Cajun Jig

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Cajun Jig or Cajun One Step is among the simplest of Cajun dance forms.[1] It has only one basic step. The Cajun Jig was popular in Louisiana in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but remains a mainstay of dancers. Often, this step pattern is alternated with other styles,[2] during a single song, particularly among those who are regular dancers, in urban and non-traditional settings, or those who are also Zydeco dancers.

The Cajun Jig is danced to fast or slow.[3] Cajun music played under 2
or 4
timing, associated with the two-step, rather than one-step blues time or 3
timing associated with a waltz. The Cajun Jig shares vague similarity to Merengue.

Despite the single-like step, variations of the handhold combined with turns give the dance infinite dance move options. The dancers' handholds can be uncrossed (i.e., the right hand of one partner meets the left hand of the other one and vice versa) or crossed (i.e., joined right hands over left, or left over right).

Basic step[edit]

To begin:

  • Start marching one-two, one-two, left-right, left-right: in place, sideways, forward, backward.
  • Now pretend that to have a nail in one boot that hurts your heel, so that this foot steps on a toe, and you march in a limping way. This limping also gives you this slight bob-bob-bobbing up and down. It doesn't matter which foot limps; you can freely switch during the dance.
  • When stepping on your toe, you push a little bit up on count "One" and on "Two" simply drop onto the second, flat foot.

Note that this description creates an exaggerated hobble often seen with newer dancers. The effect of the step is not to avoid stepping down, and not to appear as if one is stepping up, but to provide more weight on a "planted foot", allowing the other to move freely. For the man, the weighted foot is the right foot/leg; for the woman it is the left. This weighted-stepping pattern facilitates turns and swirls, and swing-outs, due to the freedom attributed to the unweighted leg; as well, it does not impede the traditional Cajun dance patterns.

These traditional patterns include those in which partners hold hands, and turn or move in concert or in opposition, including: the cuddle (sweetheart), (hammerlock), tie pretzels, turn inside out from face-to-face to back-to-back, or just simply walk around each other for a change in any of dance positions.


  1. ^ "Cajun Jitterbug or Cajun Jig (USA)". Retrieved 2018-05-25.
  2. ^ Jacques, Henry (2009). Working the Field: Accounts from French Louisiana. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781604732238.
  3. ^ Plater, Ormonde (1993). Cajun Dancing. Pelican Publishing Company. ISBN 9780882899701. cajun dancing.

External links[edit]