FAQ 3 Do we need to book a Caller as well as the band?
Most definitely YES! The Caller (who used to be known as an MC or Master Of Ceremonies) really runs the whole evening.
If you book a band through Fiona, it is a “given” that the band will definitely bring a Caller with them.
Unless you are booking a band just for listening to, without any organised “called” dancing, it’s absolutely essential to book a Caller. There may be some people at a party who are experienced dancers, having done a lot of this kind of dancing before, and they may believe they know all the steps and don’t need the guidance of a Caller, but there will almost certainly always be people at Ceilidhs or Barn Dances who have never done this sort of interactive social dancing before and therefore need more guidance than others who may already have been to Ceilidhs or Barn Dances in the past.
The key to a successful and fun dance is an excellent Caller who does his or her job with competence and humour – as more of an entertainer than a teacher. The best Callers do a very good job of making people feel at ease at the start of the evening, so people are then willing to get up and join in when being invited onto the floor. The best Callers are very good at persuading people politely and with humour that they really should get off their backsides and dance – RIGHT NOW!!!
It’s very reassuring for novice dancers to have all the dance steps explained before each dance and it’s usual to be walked through the whole sequence of moves before the band (or pre-recorded music) is let loose on you, so no one is left wondering what to do next.
If you’re worried about “getting it wrong”, please be reassured that the Caller would never expect people to get every single step of the dance correct. It’s all part of the fun of a Ceilidh, when people go a bit hay-wire, do-si-do the wrong person, fall over - whatever….. Three left feet? No problem!
Occasionally, the Caller will also play a musical instrument and will play in with the band once the dance has got under way and people don’t need as much called instruction.