Ceilidhing the night away

Ceilidhing the night away

Photo by Christine Ludin.

Photo by Christine Ludin.

This could be a very short perspective, because the Bible has instructions about dance. It says to do it. Psalm 149:3 begins “Let them praise his name with dancing … ” Ecclesiastes 3:4 ends with ” … a time to mourn, and a time to dance … ”

I have been going to the semi-annual Homeschool Family Celtic Ball for at least five years, and the experience has given me a great love of Scottish country dancing, also known as ceilidh (KAY-lee) dancing. It has given me a love of the wholesome fun dance can be, whoever my partner is.

I have had fun dancing with some very talented, but very young boys – some a couple of feet shorter than me – and my Dad, who doesn’t have a very light foot but can still do everything to make the dance work.

I always get excited when there is another ball approaching. We have these balls twice a year.

They are formal events with a strict dress code that is enforced, and both parents are obligated to come unless an exception is granted by the committee. There is a rehearsal the night before the ball, which is a casual event for new families to learn the dances and old families to refresh their memories.

I think these homeschool balls are an excellent expression of pure and wholesome exercise, fun and fellowship. The men are gentlemen; the women and girls are ladies; and the environment is very comfortable because the rules are set. They are just the basic rules of politeness.

Frankly, I think it is the strictly enforced (but very gently, as I have heard from delinquents) dress code and the presence of the mothers and fathers that are the greatest factors in the air of comfort the place has.

The balls are what I think to be the best kind of dance: whole families reeling and skipping, smiling and guiding, getting a generous dose of music enrichment and healthy exercise. It is a thing that is hard to refuse when the music starts, and almost pulls tears when it ends.

Anne Post is a first-year nursing major from Parchment, Mich. To see an example of Scottish ceilidh dancing, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DJXsfi_7ZM.

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