The Rabbit Dance and the Fishing Dance are the only dances where a man can choose a female partner.

 This usually causes giggling among the girls and broad smiles from everyone else.

The lead singer with a water drum and his helpers with cow horn rattles sit in the centre of the dance floor on two benches or two rows of chairs, facing each other. The dancers begin with the man on the woman’s left. He holds her hands in a cross-over pattern. His left hand holds her left hand and his right hand holds her right hand. They face forward and dance two steps forward and one step back. Over the years, the men and women have learned to add a rocking swing to their gripped hands and a slight dip to the body.

Halfway through each song the tempo changes. This is the signal for the dancers to do a circling motion. Two variations exist. At Six Nations the men and women usually keep holding hands. While still dancing forward, they also turn one revolution to the left.

They use their clasped hands as the axis of their turn. In New York State, however, the dancers release their hands and turn in opposite directions. On completing the turn they rejoin hands and continue going forward. Like some other social dances, the Rabbit Dance


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