Wiggling at WEST

gay gordons cropped

Friday night we were at the amazing venue of WEST brewery for a Disco Ceilidh. It was great to see loads of folk turn out in their tartan to shoogle their bahookies.

There was a great atmosphere and extra folk kept piling onto the dance floor even as each dance was on the go. This made for a happy bedlam with sets of dancers growing as the song progressed which made for an interesting Flying Scotsman which started with the usual four carriages and ended with nine.

There seemed to be an awful lot of WEST’s famous 2-pint beer glasses around which presumably was why, towards the end of the night, there was some rather groovy ad-libbing on the dance floor as disco-ceilidh went freestyle.

The audience was great and weren’t the type to want a sit-down between dances so at the end of the night we did a back-to-back medley of Strip the Willow to ‘Born Slippy’, Circassian Circle to ‘Get Lucky’, Military Two-Step to ‘Born this Way’ and then, in a departure from my planned set, a rather experimental Gay Gordons to YMCA.

I’d had a hunch that the Village People and the Gay Gordons would be a good mix, though I hadn’t tried it before, and with such a fantastic group of dancers and the heroic quantities of WEST’s beer that was being consumed, I felt it was the right time to try.

disco ceilidh west circassian circle cr

It worked a treat with dancers breaking out at intervals for the actions. It was brilliant fun, hugely cheesy and my only regret is that the various phones and cameras had all run out of battery/memory so I couldn’t record it on video for posterity.

Watch out for it at the next Disco ceilidh.

A few comments from the feedback forms:

‘Do it more, for longer and more often!’

‘Come and do Disco Ceilidh at our wedding!’

‘Unique, energetic, fun selection of music’

‘More Abba!’

What did you like best?

Was there anything you didn’t enjoy?
‘When there was a break/the end’

I think the world is ready for Disco Ceilidh

First published at cuilbay.com 21st Aug 2013

‘ve been spending a few spare moments recently puzzling out what disco tunes would go with which ceilidh dances. It must be one of the things that you can’t find on the internet (I did try) so you’ll be pleased to know that I am adding to that fabulous open source project by documenting my findings here ….

In choosing these tunes I have considered tempo, how the pattern of the dance matches the tune, and boogie-value.

These have not been definitively tested yet so bear with me, I’ll update once I have rounded up some experimental dancers ….

Gay Gordons
American Boy – Estelle 118 bpm

Dashing White Sergeant

Disco Inferno – The Trammps 128 bpm

Canadian Barndance
Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader 124 bpm

Circassian Circle
Up all night to get lucky – Daft Punk 130 bpm?
Works especially well with a bit of a disco conga instead of the promenade.

St Bernard’s Waltz
The times are changing – Simon and Garfunkle

Virginia Reel
Car wash – Rose Royce but think I’ll go with the Christina Aguillera version from Shark Tale

Strip the Willow
I am convinced that Born Slippy (140-145bpm) – by Underworld will make a fabulous Strip the Willow but I will need to try it out with a full set of dancers to see how it works ….

The background to this eccentric exercise is that I am a novice caller in a ceilidh band. It’s a band made up of parents from the school, formed by a note I sent round via school bag post, seeking a group to play local, family-friendly ceilidhs for fun. We soon assembled a full team, but no-one stepped forward to do the calling. So after a few web-searches and a bit of a brass-neck, I’m exploring a whole
new world.

In getting to know the dances, it’s been quite fun working out which tunes would suit which dance. And now I’m thinking of having half a traditional ceilidh set and half a disco set when we play. That way the band will get a chance to party too!

This is sooooo the next Zumba