Sussex Ceilidh Band teaching calling dancing

How does a Ceilidh work?

This is a question we get asked about a lot! How does the ceilidh work, how does everyone learn the moves and is it suitable for beginners?

Here’s a video of our Caller Alyssa teaching one of the dances to Wedding party last summer so you can see how it all works from start to finish:

Ceilidh Video Teaching Virginia Reel

After encouraging guests to the floor and organising them into the right size sets – whilst the rest of the band play our signature LTC vamps for everyone to boogie too while they’re waiting for other guests to come onto the floor – the Caller starts teaching the dance!

Each dance is broken down into small easy to absorb chunks of just a couple of moves. She explains each move and then gets the guests to repeat it slowly along to a short groove that helps the guests know when to start and stop. Demoing and re-caping any moves where necessary! After teaching the dance in full we often do a recap again to a slow groove before starting it for real with the music!

The walk through can be as long or short as needed depending on the crowd but the Caller will continue to call out moves all the way through the dance as needed so if some guests haven’t quite got it they quickly pick it up as we get going!

It’s not about having the perfect ballroom hold or any fancy footwork, the emphasis is on having fun and being inclusive! Getting it wrong is half the entertainment at a ceilidh!!

What we do is all geared up for beginners and/or a mixed crowd so no one is left behind!

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