Finchampstead Barn Dance

The Band Warm Up

It’s years since I’ve been to a Barn Dance – in fact thinking about it, the last one was probably my cousins wedding about a decade ago. Certainly Beth had never been to one. I’d been to several at our Church when I was a child, and apparently they used to have them quite regularly in Finchampstead, but they had somewhat gone out of fashion.

As part of our current fund raising efforts, the social committee took the decision to organise a Barn Dance once again, being held down in the Memorial Hall in the village, in part because it is a larger space and more suitable for a dance than our own parish centre. If ticket sales are anything to go by the event was the kind of thing people were interested in as it pretty well sold out within a couple of weeks!

There definitely seemed to be some disagreement over the correct dress code when we arrived. Some people turned up dressed for a party, others very much in a western style, with even a couple of cowboy hats in evidence. The music also was a definite mix – although dance wise we were mainly doing English Country Dancing, there were musical influences from all over with Irish and American tunes coming up.

Much as I remembered, a Barn Dance is not something to be taken overly seriously – as Beth has once remarked with regards to line dancing back in Canada, the best way to enjoy it is with a healthy dose of mickey taking. Of course once everybody has had a couple of drinks, remembering the correct sequence of steps – which of course most people have only learnt for the first time a few minutes before – is generally a bit difficult, so a large does of chaos ensues. Having said, even amongst the serial Barn Dancers remembering the moves is a problem. The caller at one point remarked that one of their regulars was on the dance floor, and that he never remembered this particular dance – he didn’t last night either!

Food wise, it was relatively straightforward for the social committee, as they bought in a fish and chip supper from a nearby chip shop – so no washing up either! We also had the usual raffle, and also a game of Roll the Pound in order to win a bottle of champagne. That actually got quite competitive, in the end making £50 for the appeal. Overall the night was a great success, adding another £1100 to our total.

I’ve uploaded a set of pictures of the evening to Flickr, and I do have the odd few videos that I’ll post to YouTube once it recovers from whatever is up with it tonight.

Update: YouTube seems to have recovered – so here you can enjoy a taste of the chaos…

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