From the mists of time, music and dance have intertwined throughout the lives of the Celts, making it impossible to separate it from their culture. It has become so integrated into the Celtic people that it has become a way to preserve their identity through troubled times.
Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-lee) dances started out as, and many still are, gatherings in people’s homes. Family, friends, and neighbors got together to play music, sing, dance, and read poetry. This was a way to keep the bardic traditions alive, especially when they were suppressed by those in power. Eventually these gatherings grew too large, so they moved to the village hall. Now some ceilidhs are held on a regular basis.
Ceilidhs are a celebration and are held for a variety of reasons, such as weddings, births, historic events like the crofters being able to buy their land back from the English Laird, or just because people feel like gathering and playing music and dancing. At a ceilidh, if someone wants to get up and sing a song or recite a poem, everyone respectfully listens, and that, too, is part of the tradition that goes back to ancient times.
No matter where a ceilidh is held or for what reason, they are always lively events with live music and vigorous dancing.
This workshop offers a choice of three simple Scottish ceilidh dances. The Circassian Circle, a very simple mixer dance for a many as will; two versions of Strip the Willow, the Orcadian, (Shetland), and Highland, a longways dance for as many as will; and The Flying Scotsman, a longways dance for groups of eight.
Tames has had a passion for dance most of her life. She has trained and performed in a variety of dance styles all over the West Coast. Throughout her performing career, she danced with the Oregon State Ballet, Newcastle English Country Dancers, the Veil of Isis Dancers (Middle Eastern with an emphasis on modern Egyptian), Elliott Bay Morris Dancers, and the Ballard Locks Long Sword Team. She is an avid contra dancer and enjoys waltzing and swing dancing with her husband.
Tames studied theater and history at Willamette University in Oregon, and theater at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and Dell Arte School in California. More recently, she has been a speaker for the Washington State Commission for the Humanities in their Inquiring Minds series.