What is a Ceilidh?

Ceilidh ( Kay - Lee, rhymes with Daily)

The word Ceilidh comes from the Gaelic word for a “gathering” or a “party” and traditionally described an evening with music, dancing and storytelling. However, nowadays whenever anyone thinks of a Ceilidh they think of fun filled night of wild dancing, laughter, good company and great music. 

Courtesy of Victoria Baker Photographer
The difference between Scottish Country Dancing & Ceilidh Dancing

Both are excellent parts of Scottish culture and many of the dances overlap. However, to characterise them, Scottish Country Dancing is all about the accuracy of the dance and the more complex the better. To get the accuracy, the pace of often a bit slower. 


Ceilidh Dancing is much more “loosey goosey" where enthusiasm is more important than experience and laughter is vital, as is “Gie'n it laldy!” 


Good Ceilidh bands go hard and fast!! 


Gallus are most definitely a Ceilidh Band!!  

What is the age group at a Ceilidh?

The great thing about a ceilidh is that they are for everybody.  From 5 to 95 people join in  and stay on the floor all night. That is why they are perfect for weddings, parties and other family gatherings. They fill the floor in a way few DJs or cover bands do.


In Scotland, a wedding is not a wedding unless there is a Ceilidh!! 

What are the dances like?

The dances are a mix of couple dances like the Gay Gordons and the Military Two Step; and set dances with groups of couples like the Dashing White Sergeant (6 in a group), Strip The Willow (8) and the Virginia Reel(8). Some dances are progressive where you change your partner as the dance goes along. 


Here is a link to a great example of a couple dance.

Is a Ceilidh right for my event?
Go on!! give it a try!!

Although the tradition is Scottish, it is a fun evening for everyone and because we mix contemporary music in with the traditional stuff, it broadens the appeal. We have played ceilidhs with almost no Scottish people at and everyone has had a fantastic time. If you are looking for a fun event, something different to a DJ, then give it a go! 


Ceilidhs have  a tendancy to fill the dance floor and people stay there all night.  They suit kids, teens, young adults, parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Your friends and family will love it!  


Give us a call with any questions, we'd be happy to explain in more detail and tailor the night to meet your requirements.