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Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?

GUEST,Ian cookieless 24 Mar 09 - 05:08 PM
greg stephens 24 Mar 09 - 05:11 PM
Leadfingers 24 Mar 09 - 05:22 PM
Jack Campin 24 Mar 09 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,PeterC 24 Mar 09 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,CupOfTea, no cookies 24 Mar 09 - 06:14 PM
treewind 24 Mar 09 - 06:30 PM
artbrooks 24 Mar 09 - 06:33 PM
Sleepy Rosie 24 Mar 09 - 06:42 PM
SteveMansfield 25 Mar 09 - 05:35 AM
TheSnail 25 Mar 09 - 06:34 AM
Leadfingers 25 Mar 09 - 07:28 AM
LesB 25 Mar 09 - 07:36 AM
Marje 25 Mar 09 - 08:09 AM
Bloke from Poole 25 Mar 09 - 09:03 AM
Megan L 25 Mar 09 - 09:06 AM
Howard Jones 25 Mar 09 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 25 Mar 09 - 09:37 AM
meself 25 Mar 09 - 10:08 AM
treewind 25 Mar 09 - 10:14 AM
Bloke from Poole 25 Mar 09 - 10:40 AM
Bloke from Poole 25 Mar 09 - 10:42 AM
Bloke from Poole 25 Mar 09 - 10:45 AM
bfdk 25 Mar 09 - 10:47 AM
billybob 25 Mar 09 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Ian cookieless 25 Mar 09 - 03:08 PM
Bloke from Poole 25 Mar 09 - 04:07 PM
bfdk 25 Mar 09 - 06:29 PM
Mysha 26 Mar 09 - 05:30 AM
G-Force 26 Mar 09 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,Warpy 26 Mar 09 - 06:13 AM
bfdk 26 Mar 09 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 26 Mar 09 - 08:45 AM
GUEST 02 Apr 09 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 02 Apr 09 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 02 Apr 09 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,33 1/3 02 Apr 09 - 11:18 AM
Mo the caller 02 Apr 09 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,Jane Bird (without the cookie) 03 Apr 09 - 03:13 AM
Steve Gardham 03 Apr 09 - 04:00 PM
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Subject: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 05:08 PM

I have heard for a long time from friends of the way 'folk dance club' members look down on ceilidh-goers, but have had no experience of this myself until last night. I rang for tickets for an event that was advertised (wrongly) as a ceilidh. I was told from the other end of the phone in no uncertain terms that this was a "folk dance" and "certainly not a baaaaarrrrrn dance" (not a term I had used, and imagine this said with absolute maximum disdain), that everyone there will know what they're doing and that, if I am a ceilidh dancer, I couldn't possibly know how to dance properly so don't bother turning up.

This raises a few questions for me:
1. Why this attitude (that I had been told about but never experienced myself)? Where does it come from?
2. The folk scene is small enough. Why does anyone think we need internecene warfare?
3. What an attitude like that, surely the only expectation is that 'folk dance clubs' will die out? Only the initiated are allowed in, and no newcomers are allowed to become initiates!

Thoughts, please.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 05:11 PM

Well, where I come from, public dances for people to enjoy themselves are called ceilidhs or barn dances pretty indiscriminately. "Folk dance clubs" are something enthusiasts go to, I think, and are not for civilians.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 05:22 PM

Sadly there is STILL a hardcore of 'Serious' Dancers wno have NOTHING to do with any of the 'lower'orders of 'Folk' music !
These are the same people who would organise a 'Dance For Dancers' ,
meaning No Caller and if you CANT dance Cumberland Square , stay home for what UUSED to be called National Folk Day - The EFDSS Day for taking Folk Music to non Folkies !


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 05:47 PM

You get the same in Scotland - ceilidhs vs. Scottish country dancing. Both lots look down on the other.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 06:09 PM

Cumberland Square at Dance for Dancers?

D4D will be some complex topology to music with no relation to traditional dance beyound a longways set.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: GUEST,CupOfTea, no cookies
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 06:14 PM

Ditto for the U.S. but here it tends to be square dancing, particularly Western Square Dancing (Caps as typed and spoken) vs. folk dancing. The Western Square Dance clubs are ferociously couples oriented (and I wonder what on earth do they do with the heavy percentage of widows in their usual age bracket?), have levels of learning, and you are expected to be well schooled in whatever level it is or don't get out on the dance floor.

A friend who has been part of the contra dance community, as well as being an avid English Country dance participant and Scottish Country dance enthusiast was invited by a couple to go with them to a square dance "club." It wasn't until she was there that she was told that, of course, she wasn't going to be permitted to dance, because she didn't "know" all the moves. "It's not like it was brain surgery or there were any fancy moves & they had a caller... there wasn't a thing I couldn't have done if I were out on the dance floor" she remarked in shocked indignation.

Folk dance here mostly means the contra scene which tends to include not just contras, but squares -southern and northern styles- and circle mixers, welcome newcomers always. English & Scottish country dance tend to be likewise welcoming, with getting newcomers started with the moves and footwork generously. What goes on with Irish ceili dancing varies a bit, from prompted dances to evenings where you are expected to know the dances (much as one would for a Playford Ball in ECD).

The bottom line is... do you truly WANT to dance with people with such a bad attitude?

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: treewind
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 06:30 PM

A folk dance club not far from here says on its web site "join (name withheld to protect the innocent) and stay young at heart".
Says it all really.

You can tell the difference between an advert for a ceilidh and one for a folk dance because the folk dance will have the caller's name first, and the ceilidh will have the band's name first.

Lots more useful insights here: Web feet "What is English Ceilidh"

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: artbrooks
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 06:33 PM

Not really, Joanne, although (having lived in Cleveland and Erie, where participatory folk dancing is essentially nonexistent) I can understand how you could think that. In the US, "folk dance" is International dancing...Balkan, Greek, Israeli, Russian line dances; Scandi, Hungarian, Polish couple dances, etc. There are some different twists to it - for example, one of the groups here in Albuquerque always includes a swing and a contra dance in the evening's program. My (admittedly limited) understanding of the terms would equate Ceilidh with Contra and Trans-Atlantic Folk Dance with some of the snootier (and snottier) ECD people I've encountered.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 06:42 PM

"A folk dance club not far from here says on its web site [...] and stay young at heart".
Says it all really."

Sure does...
Implies that anyone under fifty aught to remain at home.
Sorry. I don't know anything whatever about folk dance, just responding to the above comment.

I know it sounds rude, but I wonder...


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 05:35 AM

Many years ago (1981? 1982?) the Sidmouth Folk Week hosted The Ceilidh At The End Of The Universe, in which various members of Pyewackett, The Oyster Ceilidh Band, and other ceilidh luminaries put together an excellent band whose name sadly escapes me (The Infinite Improbability Band?), the Drill Hall was redecorated and renamed Drilliways for the evening, and many people, myself included, turned up in fancy dress.

My Zaphod Beeblebrox papier-mache second head only lasted a few minutes, being dispatched to a corner of the room by a glancing blow during a dip and dive; but other people had gone to extraordinary lengths, including (unless it was all the cider) a space octopus who put a different tentacle into every right and left-hand star. The shops of Sidmouth must have had a tin-foil and facepaint shortage for months afterwards.

The reason for telling you all this, apart from the fact that it is still one of my favourite ceilidhs ever, was the vignette I saw whilst taking a breather on the seafront outside the front door.

In those days The Drill Hall was the home of The Serious Country Dancers Who Danced Folk Dances Properly Without Showing Any Sign Of Enjoyment Whatsoever; those who dressed in checked shirts, nylon slacks or skirts according to sex and/or preference (no, not really!), drank nowt but tea, and at all times proudly displayed their EFDSS membership badges on their breast pockets.

Two such turned up to the Drill Hall, expecting to find the usual refined country dance in progress to a lone piano accordionist in a velveteen roll-neck sweater.

