Tag Archives: step dancing

Dueling Shoes and Fiddles and Step Dancing Contest July 15 1974

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Dueling Shoes and Fiddles and Step Dancing Contest July 15 1974

 

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July 14 1974

Susan Gray Perth–Dale Lowe Carleton Place– Bruce Blair Perth

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Each time I find these I document them as step dancing and fiddling is like brad and butter to Lanark County so I feel I should record them.

 

 

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

 

 

relatedreading

 

He was a Step Dancing Legend from Up da Line..

Gilles Roy-Step Dancer Extraordinare

Notes of Lanark County Dances and Fiddlers

Good Old Lanark County Music–From the 70s to now

The Musical Talents of Dave Brown

Fiddling in Lanark County by David Ennis

The Dawn Patrol on Local Dance Halls

Dance Hall Days with The Coachmen

Fiddler’s Hill— Where the Green Grass Doesn’t Grow in Lanark

Down At the Twist and Shout–Wave’s Inn

Straight Outta Carleton Place High School — Wava McDaniel Baker

Architecture Stories: The Hotel that Stompin’ Tom Connors Saved

All About Lorraine Lemay –Mississippi Hotel

Lanark County Dance Halls 1950s, 60s & 70s

 

Back to The Future — Twisting Your Dignity Away

The Natives of Carleton Place — Violins and Deer

Fiddler’s Hill— Where the Green Grass Doesn’t Grow in Lanark

 

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Notes of Lanark County Dances and Fiddlers

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Carleton Place Farmers Market-Photo by Linda Seccaspina

Perth Courier, Jan. 23, 1885 

On Tuesday evening of last week Mr. Robinson Lyon of Lyon’s Hotel, Arnprior, celebrated his 74th birthday.  After his usual custom he entertained his numerous friends.  Though beyond his allotted span of 3 score and 10 the old gentleman is still hale and hearty and draws his bow over his fiddle as vigorously as he did years ago when the name “Bob Lyon the fiddler of Bytown” was well known from Quebec to the headwaters of the Ottawa.

Leahy Music Camp – July 2009
Dancers: Samantha & Katie Harvey, Sarah Robinson, Emily Flack

Perth Courier, Jan. 15, 1909

The good father who celebrated the nuptial mass has long since gone to his reward. Richard Hogan of Bathurst who played the old fashioned fiddle fifty years ago for the young couple and their friends was present on Monday and again displayed his skill with the bow taking keen delight in playing for one set, formed of the bride and groom, bridesmaid and groomsman, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Brady and Mrs. And Mrs. James Balderson(?), all of whom are relatives of the principals and were present at the wedding.

Perth Courier, September 21, 1934

Mr. Quinn could recall many of the old barn dances in Westport which were “great affairs”.  In those days there were some fine clog dancers in the district.  These included John McGlade and his sister Rosie.  Then there was a Miss Trainor who was a splendid fiddler.  She was a blind girl and her services were always in demand.

A story by Harry J Walker

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The Ottawa Journal28 Dec 1946, SatPage 17

 

 

Gilles Roy-Step Dancer Extraordinare

He was a Step Dancing Legend from Up da Line..

Good Old Lanark County Music–From the 70s to now

The Musical Talents of Dave Brown

Fiddling in Lanark County by David Ennis

Fiddler’s Hill— Where the Green Grass Doesn’t Grow in Lanark

 

He was a Step Dancing Legend from Up da Line..

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Photo from the Pakenham Fiddle and Step Dance Association 2008

 

Today I bought a picture from Alf Hamilton’s garage sale in Carleton Place. I am proudly putting it on my wall with the rest of my Lanark County collections. This house is home to all Lanark County.

Alf who was a local fiddler and dancer told me he figures the feet in the photo are those of Buster Brown.

So I don’t know much about the history of  local step dancing but I found this online.

 

From Heather MacCulloch Dancers site.From Heather MacCulloch Dancers site.

The story of traditional step dancing begins with the Celtic people of Western Europe. They shared a common language, Gaelic, which is still studied and celebrated in many Scottish settlements throughout North America today. These early descendants lived in parts of France, northern Spain and the British Isles, spreading into Ireland and later into North America as early settlers and missionaries.

Today Step Dancing in Canada is most predominant in the Eastern provinces, western Quebec and eastern Ontario. Music and dance are an intricate part of the Gaelic culture celebrated by the lively combination of traditional step dancing and the French, Irish and Scottish fiddle. Much of today’s Canadian step dancing has grown from the blended influences of early European settlers.

Step dancing has been passed down through the generations. Traditionally, step dancing teachers hold a repertoire of dance steps passed to them by their dance directors and then build on them – choreographing new dance steps over time. Though traditional, this form of dance continues to evolve as innovative dancers add new movements such as rocking, swinging the leg from the knee and clicking one’s heels in the air. Their creativity is prodded by the lively beats of Celtic music. Arm and feet movements become atypical of different areas, such as, the straight arms by an Irish step dancer’s side or the loose and relaxed style of an Ottawa Valley dancer in Canada or the swinging leg of a Tennessee dancer in the United States.

Even in Canada itself, you can see the different styles of step dancing varying from the “close to the floor” steps of Newfoundland or Quebec to the high stepping performances of eastern Ontario. It’s been suggested that at one time, step dancers did use their arms more liberally for example, by putting them on their hips as many Canadian step dancers do today.

At intermitted times throughout history the churches condemned dancing. It is said that leaders of the church were more open to the use of controlled stiff arms in traditional step dancing. This is probably most evident in the development of Irish step dancing. Another atypical characteristic of Canadian step dancing is the tendency to dance within a small area with little travel. This also goes back to the early years where step dancing was done on small table tops or the confined space of pioneer kitchens.

While step dancing was traditionally performed in soft shoes, today’s Canadian step dancers often attach metal taps to their shoes making the drumming rhythms of the step dancers beat more audible to the audience. Tap dancers will recognize some of the same basic movements with which the rhythmic sounds are produced.

A young step dancer usually begins by learning a basic clog dance done to a slow 4/4 or 2/2 set time. Step dance can be introduced at an early age. As the dancer progresses the steps become increasingly more intricate. Increased speed enhances their presentation. It’s lively and quick rhythms done to the lilting fiddle tunes make step dancing exhilarating to both the dancer and the onlooker.

Today, step dance competitions are held in areas of eastern Ontario and the eastern provinces of Canada. Typically, a dancer performs a Clog, Jig and Reel. They are judged on timing, difficulty of steps, general presentation and stage presence. Dance companies have also developed, presenting step dancing in large group productions, bringing it to high levels of precision and unison. The MacCulloch Dancers celebrate and preserve the culture of traditional step dancing representing Canada at international festivals throughout the world. Their style of step dancing holds its roots the Scottish settlement of Glengarry County, Ontario, Canada. As with much of Canadian step dancing, it is influenced by the dance of early Scottish, Irish and French settlers.

 

Read about Buster Brown here.