How to run a barn dance

Barn dances are great for weddings and parties alike.

This page is principally about running a social barn dance for parties, villages days, charity fundraisers, etc.

If you are looking to book us for your wedding or want to have a disco as part of your party, please check out the Weddings and Discos page as the timings there will be more relevant.

For more information about running a charity fundraiser please see our Charity page.

How to run a barn dance

Scallywag have had years of experience in making barn dances work for weddings, parties, village days, fundraisers, Harvest Suppers, etc. This is how we go about things.

A few things to consider


If you are running from 7:30 to 11:00 it is better to have a longer second half. It’s good, therefore, to break for food around 8:30. If you are still eating at 9:00 we will play some background music while you finish up. That way you still get enough dancing time in the second half. 9:00 is usually a good time to do ‘Happy Birthday’, speeches or the raffle (or all three) depending on what event it is.

Children at Barn Dances

Children above the age of 6 love to dance at ceilidhs but dances always work better when there are about 75% adults in attendance (see image below). The really young ones are usually happy to jump around to the music at the sides.

Food at Barn Dances

If you haven’t decided how you are going to do your food yet have a look at our Food page. Remember, the more food you organise, the longer it will take to eat and the longer it will take to clear away.

Barn Dance Venues

Village and community halls are great venues as they are usually a good size for dancing and have all of the facilities you need in one space.

If you are at all concerned that your guests won’t be able to dance, please look at our videos of a dance for MacMillan Cancer Support barn dance. Pretty much all of the dances you see in these videos had never danced before. They were great!