Join Madelaine McCallum, a dancer originally from Île-à-la-Crosse, Sask., as she shares her passion and knowledge of dance and culture.
The Cree/Métis artist, dancer and choreographer, is hosting free, six-week, virtual, all-ages Jig Fit Workouts and a six-week Powwow Impact series, in partnership with the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council.
McCallum has been jigging since she could walk and enjoy all forms of dance having performed on many stages. It was the start of her natural progression into choreographing her first solo piece which included powwow dancing, contemporary, and Métis jigging.
She has collaborated with many dance/theatre companies including Compaigni V’ni Dansi, Dancing Earth and Full Circle. McCallum’s passion for dance has taken her across Canada and she is currently one of the choreographers for Butterflies in Spirit, a dance group consisting of family members of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls – founded by Lorelei Williams.
“Dance has been an outlet and saviour throughout my life. I believe in sharing this knowledge with my community to empower and strengthen them. Through my deep love of dance, which I believe is my calling, I have found it has healing powers for the audience as well as the dancer,” she said.
In the Jig Fit Workshops you will learn Métis dance steps, sequenced through choreography in fun, upbeat classes. McCallum said you will gain knowledge of dances such as the Red Jig, belt dance, broom dance and orange blossom special – all the while getting in a workout without even knowing it.
In the Powwow Impact Workshops, McCallum will teach a form of dance that not only connects you to culture, but also provides the benefits of a physical workshop. Learn the basics of powwow with two or three steps each class that are sequenced through choreography. McCallum said by the last workshop you will have the knowledge of 10 or more powwow steps and will have an opportunity to dance freely and share your own style.
“I am teaching these dances to share knowledge and to provide access to those who are interested in these styles of dance but may not know how to go about making contact with Métis dancing and powwow dancing,” said McCallum. “I will not be sharing the protocols that come with these dances. However, if one wants to deepen their level of knowledge and feels a strong connection to either of these styles, I am more than happy to support in the best way I can.”
The Jig Fit Workshop takes place via Zoom on Thursday’s from 6 to 7 p.m. The workshop starts on Feb. 25 and runs until April 1. Powwow Impact is also a virtual, six-week course on Zoom. It will take place on Tuesday’s, from 6 to 7 p.m., starting March 2 and ending on April 6.
Both of the workshops are free and people of all ages and abilities are welcome to join.