A 'Barn Dance' is usually an evening comprising of different types of dance. Many of the dances have been around for many, many years. They have been passed from gereration to generation since before things were written down. You will enjoy a mixture of circle dances with everyone dancing in one big circle. Then there is round dances and longways sets. You could find yourself dancing in a square of four couples. The dances could come from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales or anywhere else. They all combine to give the dancers a wonderful social experience.
This is what is generally known as a 'Barn Dance'. In some celtic areas it is called a 'Ceilidh' (Scotish) or Ceili (Irish), (both prounced Kay-Ley). In Wales it is often called a Twmpath while Americans tend to have a Hoe Down.
A 'Traditional Scotish Ceilidh' would comprise of only traditional Scotish dances to Scotish tunes
A 'Traditional Irish Ceili' would be to Irish music and traditional dances.
An 'English Folk Dance' would use English music and dances.
A 'Square Dance' today is based on the dances which came from America in the 40s and 50s and is now known as Modern American Square Dance. Square dancing in this form grew from a mixture of many of the tradional European Folk Dances. It evolved to become the National Folk Dance of America.
A 'Contra Dance' again has come from America and is a mixture of Modern American Square Dancing and traditional European dances.