Schuggie Dougie (right) dancing with one of the club's attendees. Credits to Schuggie Dougie.

Every year on the 25th of January, the Scottish celebration of Burns Night takes place all over the country, as thousands dance, drink and eat in celebration of the life of Robert Burns, the acclaimed Scottish poet.

This year in Nottingham, the Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-leas) club, a local Scottish dance organisation which runs the Gaelic-themed nights all over the East Midlands, is hosting a fun-filled Burns Night celebration for all at Nottingham’s Cosy Club in NG1.

What does the evening entail?

Schuggie Dougie, originally from Inverness, is the host of the evening at the club, and has been running Ceilidh classes in Nottingham for the last 15 years. “Ceilidh dancing, it’s non-technical. It’s Folk dancing, so you don’t need to know your right from your left.”

“I do all the calling, so I’m the one that directs the dancing. Sometimes you’ll have it with recorded music, but we’re very lucky that we’ve got a really good band tonight for it.”

A fun-filled evening for everyone who attends the Nottingham Ceilidh Club. Credits to Schuggie Dougie.

“It is really just about having fun – being social and being inclusive, there’s nobody judging your dancing,” he said.

He also takes along comedy hats – the sort you get at a photo booth at a wedding – to add extra hilarity to the night.

A tradition dating back to the early nineteenth-century, Burns Night started as a tribute supper to Robert Burn’s by his friends on the 5th year anniversary of his death in 1801.

Originally, the celebration just included drinking and a traditional dinner comprised of a hearty Scottish haggis, which Burns himself was a big fan of: “Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race!”, He wrote in his poem “Address to Haggis”.

Since then, the tradition has continued and many include other means of entertainment to pass the night, with Ceilidh dancing becoming one of the most popular.

Who is it for?

“It’s a bit like Tinder on the dance floor, where you swipe right and you get to dance with everybody.”

Anyone can do it; no matter your age, there’s no excuse for not being on the dancefloor. “It’s a very inexpensive night out, and we get about 70 or 80 folks coming along every month. It ranges in age from families with kids, 8, 9, 10 year olds to students – all the way up to 70 and 80 year olds,” said Schuggie.

The event is a perfect opportunity for all of you singletons out there who might be looking for a Ceilidh-dancing-lover in the run up to Valentine’s day, as the event acts as a good ice-breaker for starting new relationships.

Schuggie explains, “It’s a bit like Tinder on the dance floor, where you swipe right and you get to dance with everybody. If you’re there as a single guy, you’ll end up dancing with ladies and also other guys as well – likewise, if it’s a single lady.”

Let the caller know, and as long as you’re happy to dance with another lady or a guy, you can get dancing.

“You don’t need to go off and try and find somebody to dance with yourself, which can be a bit intimidating sometimes,” Schuggie adds.

So, is there a better way to spend your Burn’s Night? Head on down to the Cosy Club on Victoria Street this 25th of January to fully immerse yourself in the Scottish tradition. We we know it will be worth it!

Find out more about this and other Ceilidh dancing events on the Schuggies-Ceilidhs site