It took a couple years, but Steamboat Springs is becoming an Irish dancing town. The monthly dances are catching on, and there are as many as 30 regulars who know the steps to any reel you throw at them.
"The buzz is around, and people are really enjoying it," Uilleann pipe player Gary Burman said. "We have all ages, from the smallest kids to people in their 70s and 80s, and it's the one place in Steamboat where there seem to be more girls than guys."
¤ Yampa Valley Ceili Society: Celtic Christmas Ceili
¤ 7 p.m. today
¤ Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.
¤ $6 general admission; $4 for students, seniors and children; free for members and children five and younger. Dancers can bring food in lieu of paying admission.
The ceilis usually are held the third Friday of each month. In December, the ceili was moved forward a week because of the holidays.
Tonight's dance will have a Christmas theme, celebrated in the Celtic tradition.
Live music accompanies the dancing. Burman will be on the pipes, Bonnie Murray will be on the fiddle, and Greg Zulevich will be on the Irish bouzouki and mandolin.
Irish dancer Nora Parker, who recently won three first-place awards at a San Francisco dance competition, will give dance demonstrations.
"So many people have been coming, it's gotten to the point where you'll always have an experienced dancer in your group to help you pick it up quickly," Burman said.