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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
bfdk Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry? (40) RE: Ceilidh vs. Folk Dance: why the rivalry? 26 Mar 09

Hmmm... a bit of a tricky question, as I'm not exactly sure of the distinction. I think I've mainly been to ceilidhs so far. Also, sadly we don't really have the same tradition for mixing dance and music at our festivals. If you go to one of the 'big' festivals like Tønder or Skagen, you'd be lucky to come across just one single dance venue during the weekend - and usually there aren't any.

There are a few venues scattered over the country, but not something you stumble upon very often. A lot of the venues close down over summer, too. I think you'd have to make an effort to look them up, if you're interested in attending one. And, usually, there's NO walk-through, possibly a brief run-through á la 'Circle left, circle right, heads set to your opposites, polka round your opposites, grand chain, ladies one hand star.. sides set..'. From there you're expected to know more or less what to do. However, if you're lucky enough to find a partner who know the ropes and will guide you along, and provided you can do the basic stepping, you can get along there and have some fun, I think. Play your 'Hey, I'm a foreigner, I'd like to learn' card ;-))

Compared to England we use more polka, waltz, hopsa and twostep and a lot less of the step-hop that's used for, say, Nottingham Swing etc. We also have a larger number of couples' dances, maybe half-and-half, and a number where you change partner as you go along.

This page has a selection of videos showing various folk dances. Check out the column with the header 'Land' and look up the ones marked DK. S means Swedish. This place has Sunday dances all year round, and it's in a beautiful area, too, so it may be an idea to look it up and see if you can fit it in. My local venue is this one, check the 'Kalender' section to see what's on when. Sorry, it's in Danish. 'Mandagsdans' is for everybody and with instructions, everybody's welcome, but it closes down over the summer. Usually ALL venues are free, unless they're marked with 'Entre' in red lettering, just stop by. If you want to go there, drop me a PM and I'll keep an eye out for you.

Have a great holiday in Denmark!

Best wishes,


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