Did you know there is a whole world of Irish dance beyond Riverdance and little girls wearing bright costumes in dance competitions? People of all ages and nationalities get together and turn toe tapping into happy social dances set to traditional, lively Irish tunes. Céilís (pronounced “kay lees”) are Irish dance parties where the musicians and dancers create an amazing shared energy in the dance hall or pub. There are many dances and a variety of moves, formations, and steps so you’ll never be bored. Some céilí and set dances are similar to Contra, American square dancing, or English country dancing, but the Irish has a magical style and vibe all its own.
This page offers a list of opportunities to dance in and around the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex and beyond, whether you are a new dancer seeking to learn or an experienced dancer wanting to kick up your heels. Peruse this page for highlights and the Calendar for upcoming events, or sign up to receive notices on our e-mail list (send us a note through our contact page). If you hear about an event or class open for public participation, please send us a note so we can pass the word along. See you at the next céilí!
Need dance notes?
If you need notes for set, ceili, two-hand (even contra and scottish!) dances take a look at DanceMinder. It’s a new site that features dynamic dance instructions with multiple viewing options, dance ratings and links to relevant music and videos. It’s a good reference to use on or off the dance floor.
Come out and dance on 2nd Sundays at Trinity Hall Dallas (by Mockingbird Station) with the Trinity Hall Session Players from 3:00 – 6:00pm. Free admission. Most dances called. Everyone is welcome! Psst! Click the photo to see more pics of past pub dancing.
For general Irish dance information see the Irish Dance Wiki.
North Texas Irish Festival — March 2-4 2012
SCMA Celtic Céilí – 2011/2012 Season
The 2011-2012 season of céilí dancing over. Booo! It was held at the Sammons Center for the Arts in Dallas on 1st Saturday evenings, located close to major freeways for convenient access from around the Metroplex. Each evening began with a lesson in Irish set or traditional céilí dancing to help beginners get up to speed and to give experienced dancers an opportunity to focus on footwork and fancy moves.
Times: lesson 6:45 – 7:45pm, céilí 8:00 – 10:00pm
Admission: $10 regularly, $8 for SCMA members, $5 for full-time students.
Ice water provided. Visit the céilí page for more details plus a flyer for the season!
If you’re not already a member of the Southwest Celtic Music Association, now would be a great time to join. Check out the membership levels and benefits here.
Keep an eye on this page for information on the 2012-2013 season!
SCMA Celtic Céilí – 2010/2011 Season
A new season began in September 2010 in a new venue… the Sammons Center for the Arts in Dallas! Dancers enjoyed plenty of room to move in the airy, 2800 sq ft Meadows Hall. This century-old Dallas landmark hosts many other arts and cultural events and is located close to major freeways for easy access from around the Metroplex. Why the new venue? The ArtCentre of Plano sold their lovely building and moved to an historic home instead which simply does not have room for dancing. We wish them well in their new space. Along with the new venue, this season added a new one-hour class in Irish set or traditional céilí dancing to help beginners get up to speed and to give experienced dancers an opportunity to focus on footwork and tricky moves.
Trinity Hall Céilís
These are mighty céilís! We dance sets like the Moycullen, the Connemara, and the Clare Lancers plus 2-hands and traditional céilí from Walls of Limerick to the Three Tunes. Check out the photos of past dances.
North Texas Irish Festival — March 4-6, 2010
NTIF kicked off the spring festival season, with lots of folks coming out for the big ceili Saturday evening.
SCMA Céilí — April 24, 2010 and May 8, 2010
North Texas Irish Festival — March 5-7, 2010
Wow, was a great festival this year. Saturday’s weather could not have been more perfect, and a super bouncy group of adults kept the ceili hopping. Whee!
SCMA Céilí — February 20, 2010
SCMA Céilí — January 9, 2010
It was “around the house and mind the woodturning” for this céilí. Such amazing things to admire between dances!
SCMA Party Céilí — November 14, 2009
The holiday party céilí was a blast! We had four full sets for the Monaghan Set – woo hoo! Folks brought yummy snacks, the band played wonderfully, and a good time was had by all.
SCMA Céilí — September 19, 2009
The fifth consecutive season of céilís sponsored by The Southwest Celtic Music Association, this time at the ArtCentre of Plano, got off to a great start.