Yes, you can round dance

The Round Dance is a community gathering open to all. Learn how to join the circle in five easy steps.

When the community comes together for the University of Alberta Annual Round Dance there are a few things to keep in mind.

First things first — what is a Round Dance?

A Round Dance is a ceremony that is intended to bring people together to acknowledge, honour, and to celebrate life to the fullest. Held in the winter, round dances are times for healing and remembrance for the community as a whole.

Who can attend?

Everyone! Regardless of background, the Round Dance is a time when all members of the U of A community can come together with families and friends to join hands. The event is a community gathering of all people.

Even kids?

Yes, even kids. Round Dances are family friendly affairs.

When are Round Dances held?

Round dances are held during the winter, and the U of A’s is no exception. The 2017 University of Alberta Round Dance will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2017.

How long do round dances last?

Typically, they can last for up to eight hours — BUT, the U of A’s annual round dance will run from 7:00–11:00 p.m. Attendance for the full length of the event is not required — participants will come and go throughout the night.

Is dancing actually required?

Yes and no — obviously there will be dancing; however if dancing just isn’t your thing, you are still welcome to attend. Observers of the round dance can still participate in the experience by watching, joining conversations, and by simply being present.

Are there opportunities to volunteer?

Of course. Individuals who would like to volunteer to help with the round dance are encouraged to contact the Aboriginal Student Services Centre.

What are the steps of a round dance?

Step one — Form a circle.
Step two — Place your left hand palm up, and your right hand palm down.
Step three — Clasp hands with your neighbours in the circle.
Step four — Leading with your left leg, take a step to the left.
Step five — Glide your right leg towards your left.

Repeat steps four through five, and you’ll find yourself in a round dance.

The University of Alberta Annual Round Dance

Saturday, January 28, 2017
7:00 p.m. — 11:00 p.m.
Education Gym, Education South, North Campus

Learn more by visiting the Aboriginal Student Services Centre’s website.

The University of Alberta acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 territory, and respects the histories, languages, and cultures of First Nations, Metis, Inuit, and all First Peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our vibrant community.


For almost as long as there’s been a Canada, there’s been a University of Alberta. Over the next year, in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, we’re proudly celebrating the people, achievements and ideas that contributed to the making of a confederation.

Originally published on The Quad, January 18, 2017