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LDT
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There are several references above to "a ceilidh" or "the ceilidh". That spelling for the event in the singular seems to have become widely established in England and Scotland, but it always looks wrong to me.

 

In Irish, the "dh" is the equivalent of the plural "s" in English. So a single event would be a ceili, and you'd only write ceilidh if you were referring to two or more.

 

Perhaps it's different for Scottish Gaelic, but that's how it is in Irish.

 

Ray

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Perhaps it's a good idea to show rather than describe the differences between those dances.

 

Here's what I consider to be a typical contra dance (happens to be my local dance in Greenfield MA - and for the sharp eyed:- the caller is playing an EC).

 

Here's a very good example of

(US version) as it's snippets of many of the genre dances in one clip. And interestingly enough, you can hear a concertina now and then!

 

Unfortunately I'm having a hard time finding a good example of US square dancing. The ones I remember seeing (back in the early 70's to mid 80's) had live music and caller - but all the instances I can find on YouTube seem to have recorded music (at least the caller is live)!

clip seems pretty typical. Maybe that's the way things have changed to. Anyone have other experiences/examples of square dance?

 

-- Rich --

 

 

Even when I was a teen in the '70s, I remember live callers with recorded music. Which actually gives me a reason to tell this. One family we knew built a barn to hold their barn dances or square dances in and I remember several years later the wife complaining that weren't holding dances because the barn was full of hay.

 

Alan

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There are several references above to "a ceilidh" or "the ceilidh". That spelling for the event in the singular seems to have become widely established in England and Scotland, but it always looks wrong to me.

 

In Irish, the "dh" is the equivalent of the plural "s" in English. So a single event would be a ceili, and you'd only write ceilidh if you were referring to two or more.

 

Perhaps it's different for Scottish Gaelic, but that's how it is in Irish.

 

Ray

 

In the Highlands of Scotland in my young days, a house party was a "ceilidh". There were few native Gaelic speakers in Fort William, where I lived, but words like "ceilidh" were part of our English vocabulary. The plural would then be "ceilidhs".

When I moved to Ireland, I had to get accustomed to the concept (and spelling) of the "ceili band" (which to me seemed to be the Irish equivalent of the "Scottish country dance band").

 

I believe Irish "suffered" a spelling reform some time in mid-20th century, but Scottish Gaelic, not being an official language, didn't. This explains some of the spelling differences.

 

Cheers,

John

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"Ceilidh" is Scottish Gaelic, and "ceili" is the Irish. In England we have adopted the Scottish word, but as I explained above use it rather differently from its original meaning. (The Anglicised plural is "ceilidhs" - I've no idea what the Gaelic plural would be, but no doubt it includes most of the alphabet* :) )

 

This can be a source of confusion, especially amongst expat Scots, and it is often referred to as "English Ceilidh" or simply "eceilidh"

 

 

*English spelling is of course invariably simple, consistent, logical and intuitive!

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So this is a question my mum asked me..and well I didn't have a clue.

What's the difference between a jig, reel, waltz etc. How many types are there? And how does the music relate to the dance I.e. which tunes goes with which type of dance? and where can she learn the dances? :unsure: :blink:

 

 

So it might be simplest, LDT, for you and your mum to find out what type of music and dances are happening near you, and get involved in that!

all the best

Samantha

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So this is a question my mum asked me..and well I didn't have a clue.

What's the difference between a jig, reel, waltz etc. How many types are there? And how does the music relate to the dance I.e. which tunes goes with which type of dance? and where can she learn the dances? :unsure: :blink:

 

 

So it might be simplest, LDT, for you and your mum to find out what type of music and dances are happening near you, and get involved in that!

all the best

Samantha

 

Just had to find out what type of dance to google. lol!

 

I found this http://freespace.virgin.net/da.cowell1/grandindex.html its just down the road too.

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Quote

Someone organising a dance for a non-folky audience eg a school PTA is very likely to call it a "barn dance". Apart from the barn dance being likely to attract a number of of people in checked shirts and cowboy hats, there's probably very little difference.

