Round Dance


The University of Alberta Annual Round Dance brings together children, friends, families, youth and Elders of our community to share stories, catch up on news, break bannock, and share some tea. It is a time to honour traditions and memories of our ancestors.

Round Dance 2020

Saturday, January 25, 2020
7:00–11:00 p.m.
Van Vliet Complex (Main Gym, U of A North Campus).

Singers and drummers: MC: Adrian Lachance and Dion Tootoosis
Stickman: Lyle Tootoosis and Colin Raine
Floorman: Dale Alexis

Volunteer

About the Round Dance Ceremony

The Round Dance ceremony illustrates the Cree philosophy of death and its relationship between us and Spirits. The Northern Lights are said to be our relations that have passed on. The Elders say that the people that have passed on come to dance with us at the Round Dance; in that respect, our relatives are always here with us. In this dance, people move like the Northern Lights, in an up and down motion as they dance around the drum.

We join hands in a circle and dance clockwise with the drum and singers sitting in the middle. The beat of the drum is like the heartbeat of the community and all members move as one. The Round Dance was a healing ceremony that became a social dance for our people and a dance that is held in the winter season. From the first tuning of the hand drums (by way of fire) to the fun of meeting old friends and making new, a Round Dance is for everyone, children, friends, families, youth and Elders. This is a time to swap stories, catch up on the latest news, break bannock, and share some tea. And even better, to hear both the old and new songs sung by your favourite singers.

It's a time to honour traditions and memories of our ancestors dancing around their starry campfires, flickering against the dark blanket of the night sky.

Round Dance 101: What to know before your first Round Dance

Who can come to Round Dance?
Everyone is welcome! Bring your family and friends, from little ones to older ones. It's a great community gathering for all!
Is there a schedule of activities
Round Dance starts at 7:00 p.m., but you are welcome to come anytime during the evening and stay as long as you wish!
What can I expect at a Round Dance?
Lots of drumming, singing and dancing! You do not need to know how to round dance to attend, but you are more than welcome to observe for a while before going with the flow and joining hands in the circle.
What should I wear?
Traditionally, women wear long skits to Round Dance, but we invite you to come as you are and wear whatever you feel comfortable in.
What are the steps at a round dance?

What the Round Dance 101 video for a quick demonstration of the steps.

Can I download the poster to share with my community?
Absolutely! The PDF will be uploaded on this web page when it is available.

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