Yeuch!

(Pronounced "Heeeyoooo-ch", with the "ch" part ending like the word "loch")

I love ceilidhs (pronounced Kay-lays). I remember being taught how to dance at school during PE lessons - I have no idea if that was part of the syllabus, but it was some of the most fun and also the most embarrassing times during that PE period. it took until 5th year for the embarrassment to vanish, to the point of where in later years at school I remember voluntarily going to a dance as a chaperon for the younger years, whilst when I was in the younger years I wouldn't have dare even thinking about going.

At the time of year the traditional dances start back up again and there is one every weekend in the big cities - indeed, even on a normally weekend in some smaller villages there will be impromptu dances with everyone who lives there. I was thinking that I had not been to one for a while, and really miss them. I love the dancing and the fun that can be had after a few drinks with some friends and some good dancers who are not afraid to let their hair down.

Recently, another blogger has been imploring me about salsa dancing, the Mexican dancing style that we Brits seem to not fully understand. Sure, I get the idea but there is no way that I'll ever be able to do it, never mind to any prfienceny. Hazel on the other hand, who understands how to move feet and weight in time to music, has tried it and probably would really enjoy going to a salsa dance class. The funny thing is that whilst I wouldn't be seen dead dancing to a salsa dance beat I wouldn't think twice about getting up to do some ceilidh dancing and I am not sure why there is the difference.

Why am I able to distance my shyness and my rationality for a few bits of bagpipe and accordion playing when I can't get up in a club with10 people and "march" on my two feet? I can't understand it... but I don't expect it to change anytime soon.

As an aside, my three favourite dances are the following:

The Dashing White Sergeant
Formation: three facing three around the room, man between two ladies or lady between two men.
Music: The Dashing White Sergeant - 32 bar reels, starting and ending with "The Dashing White Sergeant".
1-8:
Join up in a circle of 6 and circle round to the left for 8 steps (4 bars) and back to the right.
9-12:
The person in the middle turns to the person on their right and sets to them, then turns them once round right hand (variation - both hands). The other partner stands still.
13-16:
Repeat with the other partner.
17-24:
Using elbow grip, turn 1st partner, then 2nd partner, then 1st partner, then 2nd partner. (Variation - dance a reel of three, giving left shoulder to 1st partner to start).
25-28:
In the lines of three, advance towards each other (two skip steps) and retire.
29-32:
Both lines dance forwards, one line raising their hands in an arch and the other line dancing underneath, and dance on to meet the next set of three coming in the other direction.

The Canadian or Highland Barn Dance
Formation: couples around the room facing anti-clockwise, ladies on the right.
Music: 2/4 or 4/4 pipe march (not 6/8) or scottische.
1-2:
Starting with the outside foot, walk forward for three steps and hop (or kick).
3-4:
Walk backwards for three steps and hop.
5-6:
Skip sideways away from your partner (men towards the centre of the room, ladies towards the edge) for two steps and clap.
7-8:
Return to partner and join in ballroom (waltz) hold.
9-12:
In ballroom hold, skip sideways to the man's left, lady's right for two steps then back again.
13-16:
Use four step-hops to polka anti-clockwise round the room.

The Gay Gordons
Formation: couples around the room facing anti-clockwise, ladies on the right.
Music: 2/4 or 4/4 march. E.g. "Scotland the Brave", "The Gay Gordons".
1-2:
Right hands joined over lady's shoulder (man's arm behind her back) and left hands joined in front, walk forward for four steps, starting on the right foot.
3-4:
Still moving in the same direction, and without letting go, pivot on the spot (so left hand is behind lady and right hand is in front) and take four steps backwards.
5-8:
Repeat in the opposite direction.
9-12:
Drop left hands, raise right hands above lady's head. Lady pivots on the spot. (The man may set).
13-16:
Joining hands in ballroom hold, polka round the room.