Your Top 3 Irish Céilí Dances

“Well, that was embarrassing!” Not a great start for a blog post but that is about the size of it. The results are in from the global poll and I received a grand total of 91 voters, the lowest response by far of the three polls I have conducted.

This is despite the fact that almost 3 times that many people read the blog post, two-thirds of you readers did not vote.

However, my thanks to those who did vote, and the High Cauled Cap was in front all the way.

 RANK  Céilí Dance Name
Votes Percent
1 High Cauled Cap 34 13%
2 Trip To The Cottage 18 7%
3 Walls of Limerick 16 6%
4 Siege of Ennis 16 6%
5 Haymaker’s Jig 15 6%
6 Fairy Reel 14 5%
7 Sweets Of May 13 5%
8 Three Tunes 12 5%
9 Gates of Derry 11 4%
10 Cross Reel 11 4%
11 Four Hand Reel 10 4%
12 Sixteen-Hand Reel 9 3%
13 St. Patrick’s Day 9 3%
14 Rakes of Mallow 7 3%
15 Lannigans Ball 7 3%
16 Eight-Hand Jig 6 2%
17 Bonfire dance 6 2%
18 Waves of Tory 5 2%
19 Hurry The Jug 5 2%
20 Morris Reel 5 2%
21 Antrim Reel 4 2%
22 Humours of Bandon 4 2%
23 Duke Reel 3 1%
24 Other Option 3 1%
25 Polka Set (Berkeley Set) 2 1%
26 Saint Brigid’s Cross 2 1%
27 Siege of Carrick 2 1%
28 Two-Hand Reels 2 1%
29 Dashing White Sergeant 2 1%
30 Harvest Time Jig 1 0%
31 Glencar Reel 1 0%
32 Sweet Carol’s Fancy 1 0%
33 Petronella 1 0%
34 Eight-Hand Reel 1 0%
35 An Rince Mór 1 0%
36 Galway Reel (3-Hand Reel) 1 0%
37 Bridge of Athlone 1 0%
38 Dennis Murphy’s Reel 1 0%
39 Galway Reel (6 in Line) 1 0%

ABOUT THE HIGH CAULED CAP  

  • The High Cauled Cap can be danced both in ballet style (up on toes: hands high) or low to the floor (flat feet: hands low)- I have written about this before
  • It is also the name of a music tune played for this dance,
  • The dance is 576 bars long – phew!
  • A high caul cap was a style of close-fitting head covering worn by women to shield their hair, most popular during the Renaissance period. It could be made of cloth or leather, sometimes featured a turnback around the face (as we might nowadays think of for baby bonnets), and occasionally sported a short tail or peak at the crown. Men’s versions were worn to protect the head when wearing a metal cap or helm. In modern usage a caul refers to the part of the hat that is not the brim. READ MORE

ABOUT THIS POLL – At the end of this, I am left wondering why this poll attracted so little interest, despite being posted far and wide online and particularly on many Irish step dancing forums/fora. I estimate the global population of current Irish step dancers would have to be many multiples of 10,000 although I am unable to locate any population data. Some questions include:

  1. Do dancers actually care for these céilí dances?
  2. Where are the dancers? Online or offline?

I would be very pleased to hear from you about what you think!
Thanks again and happy dancing!
N.B. I will be running the annual Top 5 Irish Set Dances poll again early in 2016 – watch out for that.
Nora Stewart
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