Dance Classes

dance class

Classes for Fall 2022 start on Sept 15, and run through Dec 8.
Thursday evenings:
7:00-8:00 pm basic steps/dances
8:00-9:30 pm advanced dances

The price is only $55 for the whole semester (covers all 11 classes).
(No class on 10/13 or 11/24)

Class meets at the Pinecrest Park Building near 4 Corners in Silver Spring.
The address is 301 St. Lawrence Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20901.
This is just off University Blvd, between Colesville Rd and the Beltway.

If you are using public transportation, take Metrorail to Wheaton and either C2 or C4 bus East.

Proof of vaccination and at least one booster are required.
Masks must be worn while inside the building.
If you have not submitted proof of vaccination or booster for a previous GWCC event (ie class, ceili or Spring Fling), you can e-mail it to or bring it to the first class.

Some basic information about our program

The beginner class is open to all interested dancers. It will cover basic footwork, movements and terminology as well as common dances. No experience, partner or special equipment are needed. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes (preferably with smooth soles).

The experienced class assumes dancers know most basic movements, footwork and terminology. Dancers will learn (or refresh) new and less common dances, get a head-start on the GWCC Set of the Month and learn new footwork.
A mini-ceili with live musicians will occasionally replace some of classes, with small donations requested for the musicians who provide the music. Mini-ceili dates will be announced in the future.

Not sure whether class is for you? Your first class is free!

Our classes are friendly and fun! Set and ceili dances are social dances – we try to maintain that attitude in class. The group includes a mix of adult novice and experienced dancers. Instruction is flexible in pace and content, the instructor reviewing or moving on as appropriate.

We focus on traditional Irish country sets, but include some ceili dances as well. The 7pm class is best for new dancers, but they are welcome to stay and watch (and even participate in) the 8pm class, where the students have more experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are set and ceili dances?
* Set dances: dancers are usually arranged in a square – like in American square dances; and the dances are composed of several parts [figures] with a brief break in between each figure.
* Ceili dances: danced in a variety of formations and often progressive – a relatively simple pattern is repeated as dancers move through the group, or square set as above.

What do I need for class?
First … you do NOT need a partner!
Wear comfortable clothes – you will be pretty active in class.
We recommend comfortable shoes with smooth soles (leather/synthetic) that will stay securely on your feet – this allows for smooth movement around the floor, especially when swinging.
(Tennis/athletic shoes are not recommended – they tend to stick instead of slide.)
Water is provided.

What does it cost?
$55 We offer 3 seasons/year: Fall (Sept-Dec), Spring (Jan-May) and Summer (June-Aug), (approx. 10-15 classes/season); classes cancelled in case of inclement weather are not rescheduled. $55 payment can be made during class in cash or by check (payable to GWCC).

In addition, we invite a $5 donation (at the door) for a monthly mini-ceili held on the 3rd Thursday of each month (in lieu of the 8pm class). Attendance at mini-ceilis is optional, but encouraged.

What is a mini-ceili?
Our monthly mini-ceili on the 3rd Thursday of the month is a casual opportunity for all students to practice what they’ve learned and have fun! Dances include favorite standards and dances being learned in class.

The 7pm class is held as usual; then, starting at 8pm, several musicians from the local community play for us as we dance until 10pm — we ask for a $5 donation/person to compensate the musicians. We also share snacks/refreshments potluck style. Participation is optional, and mini-ceilis are open to anyone — bring your friends!

Still have questions?
Please feel free to e-mail instructor Ann Marie Breheny at

copyright - 2022 Greater Washington Ceili Club