They took one look inside the hall. Their eyes widened in absolute horror; and without a word they were off, moving faster than they would ever do at one of their dances.

IMNSHO the ceilidh / folk dance divide is just another variant of the whole 'pure tradition / living tradition', Morris Ring / Morris Federation , Cecil Sharp / Mary Neal divide. One side sees the other as reckless Visigoths trampling on everything that came before with blatant disregard for the work that has gone before, whilst the reverse view is that the tradition has always changed and mutated and adapted, any contribution we make is just one drop in the stream, and no amount of harumphing in print or on t'Internet will stop that process. Once Tony Blair has finished bring peace to the Middle East maybe he'd like to try sorting this one out :)


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: TheSnail
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 06:34 AM

sfmans

The Ceilidh At The End Of The Universe

I remember it well (fairly well, anyway). The highlight of the evening was a young lady who danced the final polka wearing gold knickers and two glued on gold foil stars. She hadn't been wearing much more for the rest of the evening. Not a hint of rikrak.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 07:28 AM

I have often come across Folk SONG Clubs running occasional dances - Has any one ever heard of a Folk DANCE Club running a concert ?


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: LesB
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 07:36 AM

A few years ago when the sword team I am with were booked to dance at Whitby fest our 'evening dance spot' was at a 'dancers dance' and after out performance a lady came up to me and said "I come from Southport & i'm surprised i've never come upon you before" I replied with "well we've only been going for 35yrs" and then thought for a second or two and said " perhaps it's because we drink beer & you drink tea" to which she replied " oh yes that must be it".
Nuf said!
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: Marje
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 08:09 AM

I suppose it's really a horses-for-courses thing. Some people prefer the EFDSS "folk dance club" style, and others enjoy the relatively abandoned ceilidh style of dancing. The former often dance to recorded music or a single instrument, whereas the latter prefer to dance to a good strong band. As long as everyone sticks to the right terminology when they promote an event, they'll get the kind of dancers they want and nobody will be disappointed (a procedure that doesn't seem to have been followed in Ian's example).

I'm more of a laid-back ceilidh-dancer myself - in other words, as long as I can be at the right spot on the floor at the right moment in the music, I just gallop around happily without worrying too much about the finer points. I have experienced complaints or corrections from dancers on the Dark Side on at least two occasions: once, a couple of Playford Plodders complained to my husband and me that we seemed "too tense" - in other words, we were trying to put some energy into the dancing, which they evidently found rather disturbing. On another occasion I was attempting Scottish dancing with some RSCDS dancers, and was admonished for holding my arms too loosely and waving them around a bit - I might hit somebody!

Anyway, I'm not quite ready to worry about "staying young at heart", and if anyone ever calls me "sprightly" I'll deck 'em!

Marje


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: Bloke from Poole
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 09:03 AM

A constant source of amusement...

I've been taking ceilidh flyers to my local country clubs, with few takers. In general, dancers like to dance and will give other forms a go but:   (from an English viewpoint)

Country dancers look down on barn dances because the moves are too simple.

Ceilidh dancers look down on country dancers because the pace is too slow and the dances too bloody complicated.

Ceilidh dancers look down on barn dance goers because they think barn dances come from America and they wear check shirts and cowboy hats, often pink.

Eceilidh (English ceilidh) dancers look down on (ordinary) ceilidh dancers/barn dancers because they don't step the dances, just walk, and don't get sweaty enough.

Scottish dancers look down on English country dancers because English dancers rely on a caller and don't learn the dances.

Square dancers look down on English country dancers because square dancers have to learn 70-odd different moves in a school-like environment before they are allowed on the floor. English dancers will accept beginners (and very often help them). Although that doesn't stop the better dancers rushing to make up a set before the rabbits get there.

Country dancers look down on square dancers because they think they are the bees knees with all their moves - the majority or which the country dancers know anyway - and some of the moves have bloody silly names, and half the time they don't dance them, just shuffle to where they're supposed to end up.

Country dancers look down on square dancers because they think square dances originated in America - do the French actually have a word for "Quadrille"?

