Step dancing, although considered an “ancient art”, is said to be one of the fastest growing dance forms today. It originated from the first Irish, Scottish and English immigrants who settled in the Ottawa Valley area. In Canada, the lumberjacks kept this cultural dance alive and passed it on to others all over the country.
In its traditional form, step dancing was performed in hard-soled boots and movement was restricted to the feet and legs only. Today’s modern step dancing allows more arm and body movements and is much more entertaining to watch. Toe and heel taps, preferably double or jingle taps are worn on leather-soled shoes. All of the dances are performed on the balls of the feet and the heels rarely ever touch the floor.
In keeping with tradition, step dancers commonly use old tyme fiddle music for their accompaniment. This does not mean that a fiddle can only accompany this form of dance. Step dancing can easily be adapted to any style of music to suit the nature of the performance.