# Space needed for dancers at a Ceilidh / Barn Dance

**SPACE NEEDED FOR A CEILIDH**

Before giving an idea of the
ideal floor size needed for a
ceilidh /
barn dance, I should say
that a band would endeavour to use whatever space is
available. If there is lots of room, they can do any kind of
dance. If space is very restricted, only certain kinds of
dance would be done, perhaps some people would have to wait
their turn for another dance and everyone would squash up
[can be quite fun!]

**Setting out the room**

If the dance is in the same room that the meal has been held in, or is in a marquee where there has been a meal, then typically either half the tables are removed, and the remainder are moved well back so that at least half the room is available for dancing. Don't have rows of tables so that there are tables between guests and the dance floor. They will be disconnected from what is happening and tend not to get up and dance.

Even, if the room is being dedicated to the dance, and particularly if space is tight, remove the typical clutter from the room. You don't really need tables, just some chairs round the outside of the room.

If you are having a disco, put them somewhere well away from
the band if at all possible to avoid getting their equipment
tangled up.

**Space for the band**

The band need enough space for the musicians, plus a table
behind them to put a mixing desk, plus some space to put
loudspeakers. It obviously varies dependent on the number of
people in the band, how many different instruments they may
each be playing and having to store, and the kind of PA
equipment they have. A typical 4 piece band takes something
like 2 meters deep by 4 meters wide, plus somewhere to
locate the main loudspeakers. But look at the the page
**
Bands using
amplification, e.g. Ceilidh / Barn Dance;
Jazz; Function / Party bands etc**
for more details.

Square Set Dances

A square set dance ideally needs an area of 3.5 by 3.5
meters, [or 4.5 by 4.5 meters for certain dances]

Long Sets [6 couples]

A six couple long set needs an area of 2 by 4 meters [or 3
by 5 meters for certain dances], plus at one end of the
longset, you need and extra 3.5m for the set to dance into.
(However, if you had 2 or 3 sets in series, you would still
only need one lot of 3.5m to dance into).

Circle Dances

Here the number of dancers is dictated by the space
available.

How many people will dance?

How many people will want to dance at any one time? Although
the first and last dance often involve everyone (if space
permits), the rest of the dance may involve 40-80% of the
people, depending on age range, enthusiasm, how long a day
they have had, fitness, proximity of the bar etc.

Working out how big a dance floor you need.

Take the number of people at the dance, estimate the
percentage you think may dance at any one time, work out the
number of sets and then the space needed.

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