Specialist organisers of barn dance bands, ceilidh bands and folk/dance/concert groups throughout the UK

© 2018 Jigs 'n' Reels

Jigs 'n' Reels, 'Homeleigh', Claphill Lane, Rushwick, Worcester WR2 5TP

Call or Text brief enquiry to 0788 788 7917

Ceilidh ? Barn Dance ? Hoedown ? Twmpath?

Ceilidh ? Barn Dance ? Hoedown ? Twmpath?
Well, is there a difference between any of these ?
Err.........YES ....and......Err......NO!

YES if you are an experienced dancer who prefers a particular type of tradition....but....

NO if your aim is to have a night of fun doing some dances that you rarely join in with.
Let's concentrate on the NO vote!

Most people who approach us are looking for a band and caller who will introduce them to the fun aspect of traditional dances, mixing people up by involving them in relatively simple dance patterns to good, danceable music. Even if you are a complete beginner, you should be able to join in and have a go without the worry of making mistakes. So many different types of celebration nights, fundraisers and social events include folks who have never really tried any of this style of dancing before. For nights like these, the terms above could all equally apply! It's just the musical style and background that varies - though most people, quite frankly, would not notice the difference between a jig or reel from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales or North America...........and the dances have such a big element of overlap between all the various traditions since they all involve circle dances, square sets, longways (or contra) sets, sicilian circles and so on! In fact, you could just as easily describe these dances as 'Knees Up Dances' to lively traditional music - it's probably as fair a description as any other! The music is very often a mixture of the different traditions - and so are the dances.

SO.........let's put it like this

A CEILIDH is a gaelic term from Scotland meaning a 'come ye all', a night out of music, song, dance and even story-telling which has ,in the latter years, tended to concentrate on the social dancing especially. For a broader view please click on Scottish Ceilidhs. A more recent development has also been the explosion of English Ceilidhs (where, let's be honest, the term Ceilidh has been hi-jacked in preference to using Barn Dance !) – more elsewhere in our FAQ’s.

A CEILI is the Irish equivalent and means pretty much the same as Ceilidh – more elsewhere in our FAQ’s.

A less well-known term, unless you're Welsh, is TWMPATH. A twmpath, in Welsh, is a small hill or raised area (something like a village green or focal point) and musicians would often use such areas to gather and play traditional Welsh music either for songs, entertainment and, of course, dancing with the phrase coming to mean much the same as Ceilidh.

A BARN DANCE can possibly conjure up a couple of different images. Many years ago, dances to traditional music were often held in barns (often, barns belonging to local leading pillars of society/landowners ) and other rural community buildings or outdoors featuring nights of dancing traditional well-known dances with an air of revelry/songs - and we like to think that this is not lost altogether. (Of course, to some people, the image changes to country dancing on the village green/maypole dancing/almost 'tea with the vicar' - really, that's not what we are about!). Alternatively, others see BARN DANCE as meaning a 'hill-billy' yee-ha type night, dressing up as ‘cowboys/girls’ and dancing to dazzling fiddle music.......................which leads us neatly on to

HOEDOWNS where just about everybody, we believe, understands that the dance music/songs will be of a traditional North American style featuring, predominantly, stringed instruments like the fiddle and banjo – more elsewhere in our FAQ’s.

Finally, if you voted YES at the beginning.....well, we won't bother going there. You've probably made your mind up already! That's not to say that you don't enjoy your chosen preference 'cos we know that for the more experienced dancers, there's a great deal of fun in learning further and improving upon your own particular tradition.