Ceilidh dances

Ceilidh dances (often called barn dances or country dances) are great for parties, wedding receptions, community functions etc.

Fun for everyone from teenagers having a bit of fun with their mates, Grandparents dancing with the grandkids, even those who prefer to sit out and watch their friends and relatives enjoying themselves.

Organising a dance?

I can provide:

  • Musicians (myself and one or two others).
  • Amplification. I use a state of the art Bose L1 system which is loud enough to hear for the dance, but won’t drown out conversation.
  • “Caller”, an expert who teaches the dances and help everyone enjoy the event. We know plenty, so usually arrange this ourselves.

You need to provide:

A room, ideally with a dance floor and a stage area for the band. Talk to us about making the most of your venue.

A plan for the event:

A typical evening programme might be:

  • 7.00 Band arrives to set up.
  • 7.30 Doors open.
  • 8.00 Dancing starts.
  • 9.00 Interval.
  • 9.30 Dancing continues.
  • 10.30 End (often the start of a disco at weddings).

If you need to have speeches, have us play “happy birthday”, or want more breaks just let us know your plan.

If the event is open to the public, you may need to arrange an event licence (usually available online from your council). Check with the venue.

Insurance (we and our callers have £5 million public liability insurance).

A risk assessment and method statement if venues or organisations demand one. These are straight forward, and we can help if you need it.

Technical requirements?

The PA needs just one standard 13A socket.

A minimum area of 12 by 10 feet for the musicians (ideally on a stage), with approx 6 feet clear behind us.

This is an ideal situation, get in touch and discuss what you have available.

Lots of space for dancing.

Making a booking

The first thing to do is get in touch by email or telephone. We can discuss your event without obligation. We have experience of playing at many different events so this discussion is important.

After the discussion, if you wish to proceed, we’ll confirm the date, our availability and that of a caller.

At that point we’ll send you a formal quote and a contract. You will need to read and sign the contract and then return it with a 10% deposit.

How do we pay you?

When a booking is confirmed we ask for a 10% deposit. This can be paid by cheque or a bank transfer.

For the balance, cash on the day is the traditional way. This means that we can divide the money and defray expenses straight away without any further complications.

If any of this is a problem, then please tell us before any bookings are finalised.

Posts about ceilidhs

Will you play at our charity event?

This can be a touchy subject, and I certainly do not intend to offend anyone. In the ceilidhs and band events I play for we offer a professional service with expensive musical instruments and equipment. To be able to play events we have had many years of experience in performing and many thousands of hours of practice. In my view, booking an experienced dance musician is akin to engaging a plumber or electrician to work in your home.

Is it English Country Dance, Ceilidh or a Barn Dance?

English social dance has something of a nomenclature problem, which comes from its long history and modern misconceptions or assumptions when using historical terms. Country dance The longest lived term is Country Dance. It is the term used in the earliest dance manuals or descriptions (16th/17th century), in the diaries of contemporaries like Pepys who described Country Dance at the royal court. It is the term used in dance books and music books throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and by authors such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.