On Saturday my partner and I travelled down to London to join my little sister and her husband for one of the Ceilidh Club‘s spectacular Burns Night celebrations at Hammersmith Town Hall.
These fun filled events are held over several nights each year and are extremely popular whether you are Scottish or not. This was my second year going and I can certainly recommend them. They are such a laugh – I didn’t stop smiling the whole evening!
Key for me on what dress to wear was making sure I had one with a great swirl to it as ceilidhs for me are all about being swung round! In the Gay Gordon dance in particular (one of my favourites) the ladies twirl under their partners arms multiple times in a row so you get up a good spin and if you have a full circle dress on it really does go horizontal.
Any swing dress or skirt is ideal for a ceilidh and if you get one with tartan in it so much the better. My sister had given me the Collectif Mimi Black Watch tartan dress for my birthday the evening before and had I packed a different coloured petticoat that would have been a contender – it will have to be my outfit for next year’s dance!
Another consideration when choosing your outfit is to steer away from anything that restricts movement in the arms too much as ceilidhs are extremely active and you do use your arms a lot. In the Cumberland Square 8 (Basket) dance where the ladies fly (one you don’t want to miss out on) your arms are around the shoulders of two gentlemen doing the spinning and in the Dashing White Sergeant you have them in the air for what I call the ‘highland fling move’ (or ‘set to’ as it is properly known) so a very tight-armed dress would be uncomfortable.
I wore my Grace Red Duchess Vivien of Holloway dress with my Banned Apparel red petticoat underneath (my current favourite outfit). It gave me a fabulous full skirt for maximum swing appeal and the cut of the arms on the dress meant I had complete freedom of movement and could dance without feeling restricted.
My sister opted for a floral Mimi dress from Collectif with one of their petticoats – another flared dress with enough stretch in the arms to be able to dance comfortably.
We had so many people compliment us on our dresses during the evening and felt amazing dancing in them.
Other styles that would work well for ceilidhs are the Dolores and Jade swing dresses from Collectif and the halterneck circle dresses and circle skirts from Vivien of Holloway. The skirts come in a variety of different tartan colours too so are perfect for such an event.
There are still some nights left for the Ceilidh Club Burns Night 2017 celebrations in London on Friday 3rd February and Saturday 4th February. Check out their website for details of location and prices. You won’t be disappointed!