29 October 2019
50+ Free Ceilidh Dance Sessions

     'Curtain up' for the first 50+ Ceilidh Dance session at the Spectrum Centre in Inverness. Eight people came along to find out what it was all about and appeared to have enjoyed themselves by the time the hour was up.  

          Jennifer led off with a relaxing 'warm up' exercise then followed this with a Gay Gordons. This is a popular dance at Ceilidhs and other kinds of informal and social dance in Scotland.  It's an 'old-time' dance, of a type popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in which every couple dances the same steps, usually in a circle around the room.  

     Next up was the St Bernards Waltz. The Waltz started as a turning dance of couples and was especially popular in south Germany and Austria. More than any other dance it appeared to represent some of the abstract values of the new era; the ideals of freedom, character, passion, and expressiveness. This may explain somewhat its eruption into the limelight of international popularity. The waltz didn’t arrive in the United Kingdom until 1812 where, again, it became very popular. In Scotland the St Bernards Waltz is associated with Old Time dances, many of which have links or origins with European versions of the dance.     

     There was just time to include the Canadian Barn Dance in this week's dance session. It's reckoned that the barn dance originated in England and Scotland in the second half of the 19th century, when peasants went to open areas in a barn to imitate dancing of the wealthy landowners. Since those times, barn dances were held to celebrate the raising of a new barn, a holiday, birthday, wedding or a celebration.

     With the hour gone, Jennifer led the company in a 'cool down' exercise to a medley of the tunes 'The Scottish Emmigrant's Farewell' and 'Haste Ye Back'.

     See the links page for dance instructions and videos.

     The next Ceilidh Dance Session is scheduled for the 12th November.  Hope to see you then.


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