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Learn to dance | Canadian Barn Dance

This week we talk you through another great couples dance. This time with a particular shout out to the Canadians!

The Setup

For this dance, you should arrive on to the dance floor in couples. Come on to the floor holding inside hands with your partner (the guys right and the girls left hand). Everyone forms a big circle of couples facing anti-clockwise round the room. So remember, in each couple, traditionally the man is on the inside of the circle and the woman on the outside.

Canadian Barn Dance! At the Ceilidh Club, Baden Powell House, South Kensington

The Dance

The dance starts with both of you walking forward for 4 beats (start walking with your outside leg, which should be the guy's left and the lady's right). On the 4th beat do a little kick. Now immediately walk backwards to where you started for another 4 beats and this time finish with a little hop (you should be on your outside leg at this point).

Now when placing the foot down again start walking for 4 beats directly away from your parter and therefore either into the middle of the dance floor (if you're the guy) or towards the outside of the dance floor (if you're the lady). On the 4th beat clap before turning back towards your partner and walking back to them for a further 4 beats.

At this point you should be facing your partner and you should take hold of both of your partners hands. Now, side step to the guys left (ladies right, i.e. anti-clockwise round the room) for 4 beats, then side step back to the guys right (ladies left, i.e. clockwise around the room) for 4 beats.

You finish the dance by dancing around together for a final 8 beats, in anti-clockwise direction round the room. (Technically you're doing whats called a polka at this point).

Then you are back to the start of the dance! Join inside hands with your partner and get ready to start again....

Visualise it

As always, its easiest to learn by watching. Here's a video from one of our regular gigs at the ceilidh club, in Camden. Why not come along and learn with us sometime. All dances are demonstrated, talked and walked through before they start!

Also, there is a great variation to this dance that gives you an opportunity to take turns dancing with everyone in the room! To do this, during the second stage of the dance, when you walk away from your partner for 4 beats and clap, instead of returning to them you head back to the next new partner you can see on your left.

Here's another clip showing this variation of the dance:

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