Forum: Irish / Irish - Teachers and Assistants

Tips for memorizing Ceilis?
By Training4TCRG
On Thu Sep 06, 2012 05:45 PM

Hi there! Just wondering if anyone had tips to share t memorize all the ceilis? I follow the Olive Hurley vids along with ARF (filter out the errors), and I've gotten about 13 that I've sorted through but when it comes time to recall them in order of movement sperately I feel as if I haven't learned anything at all!!! I'm probably just thinking too hard, but any tips for what worked/works for you would really be amazing.

Thank you!!!!

5 Replies to Tips for memorizing Ceilis?

re: Tips for memorizing Ceilis?
By AinetheDragonPremium member
On Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:55 PM
First of all, dance them! Get some friends, draft family members, recruit fellow dancers and walk through them. Being able to think back to "we did this, and then that, and then I go this way" is very helpful.

Write them down. Make flashcards by hand. I made a set with each dance on the front and a list of the movements/bars on back. Then I made a set with each movement on one side and a description on back. Time consuming, but by the time you finish making them, you will have most of it memorized.

Take practice tests. Start by doing them open book, then do them closed book and grade yourself by looking it up in the book. Be sure to write out any corrections to reinforce the correct answer.

Sing a song. Some people make up songs to remund them of the movements. I wrote lilting songs to sing the tunes and the steps in one. If you can memorize a song with a chorus and 3 verses, you can memorize a dance with a body and 3figures. :)

Good luck, if you want any memory tricks for specific dances, I can suggest some of those too.
re: Tips for memorizing Ceilis?
By Training4TCRG
On Fri Sep 07, 2012 05:39 PM
Thanks! Unfortunately I'm somewhat new to the area I live in and all my friends/family/old students are very far! I have put together a letter to offer an into class at local ballet/jazz/ect studios in hopes of using that as trial to teach the ceilis. I know that makes a huge difference in memorizing! I appreciate your tips, I had cards but not hand written and not as well broken down, so that will be a great thing for me to start on!!
re: Tips for memorizing Ceilis?
By xburningxyearsxmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:42 AM
make up little rhymes and things for remembering the different ceilis and work on memorizing ones that are similar such as morris and 8h reel and then it becomes easier to work them through one at a time because you can remember the similarities and differences. another example would be for the body of the Cross Reel i had (EFGandback to E) extended sides, full chain, gentlemen interlace, back to back, exchange places. It takes some time but i think the most important thing is to try and make up your own tips and tricks because its easier to memorize something youve come up with yourself then using everyone else's because then you are memorizing memorizations.. if that makes sense. lol.
re: Tips for memorizing Ceilis?
By xLeanneDDx
On Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:43 AM
Learn the bars of music for each movement- you'll find a couple are near identical especially in Book 1, and whenever you write the Ceili out, write the bars alongside. Its a great habit to get into especially for the written paper and also when teaching its easier to know where you are in the dance if you know where you are up to in the music.

Keep going over and over, write them out continuously, they do sink in and they do stick.

Best of luck.
re: Tips for memorizing Ceilis?
By eimearnor
On Wed Sep 12, 2012 02:30 PM
Edited by eimearnor (247346) on 2012-09-12 14:31:45 bad formatting
I'm not studying for me TCRG so this might not be applicable but whenever I learn a new ceili and I really want to make sure I know it, I sit down after class and I right out the entire thing, and all the counts. It's extremely tedious, and I mainly do it to remember my TC's counts, but it's so helpful because you force yourself to learn where every dancer is on each beat, and it helps the dance just make more sense when you understand how everyone moves about each other.
Also, I have this document I found a while ago on tips for writing the ceili paper- it finds common trends in the dances and gives you ways to remember them, might be helpful! I take no credit for it- I found it online on some TCRG forum. Sorry it's so long!

Tips for the Ceili Test Paper

Dances with a place name from Ireland in their name:
1. Walls of Limerick
2. Humours of Bandon
3. Siege of Ennis
4. Waves of Tory
5. Bridge of Athlone
6. Glencar Reel
7. Gates of Derry
8. Rakes of Mallow
9. Siege of Carrick
10. Antrim Reel

Dances & movements in which all dancers do two consecutive sevens without threes:
1. Four Hand Reel Four Sevens
2. The Three Tunes Roly Poly
Stamp & Clap
3. The Gates of Derry Telescope
4. The Bonfire Dance Sidestep In & Out
5. The Cross Reel Exchange Places

Longest Dance = High Cauled Cap (568 Bars)

Dances with no Sidestep:
1. Rince Fada
2. Haymakers Jig
3. Lannigans Ball
4. Waves of Tory
5. Rakes of Mallow

