last updated 14 January 2010
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Copyright © 2011 Bill Lynch

Ireland—Summer schools

Willie Clancy Summer School  Complete guide to the biggest and best summer school of Irish music and dance
South Sligo Summer School  All about the special week of music and dance in Tubbercurry in July
Joe Mooney Summer School  Schedule for the summer school in Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim
Set Dancing Week  Photos and videos by Mary Lynch from the Armada Hotel's famous dancing week
Merriman Summer School  The Merriman concentrates on literature, politics, media, history and other interests of the chattering classes, and also has a lot of dancing.
Oideas Gael  This Irish language school offers a week of dancing in the summer.
The World Fleadh  A new week of music in dance held this year in August in Portlaoise, Co Laois
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann  The All-Ireland music festival held in Tullamore, Co Offaly, at the end of August


Feakle Festival  Tiny east Clare village holds a major music festival in August
Tulla Traditional Music Festival  September music and dance celebration in the east Clare village
Féile Átha Dá Chab  A festival coming up in April in Ballydehob, Co Cork
Micho Russell Festival Weekend  February festival remembering the Doolin whistler Micho Russell
Comórtas Cóilín Sheáin Dharach  A festival for sean nós solo jigs in Connemara
The Shindig  Popular set dancing weekend every January in Tralee
Willie Keane Memorial Weekend  A music and dance weekend in Doonbeg, Co Clare
A Mighty Weekend of Set Dancing  Connie Ryan's memorial weekend in the Grand Hotel, Malahide, Co Dublin
Fleadh Nua  Five days of music and dance in Ennis, Co Clare
Eigse Mrs Crotty  Mrs Crotty's memorial weekend in Kilrush, Co Clare, for lovers of the concertina
Ennis Trad Festival  November festival in Ennis, Co Clare


Ceili Time  Two brothers from Co Tyrone
McStocker Ceili Band  Four-piece group from Co Antrim
Donal Ring Ceili Band  Classic Cork ceili band playing in a Scottish style
Meet the Musician Haulie McKee  Schoolchildren interview a member of the Tulla Ceili Band.
Turloughmore Ceili Band  Ten-piece prize-winning band from Co Clare.
The Jivenaires  The site of a showband formed in 1961. A treasure trove of bands, photos and memories. Not set dancing but fascinating nevertheless.
Clareen Banjos  A site by Tom Cusson of Shaskeen, with a page on the band and their recordings
Emerald Ceili Band  Information about the popular band from Ulster


Omagh Traditional Dancing Club  Organisers of classes and a festival in Omagh, Co Tyrone
Half-Door Club  Organisers of a festival and ceilis in Co Laois
"The definitive set dancing web site."  News of the Longford weekend and other workshops and weekends by Gerard Butler
Cairde Rince Céilí na hÉireann  An organisation promoting ceili dancing
The Belfast Set Dancing and Traditional Music Society  Classes and ceilis in Belfast
Owenabue Valley Traditional Group  Keen dancers in Carrigaline, Co Cork, who run monthly ceilis and an annual workshop


Pádraig and Róisín McEneany  Nice music by Triskell is heard on this website of the popular teaching couple tea served
Memories of a dancer  Pat Murphy travels the world giving set dancing workshops. His web site presents illustrated accounts of a few of his visits.


Return to Camden Town  A week-long festival of music and dance in London


Click on the icon English translation by Altavista Babelfish to see an English translation of that site. Careful reading is required as the computer translation is very basic.

Copenhagen Irish Festival  Taking place every November—information in Danish
Seminarhof Proitzer Mühle  A converted mill in Germany which holds occasional weekend set dancing workshops English translation by Altavista Babelfish
Grand Bal de l'Europe  Festival of many kinds of dance featuring set dancing workshops, ceilis and concerts


Swaree Ceili Band  German ceili band


Click on the icons English translation by Google or English translation by Altavista Babelfish to see an English translation of that site. Careful reading is required as the computer translation is very basic.

Karlsruhe Irish Set Dancers  Weekly dancing
Irish Set Dancers Frankfurt  An active club in Frankfurt, Germany
Irish dance in the Ruhr  A dancing club in Essen, Germany English translation by Altavista Babelfish
Irish Set-Dance Dresden  Set dancing reaches the city of Dresden English translation by Google
Irish dancing in Croatia  The first and only group of set dancers in this country  Events in Erlangen, Germany
Irish Set Dance Group Basel  An active group in Basel, Switzerland  Dancing in Erlangen, Germany
Rinceoirí  Site for Irish dancers in Prague in English and Czech
Cumann Céilí Vin  A club in Vienna, Austria
Copenhagen Irish Set Dancers  Danish language information with an English summary
Oslo Irish Set Dancers  Details of set dancing classes in an Irish pub in Oslo, Norway
Association Irlandaise  The Irish Association in Paris runs set dancing classes, ceilis and workshops—information in French. English translation by Altavista Babelfish
Århus Set Dancers  An active group of dancers in Denmark
Mulligan's Irish Music Bar  An Amsterdam pub with monthly dance sessions  Set dancing events, classes and contacts in Germany
Jagst Valley Irish Set Dancers  Information in German about a class in Möckmühl—includes a German dictionary of set dancing terms English translation by Altavista Babelfish

North America—Summer schools

Dublin Irish Festival and Irish Festival Academy  An August festival weekend in Dublin, Ohio, following a new four-day summer school
Celtic College and Celtic Roots Festival  Summer school and festival in Goderich, Ontario, beside Lake Huron
Catskills Irish Arts Week  An Irish music and dance summer school in the Catskill Mountains of New York
Augusta Heritage Center Irish Week  Traditional Irish music, dance and arts summer school in Elkins, West Virginia
Milwaukee Irish Fest and Summer School  North America's biggest Irish festival and summer school

North America—Music

John Whelan  A virtuoso on box who's very popular with set dancers
Ceol na gCroí Ceili Band  New York based band
Green Gates Ceili Band  New Jersey based band

North America—Clubs

Irish Dance in Dallas  Dancing opportunities in Texas
Ceol agus Rince  Calendar covering events in the wider New York, Philadelpha and Washington DC areas and beyond
Irish Thymes  Dancing at a couple locations in Massachusetts
Irish Set Dancing in Nova Scotia  The web site of the Scaip na Cleiti dancers in Halifax
Irish Philadelphia  Coverage of Irish events including ceilis in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sets in the 'Burg  Classes in Cedarburg, Wisconsin
Pittsburgh Ceili Club  Dancing enthusiasts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
New Castle County Irish Society  Weekly classes and monthly ceilis in Wilmington, Delaware
Mari Hoiland's web site  Plenty of photos from ceilis in Washington and Oregon
Greater Washington Ceili Club  A Washington DC area club with classes and ceilis in Maryland
Emerald Isle Club  A social club in Baltimore, Maryland, which holds monthly dances
Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers  A club in Gaithersburg, Maryland, holding weekly classes
Philadelphia Ceili Group  Monthly ceilis and an annual festival in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jackson Irish Dancers  Classes, workshops and ceilis in Jackson, Mississippi
Portland Ceili Society  Classes, events and information about dancing in Portland, Oregon
Irish Set Dancing in Milwaukee  Classes, monthly dances and other events in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and area
Vancouver Irish Ceili Society  A programme of workshops and ceilis in BC
Quad Cities Céilí Club  A group of keen Irish dancers in Iowa and Illinois
Ceili and Set Dance in Toronto and Vicinities   Toronto area classes and events
Irish Dance Los Angeles  Set dancing classes and ceilis in LA
Irish American Society  A club in Mineola, Long Island, New York
Irish Dancemaster  The activities of teacher Yutaka Usui

North America—Comhaltas branches

New York City, New York  Monthly live music ceilis
New Orleans, Louisiana  Weekly set dancing classes
Kingston, Ontario  A branch with monthly sessions and ceilis 
Boston, Massachusetts  Information about classes
San Francisco, California  Includes details of dancing around the area
Rochester, New York  With information about music and dance classes

Dancing elsewhere

Click on the icon English translation by Altavista Babelfish to see an English translation of that site. Careful reading is required as the computer translation is very basic.

Irish Set Dancing In Canberra  Canberra class and ceili info, plus dance instructions and a helpful set dancing FAQ
Comhaltas Melbourne  Includes set dancing classes
Set Dancing Australia  Classes and ceilis down under
Irish Dance Circle Clare  The web site of keen dancers in Kanagawa, Japan. A few pages in English and French, but most is in Japanese English translation by Altavista Babelfish
Kyoto Irish Dance Club  Set, ceili and step (trad and modern) classes in Kyoto, Japan
Melbourne Claddagh Dancers  Schedule of weekly classes
Sainak  A Japanese ceili band and dancers English translation by Altavista Babelfish
Sydney Irish Dancers  Dancing down under in Sydney with Margaret and Bill Winnett
Newcastle Irish Dance  Information from a class in Australia

Personal experiences

These sites have accounts of dancing in Ireland and elsewhere.

Memories of a dancer  Pat Murphy travels the world giving set dancing workshops. His web site presents illustrated accounts of a few of his visits.
Hideya and Akiko's 2003 Trip and Hideya and Akiko's 2004 Trip  A Japanese couple visit traditional music festivals during trips to Ireland. Full of frank comments on Ireland and the Irish. Also available - their trip in 2002 in Japanese English translation by Altavista Babelfish
Round the Place where I was Born  Memories of a dancing board in Co Laois
Jennifer's Labasheeda Experience  A Pittsburgh woman and her husband go dancing on their first trip to Ireland.
The Fall 2000 Ireland Dispatches, Irish Set Dancing, The Ireland Dispatches  Set dancing is a major focus in these travelogues by a Seattle photographer.
A two week trip to Ireland  A couple from Texas experience set dancing in Kerry and Clare in 2001.
Celtic Bompa in Irish Dancing  The adventures of a Belgian fellow who does as much Irish dancing as possible (mostly step) and logs every event in full detail—includes several short videos of set dancing.
A Dance Vacation in Ireland  Marilyn Moore and Jim Owens from Maryland describe every set and variation on a month-long trip in 1999.
Irish Set Dancing  Henry Morgenstein compares set dancing to contra dancing.

