Traditional dancing at special events is best when tailored to the folks who are there, but the goal is the same for everyone -- to have fun, to enjoy each others' company, and to move to great tunes.
For many, this might be a first time experience with traditional dancing. Simple dances with quick teaching time and high success rates work best. Not everyone will want to dance all the time, so each dance will need to be accessible, though later dances can still build on things learned in earlier dances relying on the collective experience of the group.
Experienced dancers who know how much fun dancing is often want to introduce their friends and family to it through a special event, like their wedding celebration. Simple, fun dances work best for this, too.
Dances for a special party event can be varied. Circles provide opportunities for lots of social interaction. Squares are familiar favorites. Contras allow for nice partner and community interaction. And the ceremonial feel of a Grand March makes a party feel like a very special occasion.
Live music accompanies all this dancing, of course. Different bands have different styles and each lends a different feel to a dance event. Good music for traditional dancing includes Celtic, French Canadian, New Englandy, Old Time, or a combination of these, and sometimes with other influences to give a world beat feel. Check out the musicians page for some ideas for your event.
Plans for dancing at a special event need to take into consideration an appropriate space for dancing. This includes attention to a dance floor and sound amplification. A sprung wood floor is best because it is gentle on people's bodies. Concrete, or linoleum on concrete, makes for sore feet, ankles, knees and legs. Many musicians have their own sound equipment and experience setting it up, and some halls have their own systems, too.
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