Erne Set Dancing Club is proud to announce that their set dancing classes are now in full swing at the following venues and dates in County Fermanagh:
Monday’s: 8 – 10pm Donagh Community Centre, Donagh.
Thursday’s 8 – 10pm St. McArtans Church Hall, Enniskillen.
(Opposite the library)
Dancers of all levels are welcome / including beginners
*(Please wear leather soled shoes)
Set dancing, sometimes called "country sets", are a popular form of folk dancing in Ireland. Set dances are based on quadrilles. The latter were court dances which were transformed by the Irish into a unique folk dance of the Irish rural communities. Promotion of Céilí dance during the 1930s and 1940s, and the rise of Rock and Roll in the 1950s caused the popularity of set dancing to fade. However, in the 1980s, a revival started and many sets that have not been done for forty years or more are being recovered and danced again.
To start, four couples are arranged in a square to dance with each couple being in the middle of the sides of the square. Both the eight dancers in the group and the dance itself are called a "set". The dance is a sequence of several dance figures, which usually have a common theme or structure. The figures usually begin and end with repeated parts that everyone dances, and then during the figure each couple or pair of couples will dance separately. In the set, the couple with their backs to the band are traditionally named "First Tops" with "Second Tops" facing them. The couple on First Tops left hand side is called "First Sides" with "Second Sides" facing. Usually the First Tops are the first to dance, with some sets having First Sides and then Second Tops going next and some having Second Tops and then the First Sides. Second Sides is almost always the last couple to dance, and is therefore a good place for beginners to start, as they get more time to watch the demonstrations of the figure that the other couples give.
Set dances from a particular region usually have similar elements. For instance, sets from the Connemara region (such as the Connemara Reel Set, the South Galway Reel Set and the Claddagh Set) have the First Sides on the right of the First Tops, and sets from the Clare region often involve footwork similar to Irish competitive Stepdance or traditional freeform Sean-nós dance (which emphasises a "battering" step).
Set dance differs from square dance and round dance in that it does not require a caller: the sequence of figures is predefined by the name of the set. In places with a large community of set dancers, like Ireland or New York, it is usual for dances to be uncalled - that is, done with no calling because most dancers already know the instructions for the common sets. However, at venues with larger numbers of occasional dancers, a caller is often present to give instructions as the dance progresses, for those people who are not yet familiar with the set.
The Erne Set Dancing Club aims to continue to revive this age old tradition and currently set dancing has been very active in Fermanagh since Fermanagh District Council’s £500,000 Community Arts based Art of Regeneration Programme took place during 2006 – 2010. Since this period the Set dancing club have achieved independent status + funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s small grants programme for over £6,000 to continue to facilitate set dancing in County Fermanagh. The Erne Set Dancers have also introduced a major set dancing ceilidh weekend at Mahons Hotel, Irvinestown in May 2011.
If you would like to learn how to set dance then come + join us to‘celebrate’ this unique and great tradition that’s both exciting energetic and sure to get you into swingin into shape! Men and women are both welcome / suitable for aged 16+
Classes are £4 weekly
Contact details: Erne Set Dancing Club 07968739816 or email: