Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine April 2017 | Page 416

Saint Lucia’s National Dance by St. Lucia’s Cultural Development Foundation S aint Lucia with its rich historical background, boasts of a culture that reflects a good mix of European and African presence in the island. Our European cultural heritage was adopted because Saint Lucia changed hands fourteen times between the British and French. Slavery also left us with enough to enjoy from our African ancestors. The Traditional dances of European origin include the following: Waltz, Moolala, Scottish, Minuet, Wedova, Polka, Lancers, Norwegean, Italian Polka, Quadrille It has been acknowledged that there are many regional variations of traditional dances. While we have kept the original names of most of these dances, it must be noted how the Scottish and Wedova came about. The “Schottische”, (shottish), originated in Germany and, therefore, is a German folk dance. It was later known in the other neighbouring European countries as the Scottish. As our ancestors sought to pass on their own folk dances to us, it was taught to us as the Scottish. The Wedova is derived from the French folk dance known as the “Redowa’’, (French words beginning with re carry the sound in wi in creole; and w in the French alphabet is called double v, hence the v sound for the w in Redowa). Some refer to this dance as the Edova, while some refer to it as the heel-toe waltz. The Norwegean, a reel, is a Scottishfolk dance from Norway. Dances such as the La Comette, Quibish and the Grand Rond, while they have their origins from Europe, they are indigenous to us, in Saint Lucia. Besides those dances identified earlier, there are also the Faci or Facio, the Pique Waltz and the Mapa that are not very popular; the latter being danced during La Rose and La Marguerite séances (practice sessions) and during presentations on the days of the Festival days.