Ceilidhs in Lauriston Hall

No matter who you are, where you come from or if you've danced The Gay Gordon before, the Ceilidhs in Lauriston Hall will inject a traditional Scottish night into your Fringe experience. With caller Ken Gourlay patiently guiding you through all the dances – and pruning the wallflowers out onto the dance floor – you can leave the night with a jig in your step and a sweat on your brow.

The ceilidh really does bring old-timers and beginners together, and the band might join in for a round or two as well!

A couthy village hall atmosphere and good-hearted jokes bouncing between the band and caller creates the safe environment for you to give it yaldi, create a palava during the Dashing White Sergeant and bounce around in an improvised jig, before jumping back in to find yourself with the wrong partner. That is of course unless you're partnered up with a true Scot (oh, hello!) who will see you right and keep you on track, and potentially add an extra spin or two into the mix. The ceilidh really does bring old-timers and beginners together, and the band might join in for a round or two as well! Ken reads and accommodates the dancers well, bringing the more experienced forward to demonstrate the dances (and keeping the more ostentatious dancers at bay, so as not to confuse the newbies) and the band quickens and slow the pace depending on how you're picking up the moves.

When arms and legs begin to get weary, there's an in-house bar serving £1 soft drinks and £3 alcoholic drinks, neatly ranging from Skol to Tennants Special. Of course there's the obligatory gallons-worth of water in jugs all around the hall for quick hydration. The dances are back-to-back, so eating beforehand is advised – nothing too heavy, mind – and you can take a breather in the cold air of Lauriston Street, which is rather quiet given its central location.

Ceilidhs are running nearly daily during the Festival and with tickets ranging between £6 and £10 depending on how early you buy, it really is a worthwhile night. There are a variety of bands playing over August, including the talented piper David, who'll play a song or two for when you're feeling really Scottish. So, go on: call up your pals, put on your kilt and try your dancing steps! 

Reviews by Lydia Nowak

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The Blurb

With caller Ken Gourlay and ceilidh bands Flaming Heather, HLI, Scott Leslie, Willie Fraser and piper. All dances walked through and called. Soft drinks £1, alcohol £3. Hall has air-conditioning! Fringe groups welcome. Good exercise, great fun.