The Rainmaking Dance

I know several people’s opinions on this song, but for me personally The Heel and Toe Polka has got to be one of my most favourite dancing tunes, along with the Nutbush and the Macarena.

Most people may not know this, but in my youth I took both ballet dancing and folk dancing. I really do love dancing, but when you’re young you don’t mind making a fool of yourself. Children make mistakes. Now a sense of potential embarrassment stops me from just getting up and grooving it out as much as the heavier feeling of my body does — it’s heavier, doesn’t float and leap across the floor as it used to.

But what does that matter if you’re doing folk dancing, not ballet? Folk dancing was always my favourite part of dance class, I’m not entirely too sure why I also took ballet although the effortless leaps must have had something to do with it.

With folk dancing, the colourful country tunes were always interesting, as you started in strung out groups of threes, elbows interlocked. You would dance fluidly in your trio and slowly gather into three varying circles of girls, hands clasped as you skipped in a circle. A circle, within a circle, within a circle that slowly opened back into their lines. The effort was elaborate and beautiful. Every dance told a story.


There was always one folk dance that I really loved to do although I never learned the name of it, and I haven’t heard it for many, many years. I still remember the tune if not all the steps — it was utterly thrilling. Whenever our dance teacher pondered whether we should do it, I would always hold my breath, hoping… waiting in anticipation.

We only ever did that dance once a year at the most. In fact, in thinking about it now I do recall that my dance teacher called it a rain dance, or rainmaking, as we occasionally performed it in dry months. We would take a rainstick and turn it a few times generating that soft sound of rain falling over us before we launched in the simple, yet fun dance, skirts twirling, our laughter sounding off walls.

It was always a shame for it to end.

Afterwards my teacher would pronounce that there would be rain in a few weeks, but I’d always forgotten to check by then, so who knows whether it actually worked? Regardless, perhaps there’s still hope for finding this tune, now that I’ve remembered the crucial fact about this dance. I’m sure in time I will find this folk dance again, and maybe I might even find the courage to begin dancing once more. Given the fact that at my age, not only do I still love horses but also these lovely folk tunes and dances, perhaps I’m just a cowgirl at heart?