Museum of Irish Dance 

JIG the story of Irish Dance

Officially opened in April 2012, the Museum of Irish Dance Dublin tells the story of Irish Dancing from the Dance Masters of old to today's competitive dance world. The exhibits aim to provide a real insight into the history of Irish Dance, its costumes, traditions and some of the salient personalities that have had a profound impact on Irish Dancing both here and abroad.

Irish Dancing Costumes

View modern & traditional Irish Dancing Costumes at the Dublin Museum of Irish Dance

The dance costumes worn today owe their origins to the Gaelic revival and the foundation of the Gaelic League in 1893.

They adopted kilts for the men and long bawneen dresses with shawls for the women.

For female dancers the Colleen Bawn / hooded cloak became outdated in or around 1915 and was replaced by a type of a Gaelic costume which identified those with the Gaelic revival.

The old style of Gaelic shawl (Brath) attached at the two shoulders replaced the hooded cloak .


Dance Masters

Learn about Irish Dancing Masters from 18th Century Ireland

The Dancing Master was a common figure in Ireland in the middle of the 18th Century.

The Dance master travelled throughout the country with his piper or fiddler (who was generally blind) and was paid to teach the local children.

The Dancing master generally stayed in an area for c. six weeks.

The Dancing Master written by Carleton about 1835 stated ; “Like most persons of his professions, the Dancing Master was generally a bachelor, having no fixed residence, but travelled from house to house, within a radius of 20 miles."

Featured Personalities

Our Dublin Museum of Irish Dance features famous Irish Dancing personalities

John Culliane

Today John is life chair of the Irish Dancing Commission.

He has written many books including 'History of Irish Dancing', 'Irish Dancing Costumes', 'History of Ceili Dancing'.

He is Ireland's leading historian and archivist of Irish Dancing.

His knowledge and store is worlds re known and he travels the world lecturing and adjudicating at Feises.


Admission to our Museum is free of charge. 

We are currently assembling our collection of dresses and memorabilia, however we will continue to seek out rare and significant items to add to our collection if you have or know someone who has something that can add to our museums we would live to hear from you and we can be contacted at


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