dancers at Meltdown

Dancing at a Meltdown!


thanks to E. Kingscote for source photo of the 'Circle-left' dancers

Frequently Asked Questions and further information about the Meltdown Barn Dances

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or phone 01273 541453



How do I pronounce "Ceilidh"?

meltdownLogo12thumb  Say it 'KAY-LEE'



What is ECeilidh?

meltdownLogo12thumb ECeilidh (English Ceilidh) is an energetic form of Barn Dance or Country dancing from all over.

The sort of dancing in various set formations that most people have bumped into at a wedding, birthday, PTA, fundraiser or at school sometime in their lives).

We dance an ecletic mix of traditional and modern British dances with many American and Eurpoean dances thrown in.
(Folkies tend to use the term 'ECeilidh' because we filtched the Scottish word "Ceilidh" - and it's not traditional Scottish dance!)

The dancing is infectious and great fun.
It's a wonderful way to meet people, mix the generations, get some exercise, laugh a lot and hear some really amazing sounds - LIVE.

The music tends to be faster (and louder!) than your average PTA/special event dance, but the figures can be danced or walked, as energetically as age, agility and fitness allow.
There'll often be several different 'styles' of dancing within the same set.

With ECeilidh the emphasis is more on having fun than getting it right or 'historically correct'.
And if you do go mega wrong - it's no big deal! (just please don't  walk away and leave the other dancers in the set short!)


What's the music like?

meltdownLogo12thumb Only top-level festival and ceilidh-circuit bands & Callers are booked.

Modern ECeilidh bands use a mix of traditional, more recent and self-penned tunes, with influences from Britain, Europe and the World ~ reflecting the many influences that have shaped English cultures over the years. There's as much Jazz, Rock & Roots as there is Folk; drumkit, brass and some very strange instruments are often in the line-up.

Each band has its own particular sound and style and the different Callers also have their favourite repertoire of dances too, making every Meltdown a slightly different night.

We always try to have one up-and-coming band and one 'young' band per season.

Bands tend travel into Sussex from quite a distance. They've travelled from Wales and Northumberland - so you're probably not going to be hearing them at another gig near you next week!



Do I have to know what I'm doing before I come to a dance?

meltdownLogo12thumb   It doesn't matter if you've never done it before, and you don't need to go to classes.

The Caller walks you through every dance first to explain the moves and prompts during the first few times through.
Just listen, watch and follow. Sorted!
You'll probably see more experienced dancers adding extra bits and twirls - you'll soon be able to do that too.

Most of the dances are as couples in sets of couples — but you don't need to come with a partner, anyone can dance with anyone, nobody minds!
But of course it's more fun if you come along with a friend/s to start off with.
Women ask men to dance, no problem.



What do I wear?

meltdownLogo12thumb  OK - YOU WILL GET HOT!

This can be energetic stuff, even with the air-conditioning on! So - loose comfortable clothing is probably best.

Plus low sensible shoes with some grip (stiletto-ing someone in a gallop is SO not funny and we'd rather you didn't risk breaking a heel - or your ankle) 

Trainers are great, even worn with 'smart' clothes -

Party frocks, shorts, sweatbands, tutus, kilts or fairy wings are all optional! (and yes - we have had them all!)

We also have the occasional special 'colour dress-code' party night - usually black plus a colour. (the Christmas dance is always Blacks'n'reds). Non-compulsory, natch - but adds to the fun.



YouTube clips of ECeilidh Bands in action
~ thanks to Brian Heywood of Moondance for this great resource.

Florida 2001