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Grantham Cèilidh group puts on sessions for families to enjoy



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A traditional country dance group is holding fun sessions for children and parents to bring people together.

Cèilidh (pronounced Kay-Lee) is a traditional Gaelic gathering which often involves dancing. A group in Grantham, led by Charlie Charlton and Steve Welton, is introducing the tradition to a younger generation in the area.

Steve, a retired headteacher, lives in Old Somerby, while Charlie, a retired paediatrician, lives in Barrowby, where the band run interactive music sessions for toddlers and parents on Wednesday mornings in the village's Memorial Hall, in High Road.

Steve Welton (left) and Charlie Charlton. (58463795)
Steve Welton (left) and Charlie Charlton. (58463795)

They will also be running two special sessions at the Guildhall Arts Centre Ballroom in Grantham for young children and families on August 24 at 11am and 12pm for 55 minutes each.

Those who come along to the sessions can take part in lively dances and songs from Ireland, Scotland, England and around the world, with tickets costing £3 each.

The pair have been running the sessions since Covid restrictions lifted, but had the idea before then.

People dance at a Ceilidh in Barrowby Memorial Hall. (58463786)
People dance at a Ceilidh in Barrowby Memorial Hall. (58463786)

Steve said: "We had the idea before Covid. We went into schools in Leicestershire and did something very similar.

"It’s a good thing to do in schools, but it’s been squeezed out."

He added that the sessions encourage social interaction in youngsters, as well as sharing, taking turns and communicating.

Charlie, who has been involved in Cèilidh since he was a youngster, said: "What I’d really like to do is to be able to introduce [Cèilidh] in schools."

The sessions at Barrowby involve interactive puppet stories. (58463792)
The sessions at Barrowby involve interactive puppet stories. (58463792)

He was keen to get more young people involved with Cèilidh, adding "There’s few things that families do together, people go out dancing with their age group, but if you go out with family you may go for a meal. [With a Cèilidh,] you can all take part together".

When asked what he enjoyed the most about Cèilidh, Charlie said: "The participation. Anyone can participate. All ages can take part. With pop or disco music, everyone has their own era, but in Cèilidh, everyone is equal."

Claire Thomas, a parent whose children enjoys the sessions run by Charlie and Steve, said: "It's so much fun. It’s songs that kids recognise.

Bill James piping at a special Burns Night Ceilidh. (58463783)
Bill James piping at a special Burns Night Ceilidh. (58463783)

“Kids can sit out or join in. It’s just something different to do.

"After Covid there weren’t so many things to do. New parents had missed out on interacting. It’s a chance to chat and meet people in the village."

Liz Mussom, another parent who enjoys the weekly sessions, said it gives her child the freedom to move around and listen to music that she otherwise would not hear.

The sessions at Barrowby involve interactive puppet stories. (58463789)
The sessions at Barrowby involve interactive puppet stories. (58463789)

She added that the sessions provide "the exposure to some traditional songs"and offer "a good release of energy" for children.

To find out more about the sessions at the Guildhall, visit: https://www.guildhallartscentre.com/whats-on/all-shows/ceilidh-for-kids-and-families

The weekly sessions in Barrowby are from 9.30am until 10.30am, while the adult sessions take place around once a month. To find out more, contact Charlie via housecorner@icloud.com.



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