Jig n Jam
History of Jigging & Square Dancing
A blend of First Nations’, Irish, French, Scottish, Celtic dance. Music is played by Fiddle which is rooted from Celtic, Irish, Scottish sounds with Indigenous rhythms that make the music energetic and make anyone tap to the rhythm. Most famous is the Red River Jig – written by Alexander Begg and dates back to 1867. There are oral accounts of the dance going back to 1830’s of the Northern Plains. Today, mostly recognized as the Red River Jig of the Metis and referred to as the Metis National Anthem. Jigging is most relevant to First Nations and the Metis, it is the dance of champions. The Jig is a one, two, one kick step with a mix of fancy footsteps and changes. Dancers compete showing off their traditional jig mixed with that fancy step and show off their fastest footwork!
Around for centuries, going back to European roots. Today, Square Dancing has become a part of First Nations and Metis gatherings, during Pow Wows, Sporting Events, and family gatherings. Following the traditional styles of the European origins and blending in the music of the fiddle and fancy footwork, Square Dancing has become an attraction for enthusiasts from tiny tot groups to Golden Age dancers. In Manitoba, there are a couple of styles that stand out, the Northern Style Square Dance and the Southern Style Square Dance. It’s all in the footwork!