The Greater Washington Ceili Club (GWCC) is a non-profit organization, organized and incorporated in 1985, to promote traditional Celtic dance, music, and culture. The club sponsors, supports, and encourages ceilis, concerts, and other programs for the enjoyment of its members and the community at large. You are invited to become a member, and more fully participate in the following GWCC activities.
What We Do
- We provide 9 monthly dances (ceilis), including our New Year’s event. Our monthly dances always feature live music from one of the many top bands in the Baltimore / Washington area. Even if you don’t dance, for the price of admission and a dish, you can share an outstanding potluck dinner and some excellent traditional Irish music.
- We co-sponsor a full, year-round program of dance instruction for adults, focused on traditional Irish set dances. Accommodating new dancers and challenging the experienced, our classes provide solid instruction in a non-intimidating atmosphere. We also invite all dancers to join us for a mini-ceili once each month. It’s a chance to dance to live music and highlight some of the dances learned in class.
- Over thirty years ago, we created our annual Fall Fling Weekend (originally the Cape May Dance Weekend). Now in Rehoboth Beach, DE, this event continues to be recognized as one of the most intensive weekends of set dancing in the USA. It brings premier dance instructors from Ireland for a total of 7 hours of dance workshops and 8 hours of ceili dancing with people from all over.
- In 2004 we added our Spring Fling Weekend to our dance calendar. This is in Shepherdstown, WV with very capable local instructor and top local musicians. There are two ceilis and two dance workshops.
- Occasionally we have been able to upgrade a regular dance class or create a pop-up mini-workshop with guest instructors like Patrick O’Dea, Timmy McCarthy, and others when they pass through the local metro area.
- We sponsor students of Irish music to study/compete in Ireland through our Frankie Kennedy Memorial Scholarship Program and Irish Cultural Experience Travel Grants. Also, our dance classes have donated to support the community work of the Frost School and the Melvin J Bermin Academy, where we have held our classes in the past.
- Our dancers perform regularly at the Southern Maryland Celtic Festival and the CCE Irish Festival. We have also danced at the Potomac Celtic Festival, Oysterfest, and the Dublin (Ohio) Irish Festival. As much as we enjoy the dancing ourselves, we also enjoy the opportunity to share the thrill with their crowds, and we include a lot of audience participation in our performances. We are dedicated to promoting the appreciation of traditional Irish music and dancing
- We also perform for area seniors throughout the year. We find it is as rewarding for us as it is entertaining for them. If you are interested in scheduling a performance/event please contact us for more details.
- Finally, there’s our monthly newsletter In Step, which provides listings of many more Irish events in the area; and this GWCC website, along with a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
- The GWCC is governed by the elected Officers and Board of Directors. Our Annual General Membership Meeting is usually held preceding the October monthly ceili, at the Cherry Hill Conference Center.
As a 501.c.3 charitable organization, we welcome your contributions to support and promote our activities.
Mail any donation to:
Greater Washington Ceili Club
PO Box 1703
Silver Spring, MD 20915-1703
or contact us at