Cari Buzia + Aon Celtic ArtNewcastle Irish Set Dancers

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.

Coming Events

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.

Tuesdays, 7:15-9/9:15pm

** Newcastle Irish Set Dancers
. The Place, Charlestown Community Centre in Charlestown Shopping Centre.
15th -17th August ** Ceili Mor Weekend (Melbourne) with Mary Clancy
The Comhalts committee have booked Mary Clancy and her daughter Mary Kate for the Ceili Mor set dance weekend. They conduct very popular workshops for the Willie Clancy week in Miltown Malbay (Ireland). Contact Marie Brouder .
Sunday, 17 August, 4-7pm Traditional Irish/Folk Session (3rd Sunday of each month) - The Bennett Hotel, Cnr Steel & Denison Sts, Hamilton. Contact Roz & Shayne Kerr P: 4967 3167 or .
Saturday, 30 August, 7:30-11pm ** Gaelic Club Ceili with Jimmy Mullarkey & Friends - 64 Devonshire St, Surry Hills (Sydney). -- details to be advised -- $15 ($10 for members) children accompanied by adult free.
Sunday, 14 September, 3-6pm Traditional Irish Session (normally 1st Sunday of each month) - Lake Macquarie Hotel (opposite Morriset Railway Station). Contact Gabriele or Sharyn M: 0418146555 or M: 0418146554 or .
Fri-Sun, 19-21 September ** The Turning Wave Festival. Yass. Festival Director: Norm Merrigan T: (02) 9489 5786.
Fri-Sun, 10-12 October ** ACT Irish Set Dance Weekend 10th Birthday. Cook Neighbourhood Hall, 41 Templeton Street, Cook. 2014 Coordinator: Christine Briton T: (02 6288 6841/M:0413 168 562).
Saturday, 25 October, 7:30-11pm ** Gaelic Club Ceili with Coast Ceili Band- 64 Devonshire St, Surry Hills (Sydney). -- details to be advised -- $15 ($10 for members) children accompanied by adult free.
Saturday, 6 December, 7:30-11pm ** Gaelic Club Ceili with Jimmy Mullarkey & Friends - 64 Devonshire St, Surry Hills (Sydney). -- details to be advised -- $15 ($10 for members) children accompanied by adult free.

** Note: events with ** on the left are event primarily with Irish Set Dancing. The others have only part (or none) of the event devoted to Irish Set Dancing.
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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:

Voyage of Irish Dance
Teacher: Marieclaire de Wit-Beekmans
T: 02 4973 4984 / M: 0417 484 689

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...

Irish Set Dance Instructions and Music

Other Irish Set Dance Classes in NSW & the ACT

  • Central Coast Irish Set Dancers
    • Wednesday nights, 7:45-9:15pm.
      CWA Hall, Pacific Street, Long Jetty, Killarney Vale (North of Gosford).
      Contact Maureen Houston 02 4351 1016 (h) or 0423 208 267 or .
  • Sydney - The Gaelic Club - 64 Devonshire Street, Surrey Hills
    • Monday nights, 8.00-9.30pm, Irish National Association of Australasia.
      Contact Liz Carter 0404 062742 or .
    • Wednesday nights, 8-9:30 pm, The Harp Dancers.
      Contact Trish McGrath 02 9580 4865 or .
  • Sydney Irish Ceili Dancers
    • Thursday nights, 8-10.30pm.
      Kingsgrove Uniting Church Hall, 289A Kingsgrove Road, Kingsgrove.
      Contact Bill & Margaret Winnett 02 91506765 or .
  • Canberra - Monaro Folk Society Irish Set Dance
    • Wednesday nights, 8-10 pm, 4 x 10 week terms per year (Feb. - Dec.).
      Canberra Senior Citizens Centre, 10 Watson St, Turner ACT 2612.
      Contact Paul Wayper & Kate Armstrong 02 6251 5257 (h), 0422 392 081 (m) or .
  • Canberra - Set Dance Australia
    • Contact Nora Stewart 0431 862 853 or .

Useful Irish Set Dance (and other) Links

Contact details

For more information choose one of the categories below, or contact one of the teachers:
   Arthur Kingsland and Julia Smith
      Telephone: (02) 4955 5701
      Web: <>

Newcastle Irish Set Dancers are part of the Newcastle and Hunter Valley Folk Club.