What's a ceili?
Ceili (pronounced KAY-lee)
is the Irish word for a party or social gathering
where you'll find good music, good food,
and good craic (pronounced crak)--an Irish term
for conversation, fun, and good times!
A ceili dance is a type of folk dance that originated hundreds of years ago
in Ireland. You may have seen ceili dancing at Irish festivals in the U.S.
Unlike Irish step dancing, also popular at festivals,
ceili dancing requires no special costume or rigorous training.
It's non-competitive and can be done by people of all ages.
It's also good exercise and lots of fun!
The Francis O'Neill Club holds a ceili
(a social gathering where dancing and fun are the focus)
nearly every Friday year-round!
We do mostly ceili dances, but also a few set dances, at each ceili.
(Set dances are typically lengthier and more complex
than ceili dances, but the basic steps and figures are similar.)
See our Weekly Dances page for details.
New to Irish dancing?
Join us at our weekly ceili practices.
We'll help you learn the basics.
Bring a partner, or just bring yourself--we'll provide partners!
Special shoes and/or clothes are not necessary,
but here are some suggestions:
1. Wear comfortable shoes with leather soles,
if possible, that make it easy for your feet
to slide across the floor. Many women
find that a small heel works well.
2. Dress for warm weather or wear layers!
3. Bring a water bottle if you have one.
We provide water and small paper or styrofoam cups,
but many people find it convenient
to bring a larger container.
For a taste of a traditional Irish ceili, come to a Francis O'Neill
ceili mor, held on the first Friday of most months.
We offer free pre-ceili dance instruction for an hour before the ceili begins.
Then, from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. you can watch the dancing,
listen to the music, and even join in the fun . . .
or retire to the nearby Fifth Province Pub for a pint!