Thursday, June 30, 2022
NewsAmazing moment Highland dance spills out of hotel and into street

Amazing moment Highland dance spills out of hotel and into street

AMAZING video shows a ceilidh that spilled out of a Highland hotel and into the road outside.

Dozens of dancers, accompanied by a piper and accordionist, blocked the street as they enthusiastically performed the Strip the Willow.

The remarkable scenes were captured at a hotel in the west coast port of Mallaig on Easter Sunday.

The West Highland Hotel was so busy with guests there was no room to swing a cat, much less hold an impromptu ceilidh.

So duty manager Fiona McKay took a “spur of the moment” decision to use Annies Brae, where she lined up 35 dancers and joined in herself.

Motorists were happy to stop and wait for the group to finish the uptempo and intricate country dance.

The hotel even live-streamed the video to their Facebook page with the caption: “Strip the Willow Mallaig style!”

The 8-minute long original clip begins with dancers forming a longway set – two lines of people standing on either side, in this case on the road.

The group, made up of men, women, and children of all ages, wave a car through while the bagpiper and accordion player warm up their instruments.

Once the car is safely past the group begin the dance – with the first couple meeting in the middle of the line, spinning each other round, and then separating before moving on to the next in line.

The rest of the group, and those watching whoop, whistle, and clap, as the dance starts to get into full swing.

At one point, a little girl wearing a red cardigan begins leading the dance and the adults bend down to her to spin her around.

The enthusiastic dancers are clearly enjoying themselves, and one onlooker standing with a pram at the end of the dance is filmed jumping around.

The ceilidh spilled out into the road in front of the hotel during a busy Easter Sunday

Speaking today, Fiona said: “It wasn’t planned in any sort of way, it was just really busy and we couldn’t do the dancing inside the hotel.

“So I just thought, we’ll go outside. Then when we got there, I was thinking ‘Wait, how are we going to do this?’

“I just looked down and the road and thought, that will do. It was totally a spur of the moment decision.

“I was actually in it, getting thrown around, and I asked my sister in law to film it for us. There were a few cars who had to wait on us finishing, but they didn’t seem too fussed.”

She added: “We can’t believe how big it’s gone. I thought people might enjoy it but I did not expect it to go that big.”

The West Highland Hotel Mallaig is a popular spot for locals and guests

Social media users were quick to comment on the amazing video.

James Kyle commented: “That’s why I love Mallaig, well done.”

Debbie Sapphire Thomas added: “Bless you lovely people. Enjoy yourselves.”

Fiona EL Mozy wrote: “Loving the flash mob dance, this should happen more often in other places. Oh what fun that would be.”

Shona McWilliam said: “Brilliant community spirit. I wish we had more of this here.”

While Philip Hunkin said: “Glad to see the tradition being kept alive. Great.”

The record for the biggest version of Strip the Willow is held by Edinburgh – where 1914 dancers welcomed the new millenium.

The most recent attempt to beat the record in the grounds of Castle Fraser, Inverurie, fell short when only 599 people turned up.

At a massive 353.8 yards (323.5 metres) staff at the National Trust for Scotland who work on the state hoped they could persuade Guiness World Record experts to record it as the world’s longest.

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