Marian Rose's Community Dance Project

Why Community Dance?

Throughout the history of the new world and indeed for eons before that, dancing was a natural and regular part of social life. Around the world in communities large and small people gathered together with a few musicians to socialize, celebrate, mourn, let off steam, and look for romance. In city dance halls and farmers’ barns, people danced at weddings, socials and school functions, and generations of children learned how to dance by imitating their parents before drifting off to sleep under a bench as the festivities continued.

Although this style of dancing was popular throughout Canada for centuries, it has been on the decline for the past few decades, squeezed out by the seduction of television, computers and consumer entertainment. Fortunately the pendulum is now swinging the other direction – people are beginning to realize what we have lost, and are thirsting for such opportunities again.

In the early 1990’s, the BC Council for Families sponsored a series of forums in communities across BC to find out what was being done to support families, and what was missing – what needed to be done. All of the communities visited came up with similar suggestions, and every one of them said that they needed more opportunities for active recreation that is non-alcoholic, multigenerational and participatory. Now doesn’t this just make you think of an old-time community dance?


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