Newcastle Irish Set Dancers conduct 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.
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. We have classes every week from the start of February through to early-mid December (with the exception of the Tuesday immediately following Easter. Downloadable map (PDF) showing how to get to our venue.
What is Irish Set Dancing?
Irish set dancing is social dancing usually in the form of square "sets" with four couples. This dance is for anyone from young adult up to dancers in the 70's and onward (so long as you have a reasonable level of fitness - the music and footwork is fairly fast - at least for beginners!). This dance form is generally danced by adults and older children. Younger children (who are far more flexible and energetic usually participate in Irish Step dancing (see below). Each dance has several figures set to traditional Irish tunes such as reels, jigs, polkas or hornpipes.
The footwork ranges from simple stepping to fast battering steps. In set dancing you usually dance with a partner, yet in many figures also dance with one or more other members of the set. Most set dances have a social figure in which each lady dances with each gent and vice versa. Traditionally, set dances were not called, although during classes there will be calling to remind the dancers of the next movement.
While this form of dancing has many sets that have been around for decades, there is a constant supply of newly resurrected sets where collectors have visited older dancers and recorded old sets, and there is a recent phenomenon of new sets being composed by Irish Dancers across the globe.
To learn more and see some videos of the different types of Irish dancing visit Set Dancing Australia's website.
Irish Set Dance Classes
Newcastle Irish Set Dance classes teach Irish Set dance where the steps specific to that dance are taught along with each figure of the dance. Each figure has a walk-through and time to practice movements and steps. We repeat figures to reinforce the dance elements and come back to these dances over the coming weeks. Dances are called until the dancers have become proficient at each figure.
Weekly dance sessions are held every Tuesday evening from 7:15 to about 8:45, with an additional session for experienced dancers 8:45-9:15/9:30pm.
No experience is necessary, but you should be aware that the dances are energetic and require at least moderate fitness. No Partner is needed.
Classes are held at the "The Place" - Charlestown Community Centre, Charlestown Shopping Centre. The cost for the regular class is $8 for Newcastle and Hunter Valley Folk Club members or $10 for non-members.
Irish Step Dancing
If you are looking for Irish dancing for your children then you are probably looking for Irish Step dancing. Irish Step classes are available for adults as well! Did you enjoy "Riverdance" and "Lord of the Dance"? Would you like to kick your legs like Jean Butler, stamp your feet like Michael Flatley or click your heels like Colin Dunne? We recommend Marieclaire de Wit-Beekmans' classes:
Classes held in Ourimbah, Morisset & Wallsend. No previous experience is needed. Anyone from the age of 5, including adults, is more than welcome. Visit Marieclaire's website...
Other Irish Set Dance Classes in NSW & the ACT
Useful Irish Set Dance (and other) Links
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.