CAPE BRETON STEP DANCE is a style of percussive dance that is unique to the small island of Cape Breton, on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Coastline. Originally dating back many centuries ago in Scotland, it takes part of its original form from the old Scottish styles of percussive dance, having the same basic movements and rhythms ~ and adds a flair and style completely unique, that developed on the Island over centuries of isolation and community influence. This is a style that was held strong through generations of community and familial ties, as well as a genuine strength and bond with the island’s Scottish cultural background.
Due to the Island’s isolation, and so few outside influences over the early years, this culture has remained strong. Although it has similar basic movements and rhythms aligned with other percussive dance (such as tap, highland, Irish hard shoe), it is somewhat unique in the presentation of how the style developed its own intricacies over time. It has become internationally renowned ~ along with the strong Gaelic culture and musical background of Cape Breton Island. It is a relaxed dance form, with a natural flow of the arms and body, with the focus being mainly on footwork that is ‘close to the floor’. Often danced along with pipes, Gaelic song or fiddle/piano combo, the dancer focuses on matching or syncopating their footwork with the rhythms of the tunes being played.
The Dance School also explores the choreography side of group Step Dance, using both traditional music, as well as modern music – for a fun and quirky contemporary approach to group choreography. This allows dancers to be creative with steps, movement and formations. We also combine dance styles, allowing more fun and dynamic costuming for major stage appeal. Group choreography teaches teamwork to compliment the solo form of Step Dance. This modern approach brings longevity to a dancer’s journey at the Studio, and keeps them interested after years of polishing basic steps and rhythms.