Ceilidh dancers look down on contra dancers because contra dances are all pretty much the same, and go on for bloody ever.

Contra dancers look down their partners cleavages because every second move is a swing and they have endless opportunity.

English dancers look down on French dancers because the dances are simple, repetitive, have very little bounce, and make even contra dances seem short.
The English have cricket to help them visualise eternity - the French have Breton dances. The French win, hands down.

Line dances exist because EVERYBODY needs SOMETHING to look down on.

And that's just for starters...

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: Megan L
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 09:06 AM

Thats no fair Malcolm ahm only five fit twa a canny luk doon on onywan :(


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 09:18 AM

In England, "ceilidh" started up as a reaction to Folk Dance, aka Dancers for Dancers or D4D. D4D seemed to be made up of the older generation who were interested in walking (not dancing) increasingly complex figures to not very exciting or lively music. It appeared to bear little or no relationship to traditional dance forms. It also seemed rather staid and boring, and ran on tea and biscuits rather than real ale. All a bit of a turn-off to the younger generation.

"English Ceilidh" emerged as a reaction from the younger generation against the old farts. They wanted to do some lively dancing to lively music, and also wanted to do proper traditional dances with proper traditional stepping. At there same time, there was perhaps more emphasis on self expression and having a good time than necessarily getting it right (although there are many fine ceilidh dancers who know exactly what they are doing).

Of course the younger generation who started it are now old farts themselves ...


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 09:37 AM

The many amusing comments and experiences related in this thread only confirm what I had already been told by friends. Thank you all for contributing, but how sad. "GUEST,CupOfTea, no cookies" asks, "The bottom line is... do you truly WANT to dance with people with such a bad attitude?" No. I didn't ask the dance organiser to reserve me any tickets, on the basis that 30 years of going to ceilidhs and never being short of partners when I go alone means, to him, that I still can't dance. He's welcome to his blummin fiolk dance.

On rare occasions we do get what I call the "ceilidh fascists" at ceilidhs, i.e. those who see others who don't dance (what to them is) perfectly are a lower life form worthy of extermination. Now I love to dance, I like to get it right, and there is a real exhilaration in dancing with someone who is really good. However, we all start somewhere. I wince when I see them glaring or looking disapprovingly at someone. This is SOCIAL DANCING, get it??!! You can easily spot them: they never smile, always dance with each other (they'll never ask *you* to dance) and would never go as far as to enjoy themselves.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: meself
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 10:08 AM

I'm reminded of what an American observer remarked of the Canadian poetry scene of the time (about forty years ago): "The Canadian poets are so jealous and competitive because there is so little at stake".


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: treewind
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 10:14 AM

Malcom: brilliant list but:
"Contra dancers look down their partners cleavages ..."
I thought contra dancers were supposed to stare rigidly into their partners' eyes the whole time!
It's the law, or you get shot if your don't, or something....

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: Bloke from Poole
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 10:40 AM

Ian,

I dance Morris, English country, "Playford", ceilidh/eceilidh/barndance, danced Scottish briefly, had a go at French dances, done some contras and so on. (How do you think I was able to put that list together!)

The point that people miss is that the only reason the grumpy buggers get the mentions is that they are so very much in the minority.

In any field you will find someone who takes their "art" and themselves way too seriously. Similarly, you will find leg-pulling and banter like my previous post.

While I have met one or two of the scowlers, I have to say that at every event, every dance, every event that I've been to I've been made welcome and helped when I needed it.
That includes about eight different folk clubs in Bristol/Cheltenham/Gloucester and Dorset.

At the same time, is only fair to point out that if you're a ceilidh dancer you will be very limited at a country dance session because there are simply more moves in country dancing than the average ceilidh dancer ever meets.

In other words, he's right. You CAN'T dance their dances.

