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Irish Set Dancing in Milwaukee

Social Dancing for Adults

Midwinter Set Dance Weekend: February 24 - 26, 2017
Milwaukee's premiere set dance event returns, featuring instructors and musicians of international renown.
Click here for Registration form & complete info

FIND US ON FACEBOOK: SetDance Milwaukee

Weekly Dancing
Continues at
O'Donoghue's Irish Pub
Open Dancing 7:00 p.m.
(7:30 when classes in session)


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no space after "Set" and one space after "Dance")

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 Set Dance Classes

We offer several series of classes during the year, typically in an 6-week format. This series is intended to get you started in set dancing with classes tailored for newcomers.

Informal classes are being held now, each Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM. Come see us at O'Donoghue's to get started in Irish Set Dance.

Our prior series was a great success and was thoroughly enjoyed by the new students and the more experienced dancers helping out alike.

Our next set of classes will begin Wednesday, September 14, 2016, and run for six weeks. The cost is $35 for the entire series.

Class size is limited, so please pre-register.


The classes are held at O'Donoghue's, at 6:30 PM. Admission to the open dance session that follows is included. That's not $35 per class, the cost is for the entire series. Sorry, no pro-rata available.

Following each class, open dancing will begin at about 7:30 p.m. (7:00 p.m. when no classes are in session) Class participants are encouraged to join in the dancing (at no extra charge) throughout the evening. The open dancing without the formality of the class provides additional valuable insights into Irish dancing in a social setting and can be very helpful to the beginner.

 Weekly Dancing -- at O'Donoghue's

This continues a long tradition of weekly dancing which began at Nash's Irish Castle in 1991. Nash's, alas, is no more, but this web page survives for now.

Important: See the note below about parking.

Set dancing is held year-round at O'Donoghue's Irish Pub in Elm Grove.

Held on Wednesday evenings, dancing begins at 7:00 PM, (7:30 if classes are in session.)

We ask for a free-will offering of five dollars per person each week to offset our rental costs. This is waived for paid class participants.

Note: parking behind the old Elm Grove Inn (now the Silver Spur) is no longer permitted. You can be ticketed if you park there. Please park on street or in lot behind the Town Bank, across the street and a little East of O'Donoghue's. It's on the North side of Watertown Plank Road, East of the Dry Cleaning business, at 13150 Watertown Plank Road. We may park there any Wednesday, after 5:30 PM. Set dancing is held year-round at O'Donoghue's Irish Pub in Elm Grove.

Periodic e-mail updates are sent throughout the year. See Contacts to be added to our list.

 Monthly Dances with Live Music

Regular dances are held on the fourth Saturday of the month (exceptions below) at the ICHC. Come at 7:00 p.m. to learn the Set of the Month. Dance to live music from 8:00 p.m. until 11:00. $10.00 free will offering requested. Tea and snacks are provided. Beer and soda are sold to benefit the ICHC. Please bring a treat to share if you can.

Please Note: There will not be a dance every month; those listed below are the only montly dances we will hold. Check back here and on Facebook for updates.

Event Music  Featured Set
February 24-26 Annual Midwinter Set Dance Weekend Áthas / Ceoltóirí Chicago / Capitol Ceili Band (see below)
April 29 (not 4/22!) Monthly dance at ICHC t.b.a. Lusmagh Set
June 24 Monthly dance at ICHC t.b.a. Ballycommon
July 22 Monthly dance at ICHC t.b.a. South Galway
August 17-20 See you at Irish Fest! Bushels of bands Scores of sets- Info Here
No Late Night Setdance, this event has been cancelled.
September 23 Monthly dance at ICHC t.b.a. Paris
November 25 Monthly dance at ICHC t.b.a. Birr Set

 Midwinter Set Dance Weekend --  February 24 - 26, 2017 

The Midwinter Set Dance Weekend 2016 was a great sucess! And we're excited to tell you that this premiere event is back again for 2017.
Make plans to attend the Sixteenth Annual Milwaukee Midwinter Set Dance Weekend, with expert instruction from Kevin Monaghan. Learn from a master!

The weekend features great bands.

Midwinter Set Dance Weekend 2017 Logo

Music for the Midwinter Weekend provided by:

  • Friday 8:00pm - 11:00pm: Áthas
  • Saturday 8:00pm - midnight: Ceoltóirí Chicago
  • Sunday 2-4pm: Capitol Ceili Band
It all gets started Friday, February 26 at 7:00pm, with registration and reception.

For complete information and registration form, click here to download the flyer.

  • $95 Early Bird Weekend Pass- registrations and fees postmarked on or before February 6, 2015
  • $105 Weekend Pass- registration and fees postmarked after February 6, 2015
  • $20 Individual céilís ($10 for Sunday céilí)
  • $45 Saturday workshops only (includes lunch)
  • $25 Sunday brunch / workshop / céilí
Prices on individual events are subject to change

 Other Irish Dancing

The Irish Cultural and Heritage Center hosts a variety of celtic events, including Ceili dances most first Fridays and third Saturdays of the month. Ceili dance info.

Irish Dancing in the Chicago area: Irish Dance Chicago.


The Irish Cultural and Heritage Center (ICHC) is at 2133 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee (just west of Marquette U.). Click for map. Park free in lots off 23rd St. south of Wisconsin Ave. Westbound: take I-94 west to 25th St. Exit, Go north on 25th Street to Wisconsin Avenue. Then right (east) to 23rd Street.  Eastbound: take I-94 east to 35th St. exit, go north (left) to Wisconsin Ave., east to 23rd St. Parking is available in lots south (and slightly West) of the center. Take 23rd St. south to alley to enter.

O'Donoghue's Irish Pub is at 13225 Watertown Plank Road in Elm Grove. Click for map. If you are coming from the west, O'Donoghue's is less than two miles east of Brookfield Square (I-94). Exit I-94 and go north the next road after Bluemound Road (US 18). This is Watertown Plank Road. Then turn right and after you cross the RR tracks, look for the pub on the right just past the Elm Grove Inn.
Coming from the East: If you are going west on I-94 or I-894 take US 45 north (at the zoo interchange) to the Watertown Plank Road exit. Then go two miles west (left) on Watertown Plank. When you see a church just ahead, veer left and look for the pub on your left.

Parking is available on nearby streets and lots. Please use these rather than the lot adjacent to the pub.


Here are the web sites of some of the bands and musicians that have played for us at our dances. Please support your local musicians!

Áthas and also this link too. Ceol Caírde
Frogwater Rírá Public House Ceili Band
Capitol Ceili Band Myserk Twin Cities Ceili Band

 Contact Us

Below, you should see four scrolling graphic images containing email addresses and phone numbers for contacting us.
General Info:
Classes: maintains a low-volume mailing list to keep the set dance community informed of our events and activities.
To be added to (or removed from) the e-mail list please send a message to the address below. Indicate what address you'd like to add, or remove.
Please also mention if you'd like to be on our local (weekly dances, etc), regional (Monthly dances and larger events), or national (Our largest events, which tend to interest people further away from Milwaukee) list.
Email list:

We apologize for the obfuscated contact information above. We have been inundated with spam and drastic measures were required.

 About The Milwaukee Set Dance Club

The Milwaukee Set Dance Club is an unincorporated non-profit association as defined in Chapter 184 of the Statutes of the State of Wisconsin.

 Other Celtic Culture On the Web

General set dance information world-wide is on the Web at

Irishfest events listing has listings of music, dance and culture outside of Irishfest itself.

The Shamrock Club has a comprehensive listing of events in Milwaukee, with links to calendars for events across Wisconsin and the Midwest.

Short Wikipedia article on set dance.

Updated on 2017-01-18