Run by our Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland member Cath Coutts, Soft Ceilidh was a special inclusive ceilidh session as part of a fun day of crafting, dancing and merry-making for people with additional support needs and their families, and of course anyone who wanted to join in. Curated by Nourish Support Centre – a registered charity providing a range of services to support those families – the fun day was held at the Mercat Shopping Centre, Kirkaldy on 20 October 2022.
It was a year ago, on 16 October 2021, when Cath used her Getting People Dancing bursary awarded by Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland to create the pre-cursor of Soft Ceilidh at Dysart Community Hall, Fife to an invited audience from across Fife. It featured presentations by herself, Liza Quin (Autism Rocks! Fife) and Caroline Brockbank (CeilidhKids) with an input from #actuallyautistic Fifers and an autism-friendly ceilidh in the afternoon.
We commissioned a 30-minute video with highlights of the event narrated by Bernie Hewitt as part of our Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland free resource Ceilidh and Autism:
A year later, when approached by Nourish Support Centre about leading an inclusive ceilidh, Cath was delighted to be involved:
It was great to see the families, including dancers with different abilities, having so much fun!
At the Soft Ceilidh, Cath interacted with over 20 enthusiastic dancers, including those with additional support needs, their families and support workers. Cath’s inclusive dance session used half a dozen ceilidh dances modified to accommodate all abilties. She interspersed the session with Highland dancing displays by students from the Danielle Law School of Music and Dance, including Abigail Broon pictured below.
Soft Ceilidh led by Cath Coutts as part of Nourish Support Centre Fun Day at Mercat Shopping Centre, Kirkaldy on 20 October 2022. Images by Bernie Hewitt courtesy of Nourish Support Centre