Kerry Writers’ Museum hosts a varied programme of cultural events on a year round basis.  Events are regularly updated as they occur and appear on our home page.

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Set Ceilí Dance

January 5 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Set Ceilí Dance

Dust off your dancing shoes for a Set Ceilí Dance at Kerry Writers’ Museum on Sunday January 5th 2020 from 3 to 6 pm. Sets will be called by Athea dance master Timmy Woulfe and music is by Donie Nolan. Tickets – €10 available at the door. Refreshments served.

What is a Set Ceilí Dance

A Set Ceilí Dance is a form of social dancing popular in Ireland for over 150 years. Sets are danced by four couples in a square. They and usually consist of three to six figures with a short pause between each. They are descended from the French quadrilles, brought to Ireland by the British army in the 19th century. Irish dancers adapted the figures to their own music and steps to form dances with great drive and enjoyment. After a period of decline in the 20th century, sets are very popular today in Ireland and in Irish communities throughout the world.

An excellent book describing the history of the set ceilí dance is Toss the Feathers by Pat Murphy, published by Mercier Press. For example, it describes the steps, terminology and 64 of the most popular set ceilí dances. If you want to learn how to set dance this is the book for you. Although nothing beats actually participating in a set ceilí.

Note that set dancing is not the same as step dancing. Step dancing is the competitive solo form of Irish dancing now very popular because of Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. If you want to dance like Michael Flatley, this Set Ceilí Dance is not going to help. On the other hand, if you’re looking for good music, fun and friends resulting in the kind of joy you probably haven’t experienced since childhood, come along and enjoy the fun.


January 5
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Kerry Writers’ Museum
24 The Square
Listowel, Co. Kerry Ireland
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