Running something like a ceilidh can be a tricky balancing act - if they give lots of instructions for beginners, they risk boring those who know the dances, but if they don't, then the beginners will just sit around looking confused. They tried to deal with it this time by having an introductory session at 6pm - which we couldn't get to, unfortunately. I suspect the balance was just a little off when we arrived - announcing the name of a dance and then saying "it's just like some-other-dance-I-don't-know" doesn't really help me actually dance it, since I've only been to one ceilidh before and it was 6 months ago. Also, they really could have done with a good full-time dance caller, rather than having the accordian player briefly go through the steps for some dances then launch into it. Still, by the end of the night we'd found a few that we either remembered a bit of from before, or had sufficient run-through to get us going, and it was fun from then on ... Whee ! Finished with the Orcadian version of "Strip the Willow" - a long row of men facing a long row of women, and people spinning up and down and all over the place - and then home to collapse in a sweaty heap.
Should sleep now, tomorrow should be a full day of ... stuff.