Burns Night – though you may very well see a few kilts and tartan among the masses.
We turned up in a group to see what the Ceilidh was all about! We love booking Ceilidh bands for weddings and think it’s a superb form of entertainment that everybody can enjoy. Having read the details on the website, we were delighted to see that it really was a party for all ages. The youngest in attendance seemed to be in their late teens whilst the oldest were into the seventies and eighties. Whether turning up with friends or alone, nobody was left out and all who wanted to dance were encouraged to do so. If there weren’t enough dancers for a particular number, people planning to ‘sit this one out’ were quickly convinced to get involved regardless.
Cecil Sharp House is a fab venue for a Ceilidh with a lot of natural seating to the side of the room and the band playing upon a stage to all. The caller often stood in the centre of the hall as the band played and everything was perfectly set up for a great evening. We danced for around 75 minutes, were then given a half hour break (which you will definitely need as it gets hot in that room!) and then danced for another 75 minutes. The time absolutely flew by and everyone in our party had fun.
One thing to remember if you are doing a Ceilidh is that the person with whom you start the dance may not be the same person by the end and that might at first make you a tad uncomfortable, but don’t be put off! This is precisely the reason a Ceilidh is so fun; it encourages you to dance with others, laugh at mistakes and allows you to concentrate on having a good time.
Ceilidh Club at Cecil Sharp House was an absolutely brilliant evening and we highly recommend you grab a ticket to a future event. They tend to sell fast so do get involved and make sure you bring your dancing shoes!
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By Henry Fosdike