Have you ever wondered why folk dances always
come from another country? Can you even name a Canadian dance?
Never fear, most Canadians can’t, a clear case of being
too close to something to see it. When you began to look
you’ll be discover that there are in fact many different
dance traditions that are distinctly Canadian. Here are a
few places to start:
1. Aboriginal Dance
There is a whole world
to be explored here. Contact any Aboriginal cultural organization
in your area.
2. Prairie Wedding Dance
Anyone who has every lived on the Canadian
prairies knows what I’m talking about. At every wedding you will experience
a repertoire of dances that reflects the ethnic origins of
the original settlers: Czech, Polish, German, Scandinavian,
Ukrainian. These include the Polka, Waltz, Two-step, Foxtrot,
Schottische, Heel-toe polka, French Minuet, Seven Step, and
everyone’s favourite, the Butterfly. In some places
you can add Square Dances, the Hop Polka, Virginia Reel,
Kolomeike, and the Czech polka. See Step
Lively 2: Canadian Dance Favourites.
3. History of Step
Dancing in Canada http://www.fiddle.on.ca/fiddle/valley.htm
4. Quadrille Tradition
in Eastern Canada,
including Quebec and the Maritime provinces. See Simone Voyer’s wonderful
book “La Danse traditionelle dans l’est du Canada”.
5. Société Pour la Promotion de la Dance Traditionelle
6. Maritimes – each of the eastern provinces has a
distinct traditional dance style.
Cape Breton http://www.celtic-colours.com/culture.html
7. Metis Dance
8. Old Time Square Dancing
(different from modern square dancing)