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Community Dances

A veillée de danse (community dance or kitchen party) is a social gathering featuring live music and traditional dance such as square dancing, contredanse and quadrille. The event is normally hosted by a câlleur  or câlleuse, a specialised emcee who leads the dancers by calling out the steps. The caller keeps time with the help of musicians playing songs from the traditional Québécois and French-Canadian repertoire. 

This festive occasion combines dancing with other disciplines such as step dancing, music, singing and storytelling, which lends itself well to passing on musical traditions. As such, the veillée de danse plays an important role in the community and contributes to a feeling of belonging among its participants. 

The veillée de danse is an element of cultural heritage, as well as the Quebecois and francophone identity. It is participative: experienced dancers and neophytes alike get together in a community-minded spirit and a friendly atmosphere. 


Translated from : (Bricault, Christine. "Veillée de danse", Répertoire du patrimoine culturel du Québec, Ministère de la Culture des Communications, 2014.)

Who can we find at a Kitchen Party?

Community Dances at la Girandole

To find more about this tradition: 

We recommend consulting the web site SODAM, parter of the Conseil québécois du patrimoine vivant as well as the Réseau des veillées de danse au Québec.

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