What are ceilidh, contra and bal?
Ceilidh, contra, and bal are all types of folk dancing, with varying levels of instruction from a caller*. Ideally, the more dancers the merrier!
- Ceilidh originally means an Irish or Scottish gathering. It has evolved into an often energetic style of folk dancing accompanied by live music and caller to guide you through your steps.
- Contra is a style of dancing originating in the eastern USA inspired by English, French, and Scottish country dancing. Most dances involve dancing with your partner up and down long sets in a series of flowing moves led by a caller.
- Bal (or Balfolk) is a collection of traditional European dances, where the dancer is often expected to know the dance when the music strikes up. The dances can include polkas, schottisches, waltzes, chapelloises, and others. For beginners, Bal are often accompanied by an introductory session where some of the common dances are taught by an experienced caller. We can also throw in a Scandinavian twist.