Ceilidh Tree perform regularly for Scottish ceilidh dances, weddings, Burns Nights and other events where there’s a mix of guests that have grown up dancing alongside complete ceilidh virgins – this always makes for an interesting dancefloor! Our most common Scottish ceilidh dance requests are for the Dashing White Sergeant, Gay Gordons and Strip The Willow – luckily all are great fun whether your guests are beginners or more experienced dancers.
Scottish Ceilidh Dances: DASHING WHITE SERGEANT
We love how choreographed this ceilidh dance is – the tune is like a mini-soundtrack to each of the steps and we never tire of playing it! The layout can be a bit tricky for beginners to get though the spokes of a wheel analogy helps. It’s a great mid-ceilidh choice, once guests are a little warmed up and caller has built a bit of a rapport with the dancers. For complete beginner groups we can sub the ‘reel of three’ with a simpler jump-kick move.
Scottish Ceilidh Dances: THE GAY GORDONS
This is often a showstopper, soundtracked with “Scotland The Brave” for maximum Scottishness! With quite a few moves crammed into 16 beats it’s quite a unique dance and needs a little concentration! Once you’ve got the “Gay Gordon’s hold” and the walking backwards bit, it’s usually smooth sailing. If dancers are up for a bit of ceilidh madness we can speed up the tune – wouldn’t be a true GG without a few collisions! The Gay Gordons can work wonderfully as a trad. Scottish first wedding dance – Bride and Groom showing everyone how it’s done with a few turns on their own and then everyone making a circle around them to continue.
Scottish Ceilidh Dances: STRIP THE WILLOW
The iconic Scottish ceilidh dance Strip The Willow works fab as a ceilidh climax. It can really take on a life of it’s own – caller ensures everyone is versed in the “right arm to your partner” mantra then sets alight the blue touchpaper and stands well back! We love starting with a beautiful Scottish jig like “Caliope House” then throw dancers for a hoop with a slip-jig like “Peacock Follows The Hen”, then pull out all the stops with a belter of a reel like “Franks” for guaranteed ceilidh euphoria!
OTHER SCOTTISH DANCES WE LOVE
GG, DWS and STW are definitely the ‘big three’ but there’s loads of others we love too. Virginia Reel, Riverside, Cumberland Square Eight, Military Two Step, Canadian Barndance, Eightsome Reel and St Bernard’s Waltz to name a few!