Ceilidh dance calling
We often get asked by clients how we call the dances, so here's a little look at how we like to do it!
Our ethos is to always keep things fun and relaxed; at the end of the day, everyone is on the dancefloor to have a good time, so our whole style of how we run our ceilidhs reflects that.
In our 13 or so years of ceilidh'ing, we've called to literally any imaginable crowd! From calling to 400 conference-goers who had never done a ceilidh before, running a ceilidh for a Russian wedding where English was definitely not the first language of most guests, and getting a roomful of 250+ Glasgow University international freshers ceilidh'ing together, we are perhaps the most experienced band at getting people who've never even heard of a ceilidh before up and onto the floor.
In the wedding setting, we so often play for crowds where only half the number have done a ceilidh before - this makes it really fun! Again, we keep everything relaxed, informal, and clear, and we definitely don't repeat things too often either - crowds are there to dance, not to listen to our voices bleating on!
The general format for calling in most contexts would be:
1. Speak through each move individually, with the crowd trying out each move in-turn
2. Practice the dance with a drum-beat at a slower tempo, with the caller still calling over the top so people get the flow of the whole dance and how it fits together
3. Unleash the music upon the crowd, with the caller helping over the top as required to keep everyone in-line: particularly in the big set dances, it's more important that everyone is lined-up.
Take a look at these wee videos of Tom calling at Boturich Castle and St Pierre Hotel in Wales.