…run fun classes in Irish Set dancing - the social dancing of the Irish. The group is located in Newcastle, New South Wales (Australia) and is part of the Newcastle and Hunter Valley Folk Club. Classes are held at The Place - Charlestown Community Centre & are generously supported by the Community Centre.
New to Irish Set Dancing? Visit our special page giving Handy Hints for Beginners…
Last weekend we had a great ceili with the Irish Set Dancers from the Central Coast at their venue in Long Jetty. Ian Hayden organised friends (Jackie Luke, Greg Wilson & John Houston and Morisset session musicians) to play really energetic traditional Irish music. Maureen, Julia & Arthur gave us a program of well known sets (at least locally).
I'll try to keep the "Classes" table below up-to-date with the sets we intend to do each week, and those we've completed each night. I'm providing links to instructions on the web, and to videos that give a reasonable rendition of the version of the sets we've been teaching.. There are lots, lots more videos on YouTube & elsewhere, but sometimes you need to take these with a more than just a grain of salt. Many, many dancers who go to ceilis in Ireland don't attend classes and don't learn the finesse of each set or understand the differences between different counties, and even difference towns within a district.
Local Identification with the Irish Set Dance community
There are two new Irish Sets directly connected to our local group. A set that is becoming increasingly popular is the Charlestown Set written by Julia Smith. For a few years a “New Irish Set Dances” competition was integrated with the “Sweets of May” festival in Tralee, Ireland. In 2013 James Garner (a young former member of the Newcastle Irish Set Dancers, but now resident in Sydney) entered his Hunter Valley Set and Julia Smith entered her Charlestown Set. James’ set won the competition and Julia’s set placed second - ahead of all the other sets by native Irish composers! So, we have two sets dedicated to our local group - both having won international recognition, and more specifically recognition in Ireland!
Regular classes for Newcastle Irish Set Dancers every Tuesday from 7:15-9:15 pm at The Place - Charlestown Community Centre, cnr Frederick & Ferris Sts, Charlestown. Downloadable map (PDF) showing how to get to our venue.
We have classes every week from the start of February through to mid December (with the exception of the Tuesday immediately following Easter).
For more information choose one of the categories below, or contact one of the teachers:
Newcastle Irish Set Dancers are part of the Newcastle and Hunter Valley Folk Club.