Cajuns are the French-speaking people of southwest Louisiana descended from Acadians who settled there after being forced out of Canada in the eighteenth century. These settlers brought their French music with them, but then absorbed influences from their Creole neighbors of African descent, and from the country and swing music of their Texas neighbors. Cajun bands usually include fiddle, accordion, and triangle (or " 'tit fer" in Cajun French).
The dance can be lively or smooth, high-energy or relaxed and easy, depending on the tune, the dance style, and the dancers' energy. Most Cajun dances are two-steps or waltzes. They are made up of very easy dance steps, without any of the fancy footwork and moves associated with some other northern dance styles.
Dance events in Cajun country are community occasions, either regular gatherings in the local dance hall, or parties celebrating special occasions. They always include all ages from newborns to seniors, lots of socializing and good feeling, and the chance to mix with all your neighbors and friends.
At our dances, we try to recreate the feel of a Louisiana community dance. You don't need to come with a partner; you don't need to know how to dance. By the end of the dance lesson, you will find yourself two-stepping and waltzing as though you've been doing it your whole life, and you will have met and danced with lots of different dance partners. Then when the band takes the stage, you can spend the rest of the evening like a Cajun, dancing and relaxing and enjoying the music.
If you want to know more about Cajun dance, music, or culture, or if you want to travel to Louisiana, check out CajunZydeco.net.
For schedules of Cajun or zydeco events around North America, try Gary Hayman's site.