Ceilidh Dances For Children
At events with a high proportion of very young dancers, it’s a good idea to choose dances with simple and fun figures that don’t require the dancers to move anywhere complicated! I like to include plenty of clapping, galloping and sound effects!
Balance The Star – with do-si-dos and arches in the second half, not gateposts
Borrowdale Exchange – with optional partner swapping
Circassian Circle – can be done in 3s so that everyone is included; opportunity for cheering in the first couple of figures
Cumberland Square Eight – replace the baskets with circles
Falling Masonry – lots of galloping!
Flying Scotsman – with train noises! And I often replace the last figure with the opportunity for everyone to freestyle.
Heaps (Gordon Potts) – more galloping!
Horses’ Brawl – a Tudor dance in an unusual formation, with no need for a partner and space for the dancers to improvise. Plus the tune is great fun to play and most English musicians know it!
Pat-A-Cake Polka – a short dance with easy clapping
Riverside Jig – I change the figures in this all the time! Stars, circles, lines forward and back, top 4 charge down the middle!
Virginia Reel – works in a big longways set, but smaller sets allow more time for the cast (the trickiest move)
Wring Out The Dishrag – the dishrag move is particularly fun/chaotic with children AND adults dancing together, but I also do variations of this dance without the actual dishrag move if necessary. The scatter promenade gives an exciting twist if you need another dance with lots of familiar easy moves!
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