If the event to which you refer was a dance, then the person at the other end was doing you a favour. At a dance they will call the moves, there will be a walk-through just like a ceilidh, but the moves will be more complex and there is an expectation that the dancers will have a clue. If they had to teach the moves in detail, they'd never get any dancing done and they'd get bored - and you would have been floundering all night.
If, however, you go along to a few club nights, they would be very happy to teach you - as you point out, we all have to start somewhere - and now you know where.

Ceilidhs, in contrast, have to start from scratch each time (usually) so the moves are a lot simpler. You still get the scowlers, but you have obviously managed to enjoy yourself despite them. You should be able to do the same for other dance styles and maybe broaden your horizons a little.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: Bloke from Poole
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 10:42 AM

"Thats no fair Malcolm ahm only five fit twa a canny luk doon on onywan :( "

The drawback with looking down on somebody is that they can see right up your nose.

Not sure if that's much consolation for Megan, though.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: Bloke from Poole
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 10:45 AM

It's me again... I just spotted a cock-up in my first post:

"I've been taking ceilidh flyers to my local country clubs, with few takers"

should have read "with _A_ FEW takers" - which quite reverses the meaning!

They just didn't know about the ceilidh scene - have kept going.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: bfdk
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 10:47 AM

Wear pink and show some cleavage, Meg, that should land a few blokes at your feet where you can then peruse them from above ;o))

I find this thread interesting as it mentions divisions / distinctions that I wasn't aware of and I learn a lot from it. Coming from abroad, my experience with ceilidh dancing in the UK is limited to a few festivals over the past 2-3 years, Sidmouth twice and Whitby once + some weekend festivals. I go to D-A-N-C-E - in the broadest sense of the word. Basically, I was and am open to give anything a go and, hopefully, have fun in the process.

The friends I go with to those festivals are singers/musicians, not a dancer amongst them, so when I go dancing I have to rely on myself to 'cultivate a patch'. Therefore, the important thing for me is whether or not a given venue is friendly and welcoming to strangers, in my case a stranger who can dance some, but who hasn't done much in the way of dancing the way it's done at the British ceilidhs/dances. I'm fully prepared to be outgoing and ask blokes to dance with me, and I usually succeed in finding 'victims'. I find that walking up to a bloke and asking him 'So, do you wanna dance or are you here for decorative purposes only?' usually does the trick..

Like I said, I've never worried about whether something was called 'ceilidh' or 'dance', I've just wandered happily along to see what it was all about. I love the Anchor Garden lunchtime ceilidhs, where you can just walk up to the caller and ask him to 'auction you off', if you're in want of a partner. I love Herbaceous Borders, where you're welcomed in with open arms, given a stick and someone to clash with. I went along to an evening of Breton dances at Sidmouth last year (it was raining) and I was bored stiff. I happened in on an afternoon venue at the Pavillion in Whitby last year and was bored semi stiff - I *think* that was the Playford stuff?? - very staid and somewhat stand-offish.

All along I've been lucky to find nice dance partners, quite a few of which are experienced dancers willing to take on a keen beginner and show her the ropes. I've even had my clutches in some of the top callers, without realizing at the time who or what they were. I'm probably the only person alive who's ever managed to get Terry 'Leadfingers' Silver to attempt a polka with his feet as the only instrument. I've never been turned down rudely, but sometimes politely. And I guess that, basically, that's what it's all about - whether or not any given dance 'denomination' is willing to let in newcomers. Those that won't will eventually starve to death for want of new blood.

Hope to see a lot of you at Sidmouth!

Btw, I'd be more than willing to teach a few Danish folk dances there to anybody interested, should the opportunity arise. PM me if anybody's interested, I could bring some sheet music / descriptions / CDs/mp3s along, if need be.

Best wishes,

Bente


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: billybob
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 11:57 AM

Oh dear,
reminds me of the time Skinners Rats were playing at an EFDSS event in Somerset, Liz and I were asked to dance by two young men who felt sorry for us, sitting alone in a corner, they, and we , had a wonderful time and I thought we danced very well.However our smiling faces gave us away and at the end of the dance a very imposing gentleman told us that "people like you ruin dances for people like me".
That same year after a National Gathering at The Albert Hall we went to a dance at a nearby college, once again an EFDSS event, we had with us a couple of Greek friends who had very limited English, everyone helped them through the dances and we all had a great time, everyone smiling and pushing and pulling our friends in the right direction.
Takes all sorts?


