The 12th annual Ceilidh Weekend was brilliant!  To mark the official start of the weekend the Mini Kirkwall Pipe Band gave a resounding selection of tunes and created a superb atmosphere which continued through the weekend. Our events are for all ages and this year the youngest attendee was three months old and I wouldn’t like to guess the age of the eldest!  The weekend programme of dancing events was enjoyed by dancers from Austria, Germany, France, Australia, Scotland, England, Shetland and the Western Isles. We were pleased to welcome back tutors from south - Stuart and Carol Hay, teaching set dances and Margaret and Frank Durdle teaching popular sequence dance along with local tutors teaching dances from Orkney’s past, dances from Hoy and Ceilidh dancing. Each of the three days ended with a ceilidh with music from Robert Whitehead and the Danelaw Dance Band, who comes from ‘south of the border’, and local bands Kirkjuvagr Ceilidh Band, The David Bowen Trio and Jim Andersons Band. This year we introduced a family concert on Sunday afternoon which showed talents from Orkney in OTMP, Jo Philby & Elaine Grieve, Just Dance Orkney and Tina Paterson.  Robert Whitehead and the Danelaw Dance Band played a few sets of tunes as did Kirkjuvagr Ceilidh Band who also played for dances between each act. This was enjoyed by about 140 people in a relaxed atmosphere in the arena at the Picky Centre. Thank you to everyone who made this event successful.

In reality it was a week of dancing as lots of dancers come from south early therefore opportunities were organized for dancers to get together throughout the week. Birsay CA hosted a super Fringe Event on Wednesday 11th April followed by an equally enjoyable Fringe Event in Rendall hosted by their CA the following evening. Lorna Fotheringhame led an afternoon workshop on Orkney Quadrilles, Lancers and Eightsome Reel and it was great to see the Eightsome Reel danced again at the Rendall Fringe Event. 

On the eighth evening, the regular St Magnus Centre dancing with music from Lee Paterson’s Band, was the event for the dancing stalwarts to have their final fling and say goodbye for another year. The 12th, 13th and 14th of April 2019 will soon come around! 

We appreciate being part of the Orkney Festivals supported by the OIC Culture Fund and this year Cooke Aquaculture Scotland sponsored part of our supper costs – thank you.  


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