By Haley Grinder
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Madelaine McCallum, in partnership with Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I·SPARC), is presenting two free Indigenous dance workshops beginning this week. The classes, Jigfit Workout and Powwow Impact, are part of her all-ages winter series and are free to the public via Zoom.
McCallum is a Cree/Métis professional dancer, motivational speaker, choreographer, facilitator, model, actor, and MC from Île-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan. Presently, she is also a choreographer for Butterflies in Spirit, a dance group formed from family of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. McCallum decided to host the workouts for free after a positive response to her workshops at I·SPARC earlier this year.
Jigging is a dance influenced by Métis, First Nations, and European styles. It’s a form of dance known for its upbeat, energetic nature, making it a fun and effective social workout. Each Jigfit Workout class will showcase uniquely choreographed Métis dance steps. Attendees will also learn about traditional dances such as The Red River Jig, Belt Dance, Broom Dance and Orange Blossom Special.
Powwow Impact teaches the art of powwow dances— a beautiful and spiritual expression of Indigenous culture. McCallum says the workshop will connect dancers with Indigenous culture, from basic powwow steps to the more advanced crow hop. With two to three steps being taught per class, by the last day, students should know a minimum of ten powwow steps and be able to practice with their own freestyle movements. Both workouts will feature traditional Indigenous and contemporary soundtracks.
Powwow Impact will be on Tuesdays and Jigfit Workout on Thursdays for the next six weeks. The classes will begin on Nov. 2 and will run until Dec. 9. from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. MDT. For those interested in learning more, visit https://isparc.ca/popular-jigfit-and-powwow-impact-workshops-return/.