French Ceilidh Calling

A few weeks ago I was in France. The first week was with UCCF, helping the GBU; the second was with my church helping the evangelical church in Chateauroux put on a week of events.

This involved lots of arduous tasks, such as:

appreciating the beauty of the region…

2013-06-30 20.07.28


tasting snails

Like mussels but more muscly


And generally enjoying the weather!

The first event, and one of our principle reasons for being there, was a ‘Soirée Ecossaise‘ (Scottish evening), which took place a couple of hours after we’d arrived. I’ve always fancied ceilidh calling (at any ceilidh, the voices in my head tell me what to do, so I might as well pass on the message, right?), and so volunteered to do it for the few dances we were going to take people through. Despite my best Googling, I could find no translation of typical ceilidh dances, and so for the benefit of the internet, I’ll reproduce what I used (we had only one injury, so that means they’re sound, right?)

You’re on your own with the timings, but if you’re familiar with the dances then it should be easy enough to work out the rhythm.


talon, pointe; talon, pointe; marchez, 2 3, tournez!
talon, pointe; talon, pointe; marchez, 2 3 tournez!
Sautez, coup de pied; sautez, coup de pied; tournez la dame sous le bras
Et dansez dans un cercle


On se met en groupes de 8, dont 4 partenaires. Les hommes ont l’épaule gauche vers l’estrade; les femmes leur épaules droits
Bras droit 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Bras gauche 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Les deux 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Dos a dos 3 4 5 6 7 8
Premier couple vers le bas
Premier couple retourne
Suivez les dehors les lignes
Et passez sous leurs mains


Avance 2 3 4, tourne 2 3 4
Avance 2 3 4, tourne 2 3 4
Tournez la dame sous le bras 5 6 7 8
Et dancez dans un cercle



Tout le monde se met dans 2 lignes, homme et femme.

Le couple le plus proche de la musique commence en tournant l’un et l’autre pendant 16 temps.

Ensuite, il prend la première femme et la tourne, pendant que sa partenaire tourne le premier homme. Puis, ils rentrent au milieu du cercle et se tournent encore. Ils avancent comme ça.
Après quelques couples, le nouveau couple qui est en tête fait la même chose. Et on continue jusqu’à tout le monde s’est tourné


(Orcadian Strip the Willow definitely caused the most confusion…)


Look what the local paper said about us!


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