Learn Irish Social Dance!
2566 Telegraph (at The Works)
Students: Free with ID
Facebook Event Page
Frequently asked questions…
‘Ceili’? What’s that?
‘Ceili’ is an Irish-language word that means social gathering or dance party.
How do you pronounce ‘ceili’?
What is ceili dance like? Is it like Riverdance?
Ceili is fun partner dancing, accessible immediately to virtually everyone. In contrast, Riverdance performs more athletic “step dancing” for the stage. While ceili dance can also be fun to watch, we invite you to join the party on the dance floor.
Why ceili dance?
It’s a fun way to get exercise, enjoy Irish music, explore Irish culture, meet new people, try a new form of dance.
We’re near UC Berkeley, so students are well represented. Also folks from the wider community.
I’ve never done this before. Will I feel comfortable?
Classes are tailored for complete beginners, and we welcome newcomers. All our dances are taught right before we dance them.
What will I learn?
We cover basics to help you start dancing quickly. You’ll learn how to step, turn, swing your partner, and fun figures like chains, stars, etc. Figures weave together to make beautiful pattern dances: jigs, reels, hornpipes, and polkas. You’ll also learn dances from related traditions like Waltz, English, and Scottish ceilidh. All dances are taught, so even if you’re new to dance you can have a great time.
What dances do we do?
Some favorites include The Haymaker’s Jig, Fairy Reel, Siege of Carrick, and many more.
What should I wear?
Wear comfortable, supportive, secure shoes (avoid flip-flops or high heels). Dancing can be aerobic, so plan on comfortable layers that breathe.
Instructor Bio: Beyond ceili, Alex has also taught Scottish Country, English Country, and Vintage Ballroom Dance in venues as varied as folk festivals, pubs, studios, weddings, and formal balls. Alex also teaches improv acting.