Uist Quadrilles & Dancing Memories

We had another lovely day with the children at Balivanich School yesterday. They were learning parts of the Traditional Uist Quadrilles (Part 5 and 6 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CZrFL3iuvU ) and then developing these to ‘free style’ some more contemporary versions and create visual patterns of the movement.

The children liked the energetic Part 5 (otherwise known as the ‘Galloping Horses’) where they have to gallop around the whole room.

The children had collected memories from their families about dance; “My Nana said that the twist was the greatest dance ever made and showed me how to do it. ” and “My Mum did Hip Hop and Tap”. We are collecting these memories and putting them together for our Afternoon Ceilidh on the 10th of March (2-4pm) at St Mary’s, Griminish. Please come along and add to the dancing memories!


We were drawing quadrille sets from a bird’s eye view to create movement patterns.

Taping a floor design to create a pathway for dancing on.

This is a project collaborating with Ceòlas dance officer Sorcha Monk. We have based it around the Uist Quadrilles (these were quadrilles specific to each island). We are planning a series of workshops with schools, care homes and have had great support from the local Quadrille dance groups. This will all come together for a wee afternoon ceilidh where you can join in and learn the quadrilles or just watch and reminisce.

We were very inspired by chatting to local Quadrille dancer Morag who told us that many of the older people in the community who no longer danced had previously told her how much they enjoy being able to watch the Uist Quadrilles and how it made them feel like they were dancing again! So whether you want to dance or just watch please come along to our ceilidh and bring friends, neighbours and family.

If you have any memories of the Uist Quadrilles please share them with us, we would love to hear them!



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