The last time Irish Set Dancing was offered at the Folk School, I decided to sign up to try something new. I love to dance and I am half Irish in the ancestry department, so I thought it would be a good match. As a beginner to the style, I didn’t know what to expect, so the anticipation built as I walked into the Community Room on Friday night. What happened for the next 12 or so waking hours was joy, revelry, laughter, community and fun!
If you are familiar with American Square Dancing at all, Irish Set dancing is like the distant Celtic relative waving at you from across the Atlantic. Both Irish Set Dancing and Square Dancing derive from quadrilles, so they are a little similar. Jim Morrison is an excellent teacher who will break down the moves and figures patiently and clearly. The music is jumpin’ and lively and keep you in the St. Patty’s spirit for the rest of March.
Irish Set Dancing
Jim & Owen Morrison (March 20-22 Weekend)
The border between counties Cork and Kerry witnessed the rise of a unique style of Irish music and dance. Here polkas and slides still dominate the dance tune repertoire, and musicians trace their roots to music masters Padraig O’Keefe or Tom Billy Murphy, active a century ago. The dances are descendants of the 19th-century polka quadrille. They are fast-paced, exciting, and so easy to pick up that you’ll leave the weekend able to show a set to an unsuspecting group of friends. Register on our website.
Watch a video of an Irish Set Dancing Class Performance at Show and Tell:
Cory Marie Podielski is a freelance graphic designer, photographer, and writer for the John C. Campbell Folk School. She has been writing for the Folk School Blog since 2012 and enjoys interviewing artists, musicians, and craftspeople. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the banjo, dancing, printmaking, playing in clay, and assisting in Folk School bread baking classes. podielski.com