Dance unites us.

The Welcoming Project was created as a way to bring people from all different cultures, backgrounds and experiences together. Through dance, we get to see, share and celebrate our common humanity.

About The Project

The Welcoming Project is a community dance initiative led by Catherine Young that brings people from different cultures, backgrounds and experiences together to promote integration and social cohesion.

The project began in Kerry in 2016, initially conceived as a means to introduce and welcome people living in Direct Provision to the local community. The project now involves migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, those local and those new to Ireland. It has had people from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe taking part. The mix of people is vital to the project as we create and integrate a dance family, casting aside prejudices and misconceptions and moving towards empathy and understanding.

We are proud that The Welcoming Project has lived up to its name and has established itself as a friendly, safe space where people come together to share and celebrate their cultures through dance. Recognised for its impact, The Welcoming Project has become a sought after experience with projects taking place in counties across Ireland.

To date, The Welcoming Project has mounted three acclaimed full length works: Welcoming the Stranger (2016), It takes a Village (2017) and Le Chéile (2019) with local participants working alongside some of Ireland’s finest dance artists and musicians. These productions have toured nationally and internationally as well as featuring as part of national celebrations.

In 2018, The Welcoming Project expanded to introduce a new and even more inclusive programme, Céilí Afro Dabke. In Ireland’s first world music céilí, everyone is invited to join in the dance.

If you are interested in developing The Welcoming Project in your area, please contact us at

Dancers with hands in the air

Small group of dancers clapping