What is Folk Dancing?

Haven’t done folk dancing before?

You may actually have done so without realising, at a wedding ceilidh or barndance, or even at school. Think Scottish Ceilidhs (Kay-lees), Gay Gordons, or Jane Austen.

The joy of folk dancing is that you don’t have to remember the moves, the caller is always there to guide everyone through the dances. They will first explain the moves and walk everyone through the dance, before it is danced to the music, as the caller calls moves throughout the dance.

Something people often ask, is whether you need to come with a partner. But the answer is no you don’t. Folk dancing is a social dance, you dance with different people throughout the evening, and there’s time of a bit of a chat in between dances. Everyone is free to ask anyone else to dance with them, and everyone is free to chose to, or not to. Of course if you only want to dance with your partner, that’s okay as well.

Folk dancing is traditionally the dancing done by the people, the ‘folk’, to traditional music from the British Isles, and also America. Many dances are traditional, but many have been written in the same style more recently. You will sometimes hear the melodies of Star Wars or Christmas carols coming from some bands occasionally though!

Want to know more? Try putting ‘Ceilidh’ ‘Barndance’ ‘Folk Dance’ ‘Strip the Willow’ or ‘Thread the needle’ into a search engine or Youtube.