Canadian stepdance, also known as Maritimes stepdance, is a unique style of stepdance in Canada, stemming from European origins including France, Scotland and Ireland. Canadian stepdancing involves fast dancing to fiddle music using shoes with taps designed to accentuate the dancer’s rhythmical, drumming foot movements. Dancers generally require little dance space to perform their routines. Some styles of Canadian stepdancing include upper-body postures that are relatively relaxed compared to older stepdance styles, allowing occasional arm movements that flow with the rhythm of the dance, or hands on hips.
Canadian stepdance Wikipedia
There are several different stepdances, which are named after the musical tempos that they are danced to. A reel, the most popular step dance, is played in 4/4 time, and is fun, fast and lively. A jig, also quite popular, is played in 6/8 time and sounds like an energetic march. The clog is slower, danced at 2/4 time, and is considered to be a more graceful dance. Other stepdances include the hornpipe, strathspey, two-step, and polka.
There are three different Canadian stepdance styles originating from different regions across Canada. Cape Breton Style is unique to the Cape Breton region of Nova Scotia, and is danced with straight arms, stiff upper bodies, and quick, repetitive footwork. French Canadian Style originates from Quebec, and involves intricate footwork with arms relaxed but mostly immobile. Ottawa Valley Style, deriving from Ottawa, features variable, aggressive steps danced high off the floor, and flowing arm movements.