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The origins of La Girandole

The first dance classes for the Association La Girandole began in 1979 at the Campus Saint-Jean with Gilbert Parent. Shortly thereafter, a dance troupe named Les Pas de l’Ouest formed, building on the success of these early classes. At the same time, the schools École Saint-Thomas d’Aquin and École J.H. Picard each created their own dance troupes (Alouette and Arcs-en-ciel, respectively). These three folk dance troupes combined to form one united group, which rebranded two years later as L’Association de la Girandole. Amid increasing demand from the community, la Girandole dance studio opened its doors on 82nd Avenue, welcoming over 100 youth and adults to the flourishing community of French-Canadian dance in Edmonton and surrounding areas.


In 2002, la Girandole launched its unique dance troupe specializing in high-level traditional step dancing and French-canadian dance: Zéphyr, under the direction of Isabelle Laurin. The troupe produced more than six performances soon after its formation, contributing to the revitalization of folk and step dancing through its performances in Alberta, Canada, the United States and twice in France. Zéphyr also hosted multiple artists from Québec and local choreographers for artistic development. The troupe, a collective since 2017, continues to bring visibility, culture and joy to the local scene with its performances at festivals such as Deep Freeze, Canoë Volant and Pont Cultural Bring, among others. 

Nestled in the heart of the Cité francophone, la Girandole now offers a wide variety of dance styles catering to youth and adults, while celebrating the French language in the studio and on stage! Our team of instructors each have an interest in the field of education, performing arts (dance, music, theatre) enriching the course offerings with their varied perspectives. The specialists in charge of school workshops have more than five years of experience focussed in folk and urban dance. L'Association la Girandole the proud home of the one and only resource centre for French-Canadian dance and culture in Western Canada, housing a wide collection of books, music, videos and costumes available to borrow.

Franco-Albertan Folk Dancing: A History

In 2020, La Girandole commissioned a research project entitled Historique des troupes de danse folklorique franco-albertaine, which was prepared by Maëlle Dumoulin, Denis Perreaux and France Levasseur-Ouimet. 


This research is vital to the preservation and the promotion of its folk dance troupes and dance schools in Alberta, offering the unique opportunity to appreciate the many founding members of La Girandole as well as the other dance troupes in Alberta, including les Pleins Soleils, les Blés d'Ors and les Vol au Vent. 

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