The Greater Washington Ceili Club    

(last updated  Mar 18, 2018)

Ceili Dances :

location  1:
Cherry Hill Park Conf Center (map)                  location  2:
Argyle Park Public Activities Bldg   (map)  

9800 Cherry Hill Rd (north of I-495)

1030 Forest Glen Road

College Park, MD
gate may require code - call contact below

Silver Spring, MD 20901

Doug Ilg
Paul O'Donnell


usually 4th Sunday of month (Sept-May)
- check link below for exceptions

3rd Thurs of every month

4-8 pm   
3 pm - set dance workshop



varies monthly - band list

Tina Eck and friends

Adults--$20, members--$15,
students 11-20 are half off
under age 11 -- FREE

$5+ donation for band

Dancelist :
Each months's
-  workshop & band - link
-  dance line-up - link

dances include core dances and dances from the lessons
(both Basic and Experienced )

public transit --
Metro Green Line to College Park;
Metrobus #83 to Cherry Hill      

public transit --
Metro Red Line to Forest Glen;
RideOn bus #8 toward Silver Spring

Dancing the Night Away on Thursday in Rockville

I have just returned from the End-of-Class mini-ceili (May 2004) at the Frost Center and I thought I would share some of my thoughts. First, I think I should remind dancers that there is a mini-ceili almost every month, usually on the 3rd Thursday of the month. It features live music for two hours with pot-luck snacks for a donation of only $5.00. This mini-ceili affords a chance to perform some of the dances that were taught in the Thursday night classes, as well as some standard dances that are familiar to all. We were barely able to assemble three sets tonight where, in the past, we sometimes had 50 people come out. The mini-ceili is not limited to students of the Thursday night classes, but they are more familiar with the less common sets to help non-students through the dances. As an opportunity to dance on a weeknight, to live musicians, and experience dances not danced at the regular ceilis in the area, this mini-ceili should be a valuable component of a program of improving your set dancing skills and staying connected to other dancers.

The mini-ceili was originally started to provide an outlet for the many dances taught during a session of the Thursday night class. These classes also usually review the Set of the Month for the upcoming GWCC Ceili at Cherry Hill, and we allow visiting dance instructors from Ireland to use our slot on the dance class calendar to present mini-workshops to all in the area seeking to improve their style and learn new or different dances. In the last 12 months, Timmy McCarthy taught the Ardgroom, Set of Erin, and Sneem sets; Patrick O’Dea taught the Hollymount and Shramore sets; and Mick Mulkerrin taught the Kilfenora and Borlin Jenny sets. The regular group of dancers at the Frost center is well-versed in the core set dances but is always accommodating and supportive of new beginning dancers. The regular curriculum tends to focus on other dances that need an outlet to keep them alive. This past session concentrated on the distinctive dances from Co. Mayo, including the Derradda, Newport, Kiltimagh, Kildownet, Skirdagh, Shramore, Ballycastle, and Mayo Lancers. The session concluded with the Dublin Set.

The Dublin Set is a dance that has a special place in our area as it was first danced and popularized in the U.S. by our dancers and it acquired a following that has kept it alive.. While it is a choreographed dance (for the Dublin Milennium), its traditional style features many impressive elements and it is very attractive when danced well, making it an excellent demonstration set for performances at festivals. Even better than watching it, however, is the feeling you get from dancing in the set when it’s well executed. The Dublin Set can make you feel good about yourself when you dance through it without errors, and even better when everyone else in the set does likewise. I had hoped to see two sets on the floor at the end of the End-of-Class mini-ceili after two classes devoted to the Dublin set, but only one set took the floor consisting of Paul & Edie, Dick & Dixie, Emmett & Dorothy, and Tom & Marilyn. The music was great and the dancing superb, and at its conclusion all could take pride on what may have been the best execution of the set in the past five years; and with that glow we wrapped up the mini-ceili and the Spring dance class session.

(Copyright - Paul O'Donnell 2004)

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