"Is it a good idea to have a barn dance for my wedding, birthday party, village fund raiser etc?"

If you want people to join in, mix with each other and laugh a lot – then yes it is!

Barn dances and ceilidhs are brilliant when you are inviting guests with a wide mix of ages - it means granny can dance with grandchild, for example...

Most dances are partner dances, but this can be of any configuration - it just does not matter! So please tell your guests that they do not have to worry that they will not be able to join in if they haven’t got a partner.  We have seen plenty of girls dancing with girls, mother dancing with daughter, father dancing with daughter, fathers dancing with sons, men dancing with men ... you name it, we’ve seen it and it all works beautifully!

While most dances are danced in 3/4/5 couple sets, many others are mixer dances, where you and your ‘partner’ get to dance with lots of different people. There are also dances where you swap partners, so once again people get to mix with the other guests. At one village dance one guest said she had just moved into the village and was wondering how she would get to meet her neighbours ... well, she said, coming to the barn dance had meant she had met them all!

So barn dances are growing ever more popular, primarily because they are fun, highly social, and energetic (or at least as energetic as you are prepared to make it) and enjoyed by all.


Ceilidhs v barn dances – what is the difference?

In the past ceilidhs tended to be associated strictly with Irish and Scottish dancing. They still can be and if so they are they are usually called Irish/Scottish ceilidhs in the advertisement (mind you I have been to a goodly number which turn out to be an English barn dance with a few Irish tunes thrown in!).

Whilst in the past ceilidhs would have demanded a good deal of experience and practical skill from the dancers this is not normally the case today. Modern day ceilidhs have adopted the barn dance tradition of having a caller who guides the dancers through the dances so anyone can join in, something that would have definitely not have been the case at a traditional Irish or Scottish ceilidh a few years ago.

Large modern day ceilidhs tend simply to be faster and with more complicated dances than a barn dance, but this is not always the case. Many people now call barn dances ceilidhs because it is perceived to be a trendier name, there are ‘e-ceilidhs’ and ‘silent ceilidhs’ for example!

When you are considering what you want for your wedding, party or fund raiser, simply remember that a good band and caller will be able to judge the skills and fitness levels of the dancers and adjust the nature of the music and choice of dances to suit the audience. A good band, like Also Known As  ... will have a huge repertoire of tunes to call on, be they English, Irish, Scottish and so can meet the needs of any audience.


“Do I need to worry about whether a Barn Dance/Ceilidh band has insurance cover or has its equipment regularly PAT tested?”

Yes, you do!

All barn dance and ceilidh bands should have some form of public liability insurance cover. It serves to protect everyone if some accident should occur. In fact, most of the more popular and regularly used venues insist on the bands having the relevant cover. The highest requirement we have come across is for £5,000,000 cover, so that is what we now carry. If a barn dance/ceilidh band tries to tell you that it is not necessary, you have to think that they cannot be working very much and equally are not approaching their work in a sufficiently professional manner.

As regards PAT testing, it is a legal requirement that all electrical equipment in the workplace be annually PAT tested. If bands say the rules do not apply to them, I am afraid that they are incorrect.
Also Known As Barn Dance and Ceilidh Band” prides itself on providing a fun and exciting evening’s entertainment with wonderful music and great calling … part of this service being that you can relax in the knowledge that we are professional band who take their legal responsibilities to you, the client, seriously.

…. And we and still manage to keep our fees down!!