 

Reply

 

We once played such a 'barn dance' I asked Cathy Burke, one of the band ,'Who's the organizer, I'll go and get paid' She said 'The one without the hat on!'

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Perhaps it's a good idea to show rather than describe the differences between those dances.

 

Here's what I consider to be a typical contra dance (happens to be my local dance in Greenfield MA - and for the sharp eyed:- the caller is playing an EC).

 

Here's a very good example of

(US version) as it's snippets of many of the genre dances in one clip. And interestingly enough, you can hear a concertina now and then!

 

Unfortunately I'm having a hard time finding a good example of US square dancing. The ones I remember seeing (back in the early 70's to mid 80's) had live music and caller - but all the instances I can find on YouTube seem to have recorded music (at least the caller is live)!

clip seems pretty typical. Maybe that's the way things have changed to. Anyone have other experiences/examples of square dance?

 

-- Rich --

 

They all look rather similar :blink:

 

I asked Cathy Burke

Not the comedienne I'm guessing :P

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They all look rather similar :blink:

That's because they derive from the same dance "roots". In fact most of the moves (patterns, figures) are identical (and sometimes are even called the same!) though executed with a slightly different emphasis or style. Still, the character of the dances and social backgrounds are so different that it's very rare for dancers to participate in more than one type (virtually no crossover between square and the others and very little crossover between contra and ECD).

 

-- Rich --

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Unfortunately I'm having a hard time finding a good example of US square dancing. The ones I remember seeing (back in the early 70's to mid 80's) had live music and caller - but all the instances I can find on YouTube seem to have recorded music (at least the caller is live)!
clip seems pretty typical. Maybe that's the way things have changed to. Anyone have other experiences/examples of square dance?

Tragic.

 

Here's a square dance I frequently go to in Seattle, lively and fun with lots of young folks and people of all ages, and one of the best old-time bands you'll hear anywhere. About as different from the clip you posted as you can get:

 

Up here in little Bellingham, we have occasional square dances, but always to live music, and good honest old-time stuff, not hokey at all. The contra dances are similar to what you described, a somewhat older crowd, more regulars, not as loose and rowdy, much less likely to see tattoos, much more likely to see bermuda shorts with long black socks. The bands are much more "bompity-bomp," with probably sax, flute, or electric keyboard (which would never be at a square dance).

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They all look rather similar :blink:

it's very rare for dancers to participate in more than one type (virtually no crossover between square and the others and very little crossover between contra and ECD).

 

-- Rich --

 

I've done a lot of contra dancing in the U.S. and I can't remember an english country dance ever being done at a contra dance. Square dances, howver, are frequently done at contra dances though some of the hard-core contra dancers grumble about it. One of the reasons is that square dances typically take longer for a caller to teach and therefore 'waste good dancing time' but with experienced dancers this is not the case and they are a nice change imho. The music is essentially the same except the tempo generally should be a bit faster for a square.

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Square dances, howver, are frequently done at contra dances though some of the hard-core contra dancers grumble about it.

I'm probably one of the grumblers. For me they do seem like a waste of time. Not only does it take time to get square sets together and to walk-through, but they always do them in a pair of square dances (most likely because it takes so long to square up sets). That means if you don't get in one the first sets, you have to sit out two dances. I find that the energy of the entire dance is off-kilter because of this. Now you have a bunch of sweaty hyped-up people and a bunch of very cooled-off ones.

 

Besides the time involved, I find squares not to flow as well as contras. There's a lot of energy truncation and lots of just standing around (well, clogging/stepping while your at it...). And I like dancing with many partners and with squares you're pretty much limited to 4 of the other sex for about 1/2 hour.

 

I also find that there are so many people who *don't* participate in squares (at contra dances) that it's a wonder that they continue to call squares at all. At least in my part of New England there are extemely few contra dances that have squares. Thankfully few!

 

Oh yeah - and I think that the reason why there are sometimes squares at contras and contras at squares is because they are both American dances whereas English Country Dance is not. Yet there is more cross-over between contra/ECD than contra/square or square/ECD. Interesting, huh?

 

-- Rich --

Edited by Richard Morse
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