Dances danced to a tune of the same name:
1. Haste to the Wedding
2. Humours of Bandon
3. St. Patricks Day
4. Trip to the Cottage
5. Lannigans Ball
6. Rakes of Mallow
7. Sweets of May

Similar Movement Names:
Advance down Centre Rince Fada
Advance Through Centre Humours of Bandon
Down the Centre Four Hand Reel
Dance Down Centre Antrim Reel
Down the Centre Bridge of Athlone
Up the Centre Haste to the Wedding

Dances with an opening movement other than Advance & Retire, Ring, or Lead Around:
1. Rince Fada
2. Bridge of Athlone
3. Haste to the Wedding
4. Antrim Reel
5. Trip to the Cottage

Dances with Link Arms as the name of the movement:
1. The Sixteen Hand Reel
2. An Rince Mor
3. The Haymakers Jig
4. The Duke Reel
5. The Bonfire Dance

Dances with Link or Hook:
1. The Sixteen Hand Reel Link Arms
2. An Rince Mor Link Arms
3. The Haymakers Jig Link Arms
4. The Duke Reel Link Arms
5. The Bonfire Dance Link Arms
6. Siege of Carrick Down Centre & Turn
Up Centre & Swing
7. The Three Tunes Hook & Chain
8. The Fairy Reel Gents Centre & Link Arms
9. Lannigans Ball Quarters Hook
10. Rakes of Mallow Link Arms in Centre

Dances with Stamp & Clap:
1. The Three Tunes
2. The High Cauled Cap

Dances with a 40 bar finish:
1. The Eight Hand Reel
2. Morris Reel
3. High Cauled Cap
4. Sixteen Hand Reel
5. Eight Hand Jig
6. The Cross Reel

Chain that ends with left hand to partner:
Right and Left Chain

Movement where you meet your partner 3 times:
Hook & Chain

Dances with Advance & Retire at Start of Dance:
1. Walls of Limerick 8 bars
2. Siege of Ennis 8 bars
3. Harvest Time Jig 8 bars
4. Glencar Reel 8 bars
5. Haymakers Jig 16 bars
6. Fairy Reel 8 bars
7. Waves of Tory 8 bars
8. Rakes of Mallow 8 bars
9. Gates of Derry 16 bars
10. Bonfire Dance 8 bars

Dances containing the movement ‘Ladies Chain’:
1. Four Hand Reel 3rd figure
2. Eight Hand Reel 2nd figure
3. Morris Reel 2nd figure
4. High Cauled Cap 3rd figure
5. Humours of Bandon 3rd figure
6. St. Patricks Day 2nd figure

Dances with opening formation in a ring or circle:
1. Siege of Carrick
2. The Three Tunes
3. An Rince Mor
4. Duke Reel
5. Sweets of May
6. Lannigans Ball
7. Bonfire Dance

Dances with ‘Advance & Retire’ as a Figure:
1. Eight Hand Reel 1st figure
2. Morris Reel 1st figure
3. Sixteen Hand Reel 1st figure
4. Eight Hand Jig 1st figure
5. St Patricks Day 1st figure

Dances with ‘Rising Step’ or ‘Rise & Grind’:
1. Bridge of Athlone
2. St. Patrick’s Day
3. Harvest Time Jig
4. Humours of Bandon
5. Eight Hand Jig
6. Siege of Ennis
7. Rince Fada
8. Haste to the Wedding
9. Haymakers Jig
10. Lannigans Ball

Dances with an ‘Arch’ movement:
1. Sixteen Hand Reel Arch Arms
2. Bridge of Athlone The Bridge
3. The Three Tunes Sides Under Arms
4. Waves of Tory The Waves
5. Sweets of May Sides Under Arms
6. Four Hand Reel Figure of 8 and rings of 3
7. Haste to the Wedding First/Second Ring
8. Glencar Reel The Waves
9. Trip to the Cottage First Figure
10. Haymakers Jig Advance & Retire & PT
11. Gates of Derry The Gates
12. Fairy Reel Arches
13. Siege of Ennis Advance & Retire & PT

Dances with a clapping movement:
1. High Cauled Cap Stamp & Clap 16 bars
2. Siege of Carrick Down Centre & Turn 8 bars
Up Centre & Swing 8 bars
3. The Three Tunes Stamp & Clap 16 bars
Rolly Poly 12 bars
Rings 16 bars
4. Lannigans Ball Stack-Up 16 bars
5. Swwets of May Ringing the Bells 16 bars

P.S. sorry the formatting doesn't quite work in this post! PM if you'd like a copy of the document, I can email it to you.


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