Ceili and Barn Dances - for your Event
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About Ceili and Barn Dances
The Ceili and Barn Dance pages list bands that are available in your area. People occasionally don't know what is different between a Ceilidh dance, Barn dance or Hoedown. In case you're uncertain, discover what kind of dance band would be best for your wedding or function in your area, simply click the following link:
The pages in the Ceilidh & Barn Dance section of our website show all the bands who perform in your area, whether they call themselves ceilidh bands or barn dance bands. It is most of which are appropriate for the majority of events. If you do want a specialist band or particular style, select your county from the drop down box on this page, then use the drop down boxes at the top of the next page to narrow things down.
The majority of bands will play a range of folk music from around the United Kingdom , the USA and sometimes Europe. Many bands will tend towards one nationality of music, or play predominantly in one style, whatever is that band’s favourite. Many of the dances well known dances can be done to a range of tunes.
So, how do you choose which band is for you. The most important thing is to listen to their music samples. Bands have different line ups of instruments, there are 2 piece to 7 piece bands, low cost and high priced bands. Customers have different tastes. Some people value high class musicianship, others hate that and want a rough earthy sound. So at the end of the day, listen and decide what appeals to YOU.
People are often confused by the difference between Ceilidh dancing and Barn
dancing. The fact is they are basically the same. Both have a caller who guides
the dancers and the band will play traditional folk music to dance to.
Ceilidh is the Scottish and Irish name, so this covers Scottish Ceilidh Bands and Irish Ceili Bands. (Notice the alternative spelling. Other versions are Caleigh, Kaley, kaylee, kayleigh etc. so you can't really spell it wrong!) The bands would mostly play Celtic folk tunes. Many songs are claimed by the Irish, Scotts, English and Americans, but the way of playing them would vary.
Barn Dance ends to be the English and American name, where English or American folk tunes would be played. Having said that, a lot of the dances are common to both a Ceilidh dance or a Barn dance.
Many bands play a range of songs and do dance that spans all styles. This is particularly suitable for a wedding ceilidh or birthday barn dance, where all musical tastes need to be catered for. For an evening such as a Irish St Patricks night, or a Scottish Burns night, then a specialist band would be more suitable.
A Ceili and Barn Dance is one of the best entertainment for the many Parties, Wedding Receptions and other functions e.g. charity events. It gets people who have never met before to interact and the sound level is such that people can still talk to each other talking - (Unlike when there's a disco in full swing!)
The band usually get the dance started by playing some music to listen to to get people 'in the mood'.
For a Wedding Ceilidh or Barn Dance a Ceili and Barn Dance would normally begin
with a first dance that included the Bride, Groom and all the guests. The Caller
would invite absolutely everyone up to join the happy Couple. (No one can not do
so, since it would be rude). The Caller will make the first dance very easy so
that even people who were lacking confidence find they could do it. This gets
the dancing off to a good start. (Some newlyweds prefer to do a first dance to a
waltz, then ask guests to join them, or alternatively do their first dance to
music provided by them on a MP3 player. This can work well too.
For a wedding anniversary Ceilidh or Barn Dance or corporate event, it is very similar. The first dance is generally easy, so that the Caller can determine whether dancers are first timers, or experienced, how quick on the uptake they are, an how fit they seem. The dancers gain some confidence, and the caller can gauge the best level of dances that would suit for the Ceilidh or Barn Dance
Ceilidh & Barn Dance Bands always have a Caller who explains the dances, so that those who have not been to a Ceilidh or Barn Dance before can enjoy themselves. The Caller asks guests to come onto the floor, often not deciding what dance to do until they know how many they have to work with. They will explain the dance, running the dancers through the dance slowly. They could go through some of the dance again, depending on how complicated it is and how whether the dancers seem confused still. Then the band will play a brief introduction and the dancers are off. The caller keeps an eye on what is happening, perhaps giving directions and sorting out those who have got muddled up or got lost. It can be quite exciting and always great fun.
Generally there is be a break half way through the Ceilidh for a food, so that people can have a rest and regain some more energy for the second half. If there are some expert dancers, the Caller might do some more difficult dances for them, but all in all they will make sure that everyone is involved and enjoying the evening.