The Great Canadian Square Dance


The Great Canadian Square Dance History – Swing your partner and do-si-do

Square dances were first documented in 17th-century in England, but were also quite common in France. The square dance came to North America with the European settlers that brought both, folk and popular dance traditions with them. Over on the continent, meanwhile, 18th-century French couples were arranging themselves in squares for social dances such as the quadrille and the cotillion. A number of the terms used in modern square dancing come from France, including “promenade,” and the indispensable “do-si-do”—a corruption of “dos-à-dos,” meaning “back-to-back.”  

Students’ workshop

During this 45 minute workshop, students will enrich their culture and learn what entertainment was in 18th-century. Gilbert, Le Bûcheron, will have your students experience the amazing Rendez-Vous celebration just like in the old days.




Exposure and engagement in the workshop process

This is a dance that allows most every student an opportunity to express themselves in a comfortable, safe environment. Face the challenges and let yourself make all the necessary mistakes in order to accelerate your learning and experience a cultural phenomenon which will stand the test of time. Following the workshop is a discussion regarding attitudes, teamwork, leadership and coach-ability.


  • Bow to your partners
  • Circle left, circle right
  • Do si do, swing left, swing right
  • Grand Chain
  • Forward and back
  • Alemande left
  • Heads and sides forward and back
  • Star family
  • Promenade
  • Figure 8
  • Dip and Dive
  • Open the circle and end

Debrief Issues:

  • Team work
  • Attitude
  • Comfort Zone
  • Learning from mistakes
  • Social circles


  1. crystal sheren

    The teaching was really well organized and simple enough that the students were able to catch on quickly. The dances looked really great!
    Thanks for coming in.

  2. Patsy Ho

    The chilren enjoyed the dance. It was great how it all came together. The children loved performing throughly enjoyed your performance.

  3. Laurie Renton

    Merci beaucoup! Thank you so much for coming to our school and teaching us to square dance, play the spoons, make dancing men and teaching us some French! We loved every second of it!!! The Cabane a Sucre was a S-W-E-E-T touch!!! We WISH that you could come back on MONDAY!

    The Grade Threes in Room 1 Battalion Park School(with a little help from their teacher!) 🙂

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