The ceilidh dance Virginia Reel is one of Ceilidh Tree’s all time favourites. We usually include it early on in a set as it’s so quick to teach and also helps us start with a bit of a bang.
The dramatic formation with two long lines and that crucial final gallop in the Virginia Reel can make this an absolute showstopper. It works great as a wedding ceilidh first dance with the bride and groom at the top of the set receiving a raucous “whoop” when they gallop down. Technically it incorporates elements from trad Scottish, Irish and English dances so we have a great excuse to always include it, whatever the requested style may be.
As a very busy ceilidh band we’ve witnessed more than a few Virginia Reel gallops in our time! The best emerge spontaneously from dancefloors where couples start trying to outdo each other, creating ever more wackier ways to make the fellow dancers cheer louder. Roly polys, back flips, moonwalks, gangnams, fireman’s lifts, manically-legging-it-down-the-set or just an understated body pop have all delighted us over the years! You can see a few in the Virginia Reel compilation video below.
Our version of the Virginia Reel ceilidh dance is a tweak on the classic, perhaps not for the purists as it gets rid of the usual casting out section but this means we can get it going quicker, fit everything into 32 bars of high octane revelry and put an even greater focus on that all important gallop.