Northern Comfort
Frequently Asked Questions

What is Country Dancing?

In essence, Country Dancing is dancing in sets of couples, rather than individual couples as in ballroom dancing, or on your own as in disco dancing or line dancing. It is ideally suited for people of all ages to dance together.

Northern Comfort will entertain you with a variety of easy to learn dances, danced to tunes both old and new. The presence of a rock backing makes the general feel of the music at once familiar. The Caller will teach you all you need to know, so no experience is necessary.

Where did it come from?

Country Dancing is the name given to the form of dancing enjoyed by all sections of English society from the time of Elizabeth I or earlier, through to the mid 1800s, when it began to be largely but not entirely replaced by couple dances like the Polka, the Waltz and the Quickstep.

The genre spread to Scotland and Ireland and with English emigrants to America and elsewhere. In the last 100 years or so there has been a renewed interest in Country Dancing, and it is now immensely popular at folk festivals and at family events such as weddings and parties.

What are sets?

Sets describe the way you stand to do the dance.

There are long sets, in which a line of men stand opposite a line of women; square sets, in which four couples stand on the four sides of a square facing inwards; circles, in which couples stand in a large circle around the room, and many variations of these.

Why is it sometimes called a Ceilidh?

This style of easy to learn Country Dance coupled with energetic modern sounding music is sometimes known as 'English Ceilidh'. However, Ceilidh, (pronounced Kaylee), is a Gaelic word meaning party, and a Scottish or Irish Ceilidh is not the same thing as an English Country Dance.