Tonight I went to my first for real ceilidh (pronounced KAY-lee in case you weren’t sure).  The Christian Union puts it on and it’s pretty crazy!  There was a taster earlier this week in which I bumbled through two dances with some new acquaintances.  This was the real deal.  I think it was, anyway.

Let’s see, they had:

  • And awesome venue (Greyfriar’s Kirk, an old church in Edinburgh with a big open space and vaulted ceilings.  It’s the place I took pictures of with the graveyard in an earlier post. Oh, and did you know they have a service entirely in Gaedhlig?  Awesome!!!)
  • Guys in kilts (yep, they were there.  Not many, but enough to think “wow, they mean business!”)
  • A live band (fiddle, drums, and guitar!)
  • Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of dancing

It was a bit unnerving at first, but fortunately I had made a friend (from France!) who met up with me so we could go together and be less nervous.   Everyone was very lively and, as we both discovered, it was our job to stand around and look pretty until random guys came up and asked us to dance, which they did!  There were more girls than guys so sometimes pairs of girls would join the fray so as not to be left out.  A testimony to the diversity of this place is in my dance partners.  They hailed from America, Ireland, Slovakia, and (amazingly enough) from Scotland.

They taught us the dances, which ranged from relatively simple (it only took me half the dance to get it right) to incredibly complicated (I was still confused by the end).

I also had the crazy experience of being lifted into the air and whirled in circles until I couldn’t stand up, and then being set back down and required to keep dancing!  Four hours later, we finally left having nearly died from being crushed in the final song, but quite pleased with ourselves for surviving and learning a few things.

I regret that I didn’t take more pictures and maybe a movie clip or two… but to be quite honest, I was too busy dancing. And those of you who know me well probably never ever expected to see me write anything quite like that, did you?