For first-time ceilidh-goers, some tips: do not wear high heels. Do not wear anything you're afraid of getting drenched in sweat. Do not be afraid to dance very closely with lots and lots of strangers. From the outside, these traditional Scottish dances can seem esoteric and strange, but with enough enthusiasm each dance is easy to pick up. Steps are called out by experienced players and there's bound to be more than a handful of your fellow dancers who can show you what to do.
For veterans, the Scottish Burly Ceilidh Club may be the perfect antidote to years and years of forced high school dances, integrating as it does traditional music with far more modern songs, injecting Muse and Coldplay into a Gay Gordon or Strip the Willow with surprising ease.
As ever, the quality of your night will be highly dependant on the amount of people present. Our caller walked out into the crowd to pull extra dancers onto the floor when newcomers were too hesitant and this meant the dance hall at Ghillie Dhu filled up quickly. Give it a few minutes though and experienced dancers and newbies alike can spin about in more or less harmonious fashion.
Bring your friends, get a round in and lace up your dancing shoes. By far one of the friendliest nights out you'll have in Edinburgh and one of the cheapest to boot.