Glossary of Irish dance - Helpful guide to those new to Irish dancingThere are 36 entries in this glossary.
|Ceili (dances & gatherings) (pronounced||
Ceili dances were derived from group set dances and French quadrilles, but were set to Irish music. They appear to have evolved with the help of the Irish dance masters, many from County Kerry. Nationalism, combined with the Handbook of Irish Dances published in 1902, led to standardisation of Ceili dances. Recording the descriptions of these dances occurred through the 1930s. For example, the Sweets of May and A Trip to the Cottage were discovered in South Armagh, being known only to a group of elderly men and women. Luckily, many ceili dances were recorded before being lost in history. Sometimes Ceili dancing is referred to as figure dancing.
A "ceili" is a gathering for music and dance. The Gaelic League sponsored the first Irish ceili in 1897. They borrowed the idea from the Scots and a precedent was set that a piper opened the ceili. Because the ceili dance revival was not widespread at that time, the dances at the first Irish ceili consisted of group set dances and French quadrilles!