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: GUEST,Ian cookieless
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 03:08 PM

Bloke from Poole, you say, "In other words, he's right. You CAN'T dance their dances... If, however, you go along to a few club nights, they would be very happy to teach you - as you point out, we all have to start somewhere - and now you know where." You may be right. But the distinct tone of the man's voice and the impression he wanted to convey was little short of "p*** off, you ceilidh-dancing low-life." He certainly did not want to be open or inviting or give the impression that I would be welcome at that night or a club night, or that there might be somewhere I could learn to dance his precious dances. I won't bother ringing again!


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: Bloke from Poole
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 04:07 PM

Hi Bente

I believe we did a little bit of HB-ing and probably also some ceilidh dancing - at Sidmouth, the year before last. (Couldn't make it last year).

If you are who I think, I will try to remember to introduce myself. If I've got it wrong, I will confuse somebody else!

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: bfdk
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 06:29 PM

Hi Malcolm,

The weather last year wasn't up to the standard of 2007, but a great festival, anyway. Looking forward to seeing you there, do make yourself known and if I don't accost you first, ask me for a dance at the Anchor Garden :o)

Best wishes,

Bente


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance in Danmark?
From: Mysha
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 05:30 AM

Hi Bente,

Those Danish folk dances, are they danced in Danmark like a Ceilidh or like Folk Dance? I have been to Danmark, but the only dancing I recall was at a private gathering. As I may go there again this summer, it might be good to know whether folk dancing there is for the initiated or shared by all.

                                                                                                                                                          Mysha


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: G-Force
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 06:00 AM

So, what happens to all the ceilidh dancers when they get a bit older and all their joints start playing up? One avenue might be to try a dance club, engage brain and discover that it might be a bit more enjoyable than they thought.

I can happily go to either type of event and enjoy myself whilst remaining conscious that there is another way of doing things.

Don't know how we will ever achieve world peace if even folk dancers hate each other.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: GUEST,Warpy
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 06:13 AM

Bloke.... you should send your list to the EFDSS to publish.

Spot on, what a laugh.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: bfdk
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 06:54 AM

Hmmm... a bit of a tricky question, as I'm not exactly sure of the distinction. I think I've mainly been to ceilidhs so far. Also, sadly we don't really have the same tradition for mixing dance and music at our festivals. If you go to one of the 'big' festivals like Tønder or Skagen, you'd be lucky to come across just one single dance venue during the weekend - and usually there aren't any.

There are a few venues scattered over the country, but not something you stumble upon very often. A lot of the venues close down over summer, too. I think you'd have to make an effort to look them up, if you're interested in attending one. And, usually, there's NO walk-through, possibly a brief run-through á la 'Circle left, circle right, heads set to your opposites, polka round your opposites, grand chain, ladies one hand star.. sides set..'. From there you're expected to know more or less what to do. However, if you're lucky enough to find a partner who know the ropes and will guide you along, and provided you can do the basic stepping, you can get along there and have some fun, I think. Play your 'Hey, I'm a foreigner, I'd like to learn' card ;-))

Compared to England we use more polka, waltz, hopsa and twostep and a lot less of the step-hop that's used for, say, Nottingham Swing etc. We also have a larger number of couples' dances, maybe half-and-half, and a number where you change partner as you go along.

This page has a selection of videos showing various folk dances. Check out the column with the header 'Land' and look up the ones marked DK. S means Swedish. This place has Sunday dances all year round, and it's in a beautiful area, too, so it may be an idea to look it up and see if you can fit it in. My local venue is this one, check the 'Kalender' section to see what's on when. Sorry, it's in Danish. 'Mandagsdans' is for everybody and with instructions, everybody's welcome, but it closes down over the summer. Usually ALL venues are free, unless they're marked with 'Entre' in red lettering, just stop by. If you want to go there, drop me a PM and I'll keep an eye out for you.

Have a great holiday in Denmark!

Best wishes,

Bente


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 08:45 AM

Similar kind of thing used to happen with Irish set dancers and Irish ceili dancers at the Camden Irish Centre, I went to both classes for a period of time in the early 90's but I was the only one who did! The set dancing had a big following, about 50 people, but ceili only a dozen or so, I could never understand the apparent division. I think it was a historical thing - ceili dancing went back to the start of the Irish cultural revolution with the formation of the Gaelic Athletic League in the late 1800's and when set dancing underwent a revival in the 1980's, it was considered by the ceili dancers to be a bit of an upstart and not proper Irish dancing although it was originally imported from England with the quadrilles in the early 1800's.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 07:28 AM

"ceili dancing went back to the start of the Irish cultural revolution with the formation of the Gaelic Athletic League in the late 1800's" - just fot the record, I meant to say Gaelic League.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 10:48 AM

Folk and Folk dancing is such a broad church that it is very difficult to do everything and do it to such a proficiency that satisfies the brain. As a result we go with what we warm to and probably support our choice by liking the "other" a lot less. Rivalry is the right word. It is healthy in many respects. And at a dancers festival you will find the dancers dance "whatever" rather than sit out a session.

And different sub-genres have flavours that suit different people.

Ceilidhnauts like leaping. Irish set dancing and French dictate smaller steps and Breton require that you can go to sleep standing up (and that is it's charm, I find). Cajun - they like a lot of waltzes. Swedish they love their polkas. With Cornish the beauty is Skanking, if tiring. Squares and Contra (American and English country) require a more alert brain and less (much less) leaping. And Scottish Country Dancers cannot understand why E-Ceilidh (English) dancers do not stand and wait patiently while others twirl, we E-C crowd will add grace notes and embellishment at every turn.

But that proves that some of us cross many boundaries happily. But then we may not be seen at many concerts.

http://stroudceilidhs.co.uk April 4th (Sat next) Hekety & Gordon Potts


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 11:11 AM

Btw, I'd be more than willing to teach a few Danish folk dances there to anybody interested,

Bente - get in touch with the organisers at Sidmouth, I am sure they would love to have Danish Past Tries.

And let us put another thing into perspective. How many Squares and Contra and English Country dancers would stay at a dance on tarmac, on a slope, in the rain? And have bouncers on the gate counting them in? Even if it was free? Leaping is more dangerous on such surfaces but it don't stop ceilidhnauts.

Can't wait for the Anchor Gardens at Sidmouth. See you there Bente.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: GUEST,33 1/3
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 11:18 AM

If we are quick, could we not get this on the G20 summit (summit to talk about).

And 20 heads is a goodly number for a longways set!


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 02 Apr 09 - 11:19 AM

Yes, that's about it Mr Red. You didn't mention the 'shivers down the spine' beauty on the tunes of some of the English Country Dances both ancient and modern.

There's something for everyone, the more information you are given about what's on offer, the better - if it's given without looking down on anyone.

So many dance forms to enjoy. I even go to concerts sometimes (Sunday of Bromyard weekend, or when my brain and body need a rest at Chippenham).


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: GUEST,Jane Bird (without the cookie)
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 03:13 AM

Not all folk dance clubs are as Greg Stephens describes (on 24th March): exclusive and unwelcoming of new dancers and people new to folk dance. Not all folk dance clubs baulk at doing dances commonly done at ceilidhs.

I don't think that the ceilidh / folk dance divide exists across the board, though. (Even if a minority do persist in preserving it.) I do both and so do a lot of friends (of a whole range of ages).

And anyway it's all a complete non-issue for many, especially those outside the folk scene, as they don't differentiate between ceilidhs, barn dances and folk dances at all.


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Subject: RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 04:00 PM

There's no need for all this complicated talk. The difference is as plain as the nose on yer face. One is 'social dancing', the other is 'anti-social dancing'.
I'll leave yer to sort out which is which.


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