I’d Rather Be Dancing French Canadian Folk Dances


The dances of Québec are a lot of fun!

One of the Phoenix International Folk Dancers’ favorite folk dances is La Bastringue. It’s a mixer, a couples’ dance, and you get a new partner at each repetition. Sometimes your partner is very enthusiastic and you do the turns very, very fast:

When I was teaching elementary general music, one of the dances popular with the first graders was Le Salut, a French Canadian dance that requires you to listen to the music carefully and respond to the cues as the tempo changes and pauses:

Look at the fancy footwork in C’est une jeune mariée:

I found the name of this dance in a list of Québec folk dances: La Fée des Dents, “The Tooth Fairy.” It looks to me like it has a lot of Irish influence:

La Valse de Cerfs Volants (the waltz of the flying kites) is choreographed to music that was  composed in memory of a kite maker. It’s a graceful dance that requires a scarf in each hand:

Set de Fortierville is another mixer:

Le Capitaine Trompeur is a couples dance with a single dancer, the capitaine, in the center. The capitaine dances solo until a certain point when he/she is allowed to select a partner. The new partner’s former partner is now the new capitaine, and the dance continues:

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

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