Learn the Ceili Dances
The Ceili dance is very energetic!
A dance for everyone
If you have ever had the chance to take part in a Ceili dance you will know how invigorating, tiring and exhilarating they can be. While you have to be a good dancer to take part in a feis, it doesn’t matter whether you are good or bad to take part in a Ceili dance. All that matters is that you enjoy it, and you might even pick it up more easily than you think.
Here are eight classic Ceili dances you can watch out for and take part in if you wish.
The Fairy Reel
This is designed for six people – four ladies and two men. There are two sets of three so there will be a man in the middle of two ladies, with one set of three facing the other. This dance is also known as Cor na Siog.
Bridge of Athlone
This is so called because the line of couples taking part in the dance forms a bridge by holding hands with their partners on the opposite side. One partner goes under the middle each time while the other goes round the outside.
Walls of Limerick
There is no limit on the number of couples who can do this dance. You may also see it referred to as Ballai Luimni.
This is a nice little dance that requires just three people. The idea is that the two people on the ends will have switched places by the end of the dance. But of course, it depends on how good you all are as to whether this actually happens or not! Either way it’s a lot of fun.
Siege of Ennis
This is perfect for eight people – four couples – and is also known as Ionsai na hInse. You can repeat the basic dance as many times as you have the puff for!
Sweets of May
Four couples are required for this dance. There are several stages to it so it is a little more advanced than some of the other dances. Everyone starts in a square with a dancer at each corner.
This requires an even number of people and is often danced with ten participants. It begins with two lines of five, the men on one side and their partners on the other.
This is ideal for couples and there is no limit to the number who can take part, making it ideal for all kinds of parties! Your partner goes to your left and you will alternate linking arms with your partner and the person on the other side of you.
Whew! As you can see there are lots of Ceili dances to try. If you want to learn properly it is worthwhile watching some expert dancers do the dances so you can learn the steps. Try one at a time and remember they are good fun for entertaining people at parties and getting them to join in as well. Part of the fun is not knowing exactly what you are doing!