In Dancing Through History, Henry crosses Canada’s vast physical and ethnic terrain to uncover how its various cultures have evolved through their dances.
Her coast-to-coast journey takes her to Haida Gwaii in British Columbia, where she witnesses the seldom seen animist dances of the islands’ First Nation people. And in the Arctic, Henry partakes in Inuit drum dancing, kept alive by a new generation of Nunavut youth. And in Cape Breton, she uncovers the ancient “step dance” of the once culturally oppressed Gaels of Nova Scotia.
During her travels, Henry discovers that dance helps to break down barriers and encourage cooperation between people with a history of injustice. Dance, she finds, can provide key insight into what people value most as a culture, which is often more similar than it seems. It is this kind of understanding that goes beyond our divisive histories and gives us compassion for one another.
Lori Henry is a writer, author and actor based in North Vancouver, Canada. She has been dancing since she was two years old. Read her travel, culture and lifestyle blog, Lori’s List: More than Travel (www.LorisList.ca).