Basic Ceilidh Info

What is a cèilidh?

The Scots Gaelic word cèilidh means a gathering, often involving music and dance. In modern usage though, cèilidh is a whole culture based around social dancing and folk music. These sorts of dance events can also be found elsewhere, known as céilí in Ireland, troyl in Cornwall and barn dances / country dances in England. With their diverse lineup, HCL brings you the best of all these traditions.

What should I expect?

A lively, inclusive and fun atmosphere for people of all ages and backgrounds. Blistering, energetic and joyful folk music. Expert instructors who lead you through dances in a fun and effortless manner. A varied program of music and dance from Scotland, Ireland, England and Cornwall.

I don’t know how to dance! Is this a problem?

Absolutely not, if you can walk you can dance a cèilidh.

What should I wear?

We recommend flat shoes, although we’ve seen all sorts over the years! If it’s your first time, perhaps bring something that’s comfortable to walk in.

Can the first dance be incorporated into the cèilidh?

Yes, in fact this is a rather popular choice.

Do you offer cèilidhean in Finnish too?

We give cèilidhean in both English and Finnish, or a combination of the two. We also teach the dances by showing and demonstration so language isn’t an issue.

Technical Questions

Where can a cèilidh take place?

A large wooden dance hall is ideal. Carpets make it more difficult to turn and spin which isn’t great for the joints. Tiled floors are okay but we would avoid high energy dance moves as falling on a tiled floor will hurt.

How long do you usually perform at weddings?

Three 30 minute sets or two 45 minute sets.

What access do you require for a standard cèilidh?

We should be able to park very close to the room we’re performing in while we unpack our equipment. 2 hours are needed to both set up and complete a soundcheck. The stage should be at least 3 x 2 square meters in size and have easy access to mains power sockets.

Music Questions

Do you do requests?

Yes, if asked in advance we can perform instrumental covers (without vocals). Some songs/ pieces may also be beyond what we can do with our instrumentation, this is something we can discuss with you.

Do you sing?

We usually only perform instrumentally. However, depending on the circumstances, it’s possible we could sing or hire a vocalist to join us.

Can you provide background music?

Yes, we have playlists we can play through the PA system.

Can you perform background music?

Yes, our music is also great for creating a relaxed and merry atmosphere.