Let’s dance Ceilidh!

dance-irishHave you ever done the Scottish Ceilidh dancing? If the answer is no, do it immediately! You won’t regret it.

After meeting with Wanda Hyde the main organizer of the Moscow Ceilidh dance club and attending her lively class I can say that you won’t have any doubts that this is something you should do.
 The group operates within the International Women’s Club (IWC).

dance-irish2Wanda Hyde is from England and has been dancing almost all her life. She is not a professional but any dance teacher would be proud of Wanda’s boundless enthusiasm and energy. “I believe that if you really are passionate about something, that you can pass that enthusiasm on; because you can explain just how good it is. That is why I have a lot of women coming to take part,” Wanda says. She does a lot of her recruitment at the British Women’s Club (BWC) coffee mornings, and that’s how I met Wanda. I was extremely happy to be invited and did Ceilidh dancing for the first time in my life.

The classes have been held twice a week on Monday morning
and Wednesday afternoon since October 2012. Sergey Alferow the dance teacher and choreographer of Moscow Scottish dance School got acquainted with Wanda in the summer 2012 at a Russian-British Chamber of Commerce meeting. At that time he was looking for an English-speaking group to teach when Wanda was searching for an English-speaking class to attend. So they decided to organize the Ceilidh dancing group within the IWC. Beside the Ceilidh classes, together with the help of BWC they arrange dance evenings with the men coming over to have fun. The next one is going to be on the 12th of October 2013 at the Marriot Courtyard Hotel.

Please do not mix Scottish country dancing with Scottish Ceilidh dancing. They are totally different. “You don’t need to have prior dancing experience to be able to do Ceilidh dancing. Scottish country dancing is a more formal and sophisticated form of Scottish social dancing. It requires a lot of practice to do really well. Ceilidh dancing is basically just for parties. Scottish people normally dance this at weddings,” says Sergey. Wanda has been to Scotland on many occasions and did Ceilidh dancing there. When she came back from Scotland to South Wales she wanted to continue dancing and joined the Scottish country dancing group. “When I first went to the class and heard ‘Oh, no, do not put your hands like this!’ I was not sure that this was what I wanted.

dance-irish3I’d been used to doing Ceilidh dancing which is more informal. Ceilidh dancing is about socializing and enjoying oneself” Wanda says.

In Moscow, ladies 
from many countries support Wanda’s ideas about Ceilidh dancing. This Monday before the lesson in a sizeable dance studio with large mirrors on Arbatskaay street I got acquainted with Stefanie Geisler from Germany, Beth Akers from America, Janet Chesterman from Australia, Tuija Murphy from Finland and Sue Lawrence from England.

Janet said she has been living in Moscow for 2 months. She is not a strong dancer. But after her first class on Monday, she said she is going to join the classes. “Why not go once a week, enjoy and meet new people?” she said.

It was Wanda who introduced Scottish Ceilidh dancing to Tuija. 
“I go regularly on Wednesday whenever I can. It is a lovely group of people. It is a little bit of exercise, and a lot of fun. It helps you to bind with other expats,” Tuija explained.

Stefanie from Germany also didn’t know what Ceilidh dancing was like, and first found out about it from the IWC calendar. She has been coming to classes since last September. “I really enjoy
it,” she said. “It is challenging for me because I like dancing. I did jazz dancing before, but this is something you really need to get organized in your head. You need to count a lot, to know where your left and the right feet are. You have to listen carefully to do what the teacher wants. You have to focus on special things. I learn more and more and it becomes easier and easier. I have got the feeling for this kind of dance. That is why I am here,” Stefanie confesses.

sergeyI can’t but agree with Stefanie. This kind of dancing is a little 
bit challenging for me too. It is curiously difficult to remember the sequence of movements for the beginner: where to form a group of people, when to join up in a circle, how to circle around to the left for 8 steps and back to the right, where to have the middle person face the person on her right, when to advance toward each other and again to repeat 
the dance with a new group of people. But nobody looked down at me and my mistakes. Sergey tried to explain and corrected me. I felt quite comfortable. I liked the atmosphere. It was a nice journey, and we ended up at lunch in the nearest café accompanied by my new dancer friends. I left the ladies full of inspiration and emotions. And I wish I would always start my day like this!

Make new friends, keep fit, and have a great time enjoying Scottish Ceilidh dancing!

Group meets every Monday at 11.15 and every Wednesday at 14.30
Venue: New Dance
Flight Studio, 3 Arbat, within 5 minutes walk from metro station ‘Arbatskaya’. Group leader – Wanda Hyde
+7 925 134 5405
wandahyde@yahoo.com