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Tales from NE Ceilidhs: Dances from far and wide

As a NE Ceilidh band, our bread and butter  is the traditional menu of Eightsome Reel, Dashing White Sergeant, Boston two step, Gay Gordons, Strip the Willow and Virginia Reel etc. that most people know and enjoy, with a few dances such as Cumberland Square Eight from south of the border, and some from Ireland such as Hullihan's Reel and Waves of Tory that are also popular here.     Often, particularly for weddings and groups not used to Ceilidh dancing, this is plenty.  But if the dancers are having a good time,  or are a bit more experienced, we toss in a few dances from further afield.  A fun dance is a fun dance no matter where it is from, and can make the evening more interesting for all concerned.

Troika is a dance for sets of three from Russia that is one of our favorites. It has slightly silly moves, and gets faster and faster.

De Kolem is from Belgium and involves clapping, foot stamping,  and frequent changes of partners.

Cuckoo is a circle dance from Switzerland and everyone charges round and round till the cuckoo sings, then change partners.

Siebenschritt we collected from Innsbruck in Austria and is a fairly sedate walking dance with interludes of hand-clapping.  Austria no longer has a  tradition of ceilidh-style communal dances but a few good dances survive to be shown to tourists.

Hoya Hoya is one from Lithuania we spotted in Vilnius, which alternates foot stamping and bumping hips with your partner with  polka-ing round the room,  Dead easy and very popular with our audiences.

There are yet more from the USA, France, Spain and Isreal.  Variety is the spice of life, , and our gigs can be quite spicy, or dead traditional depending on the audience and the occasion., but are rarely quite the same twice running.