Irish Ceili
by John Slaymaker

Ever been at a pub with live musicians playing some hot reels and jigs, and your feet were tapping, and you wanted to jump up with your friends and dance but you didn't know what to do that fit the music? Well then, take this class! Irish Ceili is social dancing, with scores of different traditional dances in various configurations -- groups of 3, 4, 6, 8, progression dances in lines for any number of people, and round dances.

We'll begin with a brief introduction to basic footwork, and then jump right into a full reel and then a full jig. Several experienced Starry Plough dancers will be on hand to demonstrate figures and then partner up with the rest of the class. Bring comfortable soft-soled shoes and some water or juice to drink -- this dancing is lively!

The Starry Plough, located on the corner of Shattuck and Prince in South Berkeley (a block from the Ashby BART station), has graciously hosted live Irish music and dance every Monday night since 1980. Many Plough dancers have gone on to perform at a variety of venues including the Renaissance Faire, and to engage in feis competitions at regional and national levels. John Slaymaker has danced at the Plough since 1989, first began teaching in 1993, and has taught the Beginning class every Monday night for the past 5 years, with the occasional wedding dance, church social, and elementary school dance presentation thrown in.

 



SFFFF 2003: