Ceilidh dancing at a wedding

Pastiche Band
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Ceilidh dancing at a wedding

A July wedding - Pastiche Band were hired to play for a big crowd at a wedding at the rather fabulous River and Rowing Museum, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire. There is an inside function room with picturesque views over the River Thames, and an outside terrace. As the weather was fine the wedding breakfast was a barbeque out on the terrace.

The couple had requested a wide variety of music. For the drinks reception they wanted some background jazz – Pastiche played as a jazz quartet – piano; guitar; bass and drums covering songs from the American Songbook (Cole Porter and the like), through to Pat Metheny.

Ceilidh dancing at a wedding is popular. Instead of a first dance the couple wanted to start the evening dancing session with a ceilidh dance. There was only one Scottish, kilted guest in attendance (many schools in Scotland teach ceilidh, so the Scots are familiar with the dances). Many English, however, are not familiar so our caller carefully guides the dances through their first steps. The caller selected a couple dance (The Gay Gordons) and got the newly married couple to dance in the centre of a large circle.

Ceilidh dancing at a wedding - For their first dance the couple chose to dance a ceilidh

The guests were clearly very enthusiastic about the ceilidh dancing. We started with two dances – The Gay Gordons and the Circassian Circle. During a short break the band played some trad Irish folk songs and songs by Christie Moore and The Pogues. Then we taught the dancers the steps to The Dashing White Sergeant.

Ceilidh dancing at a wedding - the guests learn the steps to the Dashing White Sergeant

The ceilidh caller teaching the steps for The Dashing White Sergeant.

There were fireworks over the river and then into a long set of party music. We played songs by Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Pharrell Williams, Jessie Jay, Queen, and many more.

The people danced the night away, and guests, and band all had a good time.

Jul 13, 2015
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