Activity 138/150

Folk/Cultural Dances

Folk/cultural dancing is the traditional dance associated with a particular people or culture.

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History
Folk and cultural dancing is, in some respect, history itself. The folk dance reflects the life and history of a culture.

Where
Folk dancing can be performed anywhere – in the home, at church, at a cultural event or as part of a school festival. Like other forms of dance, there are very few limitations on where you can enjoy the activity.

How to play
Given Canada’s amazing immigrant population folk dancing from many different cultures is offered as classes across the country. Often offered through a cultural group, a church or a local community centre, folk dancing is taught to the young and old alike. To get started just pick the style of dance you want to learn, and find a local group, or even download a Youtube video and start dancing! Examples include: Irish dancing, Polish, Czech, Ukrainian, South Asian, highland, Scottish, clogging, Polynesian, Indigenous, line and square dancing. 

A great way to learn a little bit about the dance culture of Indigenous peoples in Canada would be to attend a public Powwow. Powwows are social gatherings, and celebrations of Indigenous music and dance cultures. Many Powwows feature a dancing competition. They are held in many regions of Canada, but are especially common in the Prairies. It is important to understand the etiquette that is expected when you attend a Powwow – you should make an effort to learn the expectations for respectful behaviour. They often vary from region to region.  

Suggested equipment
- Comfortable clothing
- Other equipment will depend on the style of folk dancing

Adaptations
Physical activity in Canada includes everyone, regardless of any ability or circumstance. Some sports and activities may, however, require a few adaptations to make them as accessible as possible. Below you’ll find recommendations and suggestions on how to accommodate individuals that may have limitations or different needs. With a positive attitude and a little ingenuity, any activity can be made enjoyable for all.

Sensory

There are so many types of folk/cultural dances to choose from so it becomes a question of personal preference. Everyone can dance whether it is in pairs, seated, or alone. Dancing is fun for everyone. Since dance has to do with an expression of the self, it really is about moving as much as you can. For more information and to see incredible dance successes contact Propeller Dance.

Learning/Cognitive Disabilities

There are so many types of folk/cultural dances to choose from so it becomes a question of personal preference. Everyone can dance whether it is in pairs, seated, or alone. Dancing is fun for everyone. Since dance has to do with an expression of the self, it really is about moving as much as you can. For more information and to see incredible dance successes contact Propeller Dance.

Mobility Limitation

There are so many types of folk/cultural dances to choose from so it becomes a question of personal preference. Everyone can dance whether it is in pairs, seated, or alone. Dancing is fun for everyone. Since dance has to do with an expression of the self, it really is about moving as much as you can. For more information and to see incredible dance successes contact Propeller Dance.

Benefits of Folk/Cultural Dances

The Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines outline the amount and type of physical activity you need at every age and stage of life. And, for the first time, the new 24-hour Movement Guidelines for Children & Youth also include sleep. Following the guidelines will help reduce the risk of chronic disease, lead to a more focused mind, a stronger, fitter body, and all in all, a more enjoyable life.

See Benefits and Guidelines

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Michelle Murray
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