Photo by Anna Colliton
Photo by Anna Colliton

Danielle Enblom is a step dancer, fiddler, and dance historian. She specializes in the old styles of dance in Ireland and Irish fiddle, and is reclaiming her familial Métis and French Canadian roots through step dance and fiddle tunes.

Danielle is the founder of The Step Collective, a project that explores traditions, and intercultural connections between fiddling and step dance traditions rooted in Ireland, Scotland, and North America.

Irish music and dance have been central to Danielle's life since childhood. She grew up dancing and playing socially, and competing in fesieanna. She was introduced to older regional styles of dance while attending University College Cork in 2005. At UCC she earned a Diploma in Traditional Irish Music, with a focus on fiddle. In 2014 Danielle was awarded an MA in Ethnochoreology (dance research) from Munster Technological University. The unique two-year MA program by research and thesis focused on the old dance master traditions of Ireland, and included early European and North American dance forms. As a result of her time spent in Ireland, Danielle has had the opportunity to study fiddle and regional styles of dance with Peggy McTeggart (Co. Cork), Sharon Phelan (Co. Kerry), Matt Cranitch (Co. Cork), Connie O'Connell (Co. Cork), Bobby Gardiner (Co. Clare), and Robert Hunter (Belfast), John Cullinane (Co. Cork), Jonathan Kelliher (Co. Kerry), and Father Pat Ahern (Co. Kerry), and Paddy O'Brian (Offaly/St. Paul, MN).

In recent years, the Métis and Quebecois traditions of Danielle's grandparents have become an important part of her dancing and fiddling. Danielle has studied the dances of her French Canadian great grandparents with Pierre Chartrand and Norman Legault; both of whom specialize in the dance forms practiced by Danielle's family in Jonquiere in northern Quebec. Danielle also plays the fiddle tunes and dances the Red River jig of her grandfather's family from St. Francois Xavier and Portage La Praire in Manitoba. Danielle's family, as well as dancers and knowledge keepers including Yvonne Chartrand, Joseph Naytowhow, Natalie Pepin, and Madelaine McCallum have been influential in helping Danielle reconnect to these family practices.