Irish Set Dancing

Quick summary - Set dancing is a chance to meet socially and have a bit of fun, while at the same time getting a good workout: if you can walk, you can set dance!

Need to know more? - Set dances are part of Irish folk dance tradition and have been danced in Ireland for generations, going back to the days of house dances, where the neighbours gathered to dance sets in the kitchen; 'Around the house and mind the dresser' is a move you'll become familiar with very quickly!

After being banned by the Catholic church for being immoral, set dancing became a thing of the past and faded into the background for a generation or so. Luckily, the revival of set dancing came along in the 1980s and set dancing is now more popular than ever with sets from all parts of Ireland being re-discovered and new sets created.

A set consists of four couples, facing each other in a square. Typically, each set has between three and six figures (or parts), with a short break between each figure. Each figure has its own style of music and will be danced to either a jig, reel, polka, slide or hornpipe. The steps vary from basic to battering and each dancer will develop their own style.

A great way to meet new people, develop a new skill and have fun!