[If you would like an autographed copy of the book, you can buy it directly from me. Just send an email to lori @ lorihenry.ca and tell me the city I'll be sending it to. I will then give you the price including shipping (within Canada, it's $3.81). Payment will be through PayPal or Interac e-transfer. Thanks!]
Probably two of my favourite things to do are to dance and to travel. For years I’ve worked as a travel writer, spending my time on the road and catching as many dance classes as I could whenever I was home. But, I thought, there had to be a way to include more dance in my professional life. So I did what anyone else would do: I danced across Canada.
Released in the spring of 2012, the book that came out of my various trips within the country, Dancing Through History: In Search of the Stories that Define Canada, follows me on my adventures as I learn traditional dances from cultures I don’t know much about.
Inuit drum dancing and throat singing, and Greenlandic folk and mask dancing in Nunavut, step dancing in Cape Breton, Ukrainian dancing in Alberta and Saskatchewan; I tried my hand in the circus (and got a behind-the-scenes account of performing in Cirque du Soleil from my friend Melena Rounis), and even entered into a Métis jigging competition. I was honoured to be invited to join in at pow wow competitions in Ontario and Manitoba, and witnessed Gitxsan and Haida dancing in Vancouver and Skidegate, Haida Gwaii.
I hope my book does justice to all the people I met across Canada, to the dance traditions that are being upheld, and to the stories that keep those traditions alive.
PRAISE FOR DANCING THROUGH HISTORY:
“Beautiful research.” – Shelagh Rogers, CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter
“Anyone interested in dance will love this book.” – Robin Esrock, Travel Writer and TV Host (Word Travels on National Geographic Channel, Travel Channel, OLN/City TV)
“Dancing Through History is a strong pick for travel and culture collections, highly recommended.” – The Midwest Book Review
“Although obviously a massive fan of this particular art form, Henry is using this as a medium to explore Canada’s history. In doing so, she barely puts a foot wrong. Forget about dancing in the dark, the author’s bright prose ushers in the light.” – Matthew Hirtes, author of Going Local in Gran Canaria: How to Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home
“As its title indicates, Dancing Through History looks at how past events have shaped the traditional dances of the country’s immigrant and aboriginal groups. In fact, the book reads less like a travelogue than a study of how Canada’s diverse communities–in particular First Nations groups–have struggled to retain their cultures in the face of political challenges.” – Carolyn Ali, Travel Editor at The Georgia Straight
“If you’re a dance lover, Dancing Through History is definitely worth taking a look at. It will teach you more about something you love, but it will also remind you that dance is universal. It crosses boundaries, cultures and ages, and has a way of binding people together in a way that almost nothing else can.” – INDUSTRY Dance Magazine
“It’s interesting because, as I was thumbing through the chapters of your book, I was thinking, ‘You know, dance might very well be the most accessible art form known to humanity.’” – Wendy Bergfeldt, CBC Radio One interview on Mainstreet Cape Breton with author Lori Henry