Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Society & Culture
  3. Ethnic Cultures

Irish-American dance classes

See also

Irish-American’s throughout the Brandywine Valley and Wilmington look for various ways to learn about their Irish roots and culture. Those that have small children and booked them into Irish step dance classes and Irish language classes. For the adults and seniors, there are Ceili and Set dances taught at the New Castle Country Irish Society (NCCIS).

Ceili (pronounced Kaylee) is a popular form of folk dancing brought from Ireland to America. Ceili dances are based on heys ("hedges" - pairs of lines facing), round dances, long dances and quadrilles. The NCCIS teach Ceili dances for 2, 3, 4 or more dancers, or an unlimited number in a round or line dance.

These traditional Irish social dances are done to reels, jigs, hornpipes, polkas and waltzes. Ceili dances when performed socially are often performed in a progressive style. At the end of one whole iteration of the dance (lead around and body), instead of stopping, the groups move on to the next set of partners in the line. Ceili dances that can be performed progressively are: Walls of Limerick, Siege of Ennis, Haymaker's Jig, and Fairy Reel. When there is a large social gathering, there will often be a caller for the dance, though it is a very different style from square dancing caller. A ceili caller is usually the teacher or most experienced dancer of the group who has the dance memorized. They then call the movements out in a non-stylized way, intended to remind those who are non-dancers when and where to move. Social ceili dances are often the easiest dances and very easy to shuffle through as a non-dancer. A caller makes sure that everyone at a social dance can participate. Embellishments are accepted and fun in social ceili dances, women adding spins or changing the style of a swing based on the skill of a partner.

Set dancing, sometimes called "country sets", are another popular form of folk dancing. Set dances are based on quadrilles. Set dances are done with four couples arranged in a square. The term 'set' refers to this formation and to the dance itself that usually consists of three to six figures. Each figure is a series of dance patterns or movements (e.g. 'house', lead around, square, etc.) and footwork.

The NCCIS dance classes are informal, lively and fun, and you do not need a partner.

The dance classes are held on Wednesday evenings. Mary Collins teaches beginners ceili at 7:00 P.M. followed by her regular ceili class from 7:30 to 8:30 P.M. Bud Burke ends up with set dance class from 8:00 to 9:00 P.M. Price is $6.00 for each class.

Contact: * Mary (Lessons@nccirishsociety.org) for information on Beginner's and
Experienced Ceili Dance Classes.
* Bud at 302-478-4568, for Lessons as above for information on Set Dance
Classes.

Irish Stepdance is a style of dance with its roots in traditional Irish dance. It can be performed solo or by troupes. Two types of shoes are worn; hard shoes, which make sounds similar to tap shoes, and soft shoes, which are similar to ballet slippers. Dancers stiffen their upper bodies while performing quick, intricate footwork. Costumes are considered important for stage presence in competitive Irish stepdance. There are several levels of competition available for both individuals and groups.

There are various Irish Step Dance schools in Wilmington and the surrounding area. The most popular is the McAleer School of Irish Dancing. For Class Information: Veronica McAleer (302) 655-4675

Advertisement

Life

  • Dead babies found
    Seven dead babies were found in Utah resident Megan Huntsman's old home
    Video
    Shocking Discovery
  • Kendall Jenner
    Get the Coachella looks: Kendall Jenner’s nose ring, green hair and edgy nails
    Camera
    Coachella Look
  • Dog's Easter basket
    How to fill your dog’s Easter basket with the perfect toys
    Easter Basket
  • Rabbit owners
    Bringing home the bunny: Important information for rabbit owners
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Haunted island
    The world’s most haunted island may soon be the most haunted luxury resort
    Haunted Resort
  • Sunken ferry
    Search continues for missing passengers after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    Video
    Sunken Ferry

Related Videos:

  • Jackie Robinson and April 18 in Canadian history
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517971015" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=517971015&autoStart=true"></div>
  • "Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt" CBS
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/g_scoVmz3uA?VQ=HD720&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • County Kerry Music Group in Dingle Ireland
    <div class="video-info" data-id="246639507" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=246639507&autoStart=true"></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!