Ken Gourlay is a very experienced dance teacher and caller (a caller "calls" the dance steps at the same time as the music the first few times through the dance). He usually dances the couple dances with someone from the audience.
He has called at more than a 1000 21sts, weddings, birthday parties, student ceilidhs, sports clubs etc
(Average size audiences in brackets)
He has been the organiser and caller for the last 10 years at monthly public ceilidhs at the Assembly Rooms, Queens Hall and Lauriston Hall in Edinburgh (120-400)
He was the caller at the Hogmanay ceilidh for 2 years at Queen's Hall (250) and the last 3 years in Lauriston Hall (200) in Edinburgh
He has been venue manager of Lauriston Halls for the last 4 years during the Fringe
He has organised and called at various events, tours and folk festivals abroad:
Belgium - tour
Denmark - tour
France - summer - wedding, birthday party
Italy - tour, Sicily - folk festival (1000)
Russia - St Petersburg - St Andrew's night (200)
Switzerland - tour
He speaks French and enough German, Italian and Spanish to teach dances
Ken thinks dancing should be fun and is part of the joie de vivre - up there with food, drink and sex. Dancing is good for you physically, mentally and emotionally. He has no problem with people who don't know any Scottish dances. On average half the people who come to our public ceilidhs in the Assembly Rooms, Queen's Hall and Lauriston Hall have never been to a ceilidh before. At events abroad usually very few have done any Scottish dancing before. Most join in, learn the dances quickly and enjoy themselves.
Ken has written a book titled Kinytre Summers about his summer holidays as a boy on the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland. The second last chapter explains how he became interested in the ceilidh scene.
If you have an Amazon Kindle or iPhone / iPad with the Kindle app you can sample the beginning of this book for free at the Amazon Kindle Bookstore. If you like it you can buy the e-book for 3.44 dollars (2.16 pounds).