The 26th Canadian Expressive Heritage Conference will take place in Montreal (Quebec) during from May 20th to May 22nd 2011.

Day 1- Friday, May 20th, 2011
On the first day, delegates from USA & Canada as well as from other countries part of NAS will meet for the CIOFF North American Sector meeting & for exchanges between these countries. Members who are interested in CIOFF’s actions are welcome to attend as observers.

Day 2- Saturday, May 21st, 2011
FCI members and any other association interested in Expressive Cultural Heritage is invited to attend workshops. (For further details, please see general schedule.)

Day 3- Sunday, May 22nd, 2011
FCI Annual General Assembly & committees meetings. FCI members and observers are welcome to attend.

If you need more information about the Canadian Expressive Heritage Conference or the CIOFF North American Sector Meeting, please contact Folklre Canada International office:
By phone: (+1) 514-524-8552
By e-mail:

Upcoming Events

Aug 02: Bilingual Storytime

5:30pm – 6:50pm, Room 102, FREE 

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How Dance Can Help You Tell A Story

How Dance Can Help You Tell A Story

Generations of civilizations have used dance to tell stories for a long time now – and it is something that we haven’t lost. From ballets to street performances, dance is an expression of your most hurtful pains, your highest joys, and your deepest secrets.

If you have a story that needs to be told, even if it is a story that is only for you to hear, you may want to take to dance. Creating a dance on your own, or working it into a dance while taking a dance class in Toronto can be extremely beneficial to your mental health and your physical health.


Obviously, the movements of a dance are the most important things to tell your story. Each movement needs to have a purpose and an intent – do not do a movement simply because you like the way it looks. That is something for other dances.

Instead, write out the story that you want to tell and then associate with certain movements. If you are doing a contemporary dance, this tends to be easier, but you can also fit these movements into different stories.

Dances have been used for years to tell stories that mean something, and they’ve been able to fit in stories of love, loss, war, famine, and so much more. There are very few things we can go through that dance won’t have some sort of movement for – and a good one, at that.


Selecting a piece of music for your dance is another crucial step to telling your story. There are so many pieces of music out there that it can be difficult. You may want to start with a piece that is typical for the genre of dance that you use. This can help to break things up and give you a much shorter list.

Of course, you can also take songs and put them into the style of the dance if you have that type of skill. You can even compose your own, which will make the piece even more resonant and deep. Of course, these are all skills that you can develop as you go. Much of the classical music that we use can be melded and formed to fit many different types of stories.

Remember The Face

Your face tells a lot of your story, no matter what your body does. If you are telling a story of loss, you don’t want to have a smile on your face. If you are telling a story of passion, you don’t want to look happy either. At the same time, if your dance is a dance of joy, you don’t want to be stern.

Your face needs to tell as much of the story as you do. Use make-up, facial expressions, and even your hair to tell the story along with you. While you shouldn’t use these things as crutches, they are some things to consider.

Remember Partners or Teammates

If you are telling a story through dance, you want to think about the other people in the dance. If it is just you, that is one thing. However, you want the people doing the choreography to actually know the story they are telling. If it is too personal, you may have to tell some version of your story that feels comfortable for you. You cannot simply tell them to look sad – there are different types of sad. The same with happy.

Remember that not everyone is going to feel the same emotions as you, so you need to be there to encourage and push them to get it right.

If you have a story to tell, one of the best things that you can do is tell it through dance.

Image by Efes Kitap from Pixabay