We believe starting your ceilidh / barndance with a bang is vital. If guests enjoy the first dance then they’re more likely to keep coming back for more so the first choice is key. As a ceilidh opener, we love Virginia Reel. It’s quick to teach and set up so there’s not much waiting around before it gets going plus it’s simple enough to keep ceilidh virgins happy. Being a big layout dance with two long lines, it also allows experienced ceilidh goers to show off a bit in front of the whole group and has that sense of drama!
Ceilidh Tree dial up the ceilidh euphoria by putting the bride and groom / significant couple at the top of the set. As the first to gallop down there’s much whooping and cheering, egged on by the caller and it’s an ace photo op. They’re also the guinea pigs to demonstrate the gallop. As each couple gallops down, dancers may get more creative with their gallops (wheelbarrow, on the shoulders, hoverboards etc) culminating in the caller requesting multiple couples to gallop down one after the other for a cascading-ceilidh-climax! Check the vid below of Ceilidh Tree’s performance at Middle Temple Hall to see Virginia Reel in full swing.
Another great option for a ceilidh opener is Circassian Circle and given a customary Ceilidh Tree treatment, the fun level can be off the scale. More on that soon though.