Press clippings

Published articles about set dancing and set dancers.

Dances from an old Ireland  Informative article from the Schnectady Gazette, New York. Includes a short video clip.
Get set - it's time for the dancing news  An article about Set Dancing News from the Clare Champion.
Limerick's sporting heroes - where are they now?  The sporting background of Limerick teacher Timmy Woulfe.
Rover Roy returns to his roots  An interview with Tipperary dancer Roy Galvin.
Great 'News' for Set Dancers  About Set Dancing News.
Cork Couple Honored For a Life Of Dance  A tribute to Joe and Siobhán O'Donovan.
Will the real Irish dancing please stand up?  Ceili dancing versus set dancing circa 1996.
West's dancers set to answer the call  An article about the West Limerick Set Dancing Club.
Sean Nos Step Dancing - It's A Living Tradition  About Patrick O'Dea

Mailing lists

These mailing lists send occasional information to their members by email. Use the links below to read past messages if you're a member or to join up if you're not.

Set Dancing News Mailing List  Open to all set dancers for news, announcements, comments, questions and discussions. Also join by sending a blank email to
Ceol Agus Rince  Email list advertising events in the northeast of the US
Join the Set  French-language information and discussion

Dance instructions

These sites include instructions for dancing sets and related dances.

Terry's Dancebook  A book of standard and newly created ceili dances as done in Alameda and Berkeley, California
Irish Set Dancing in Canberra  Notes for just one set available nowhere else.
Paul's Irish Set Dance Music Database  A cross-referenced listing of all sets and other dances published in books and websites and available on CD.
The Two-Hand Dances of Ireland and the Old Philadelphia Set  Traditional dances collected in Philadephia, complete with music for the set.
Wiki the Feathers English translation by Altavista Babelfish  Notes for sets in Japanese.
Sets in the 'Burg  Short and simple notes for several sets by Joanna DuPuis.
Melbourne Claddagh Dancers  Several sets in Word document format
Crooked River Set Dancers  A collection of sets including recently revived ones such as the Kilfenora, Claddagh and Ballyduff
Search and replace  An amusing account of some typos in the first edition of Pat Murphy's Toss the Feathers
La Page Set-Dancing de Sylphane  French-language set and ceili instructions in PDF form
Irish Set Dance Study Notes  Instructions for 78 sets and ten ceili dances, complete and annotated, including all the most popular sets and some rarities
Brooks Academy  The site of the Dublin school of set dancing includes instructions for all their published sets
Irish-American Lobby Education Foundation  Detailed information on steps, movements and terms, plus eleven sets
Newcastle Irish Dance  This Australian site has detailed instructions for several sets and ceili dances
Irish and Scottish Dance Information  Includes instructions for six Irish ceili dances plus information about dancing in Portland, Oregon
Dance Instruction Manuals  A large collection of old dance manuals from the Library of Congress in Washington DC
Chris Brady  Chris Brady's website has a complete facsimile of an 1867 handwritten dance manual from Dundalk. Some of the dances in it are transcribed in easy-to-read text and thorough background information is available. The site also includes a full copy of an 1899 Irish ballroom dance manual and instructions for a traditional step dance, the Gabhairín Buí or the Yellow-Haired Goat.
Comhaltas, San Francisco, California  Has notes for the sets taught locally

Books, tapes, videos and other products

CeltiCottage  USA source for some set dancing books, CDs and videos
Irish Image  Digital "paint effect" prints of set dancing in Cois na hAbhna, Ennis
The Living Tradition  Good source for set dancing books, CDs, tapes and videos
Talbot Dance Centre  Shoes for set dancing and other types of dance
Big Plain Records  Traditional Irish music recordings including a set dancing CD by the Gleann an Iolair Ceili Band
Laura Higgins  A Toronto dancer and artist who captures set dancing in her paintings
Glens Music Recordings  Recordings of traditional Irish song and dance music of Northern Ireland
Ainm Records  Producer of music and videos for set dancing and step dancing
Irish Music Magazine  The web site for the traditional and folk music publication
Smithsonian Folkways  An interesting collection of folk music including Irish trad music

Dance history

Interesting historical articles related to dance.

The Origin of the Word Polka  An attempt to make sense of the complicated history of this dance


The companies advertising on these sites offer holiday packages which include set dancing.

Trad Tours  Set dancing tours to Ireland from Philadelphia and area.
Fleadh España  An annual set dancing holiday in Spain
Irish Folklore Tours  One of their tours each year features set dancing.
Celtic Spirit  Irish cultural activities including dance in Switzerland and on the Aran Islands

Other dance, music and Irish links

Traditional Irish Music  A 'resource site' with a collection of links
Intercelt  Cultural holiday information
Webfeet Dance Index  UK folk dance events
Ceolas  Celtic music resource

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Bill Lynch   Set Dancing News, Kilfenora, Co Clare, Ireland
076 602 4282 Republic of Ireland
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