Canadian Barn Dance

The Canadian Barn Dance is the first Ceilidh dance I learned in Scotland. There were about fifty Americans in a room with Highland dancers from Stirling. They gave us a splendid demonstration of their dances, and then they did what I was hoping they would: they invited us up to dance.

Nobody sat out.

They first taught us the basics of some Highland steps, but then they had us pair off for the Canadian Barn dance.

“One, two, three, hop, back, two, three, hop….”

It was a lovely mess, with a little too many people that weren’t used to needing rhythm to dance, and everyone wanting to have fun and only worried about getting it sort of right.

That’s why I chose the video above, where you can see people out of step and unsure what’s going on: when I think of the Canadian Barn Dance, that’s what comes to mind. The instruction video below ends with a demonstration by people that know very well what they’re doing, though, so if you want to see a good one, check that out or head on over to Youtube.

One reason I like this dance is that it’s one that can be done with two people in a room, so if want to learn Ceilidh dances but don’t have a large group of people with the same desire, you just need to find one other person and give it a go.


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