Six of the best: Dancing holidays

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

As 'Strictly' returns to our television screens, Chantal Cooke discovers there's a world of rug-cutting to be had out there


1. Wendake, Canada

Sacred dances have been performed for centuries by the Huron-Wendat community in Quebec. They are used to give thanks for the harvest and to celebrate the first and thirteenth Moon. The "friendship dance" is the most fun, and was designed to foster links between nations. It's a sedate hokey-cokey set to a slow drum beat, in which you take turns in the centre. Just move back and forth and throw in a few claps. Experience Holidays (0845 230 2131; experienceholidays.co.uk) offers four nights from £874 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights and a day at Wendake with the Huron peoples.

2. Fes, Morocco

It's more about the trance than the dance with the Sufis in Morocco. Traditionally, Sufi Dervishes whirl around, their huge skirts creating a spinning-top effect. This repetition and their focus on God often leads them into a trance. However, for most people it simply means getting terribly dizzy. So, watch the professionals, then join in when the drumming and stamping starts. As the music builds, you'll lose your inhibitions. At the annual Fes Festival in June, Sufi Nights take place in the early hours, so it's advisable to get some rest or dose up on strong Moroccan coffee. Discover Morocco (020-7371 2030; discover-morocco.com) has seven nights from £425 per person, based on two sharing and including return flights and B&B at a luxury riad. Tickets to the Fes Festival, giving access to all events, cost £190 per person.

3. Samburu National Park, Kenya

In an unusual example of tribal solidarity, Samburu and Turkana people live together in a small village within the Samburu National Park. As a visitor, you can join in with the dances of both tribes. Here, elaborate ostrich feather headdresses and heavy beaded necklaces make what is essentially just jumping (for the men) and wobbling your shoulders (for the women) into a stunning display of colour and culture. It's easy to participate; no routines to learn, no fancy steps, just jump as high as you can. But women be warned – those necklaces can weigh up to two kilos (41/2lbs). Kuoni (01306 747008; kuoni.co.uk) offers four nights at Samburu Intrepids from £2,101 per person, based on two sharing, including international and domestic flights and full-board. The village visit is an optional extra at $25 (£16) per person. The fee goes direct to the village school.

4. Vienna, Austria

Dripping with elegance and sophistication, the Vienna Ball Season, which runs from New Year's Eve to early March, is a step back in time. It helps if you know the basics of the waltz, foxtrot, and quick step, but women can get away with being light on their feet and allowing a strong male lead to twirl them around. Full evening dress is essential and for young ladies attending their first ball, it's traditional to wear white. Don't worry if you have two left feet – you can opt for a masked ball and hide your embarrassment behind feathers and sequins. Two nights' B&B at the Hotel Aldstadt (00 43 1 522 6666; hotel-altstadt-vienna.com) costs €329 (£284) per person, including tickets to a ball. British Airways (0871 909 2303; ba.com) offers return flights to Vienna from £117.

5. Chitwan National Park, Nepal

Join the Tharu people of southern Nepal to dance around a bonfire. They favour the use of large sticks, which are twirled around like a cheerleader's baton. As long as you have the strength to hold your stick and bash your partner's, it's a simple routine to learn. Expect to be sorely tested by one dance that resembles the low kicks of the Cossacks. For this you'll need super-strong thighs. A 13-day Himalayan adventure with Families Worldwide (0845 051 4567; familiesworldwide.com), includes the Tharu Stick Dance in Chitwan National Park. Prices start at £1,899 per adult, including return flights, transportation, 10 nights' accommodation and most meals.

6. Various venues, UK

Dancing is a great way to connect with people at home as well as abroad. Join one of the UK's 150-plus Ceroc clubs – fusing salsa, hip-hop, ballroom, tango and jive – and it won't be long before you're flinging yourself around like a pro. Each session starts with a three-move beginners' lesson. The basics are very easy to remember. Etiquette dictates that you don't refuse a dance if you are asked. Ceroc is popular in Australia, New Zealand and in many European countries, so your skills can be put to good use on foreign holidays, too. Check out the nearest Ceroc club (020-8969 4401; ceroc.com). There's a one-off £2 membership fee, but then you can continue on a pay-as-you-go basis with session prices ranging from £6 to £8 per person, depending on location.

News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television The BBC have commissioned a series of programmes doing away with high-production values, commentary, script or drama
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Automotive Service Advisor - Franchised Main Dealer

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...

    Recruitment Genius: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable