Dancing at the Montreal Tam-Tams

I went to Montreal with my family this month, and the highlight of my trip was the Sunday Tam-Tams at the mountain. I love the Tam-Tams. The Tam-Tams is a public drumming, dancing, playing activity where hundreds of people join together on the mountain on Sundays to have fun. On the internet, it says that the Tam-Tams started in 1978, which is incredible that its been going on for so long. I love dancing. Not performance dancing, but social dancing, jamming, improv dancing. I hardly ever do it anymore and I’ve become more inhibited as I’ve gotten older, which is a bit sad but the truth. But this Sunday a few weeks ago, I let go and danced like I was 19 again, joining in with the drums and the other dancers.

I used to be really involved with the Contact Improv dance scene, in Toronto, Peterborough and in Montreal. Contact improv is a social dance – people meet up once a week to dance together, not with any music or choreography, but just free-form contact dance. Contact means exactly that – body contact. Weight distributed – sometimes you are slithering on the ground and sometimes you are flying up in the air like a bird. I am small, so I was often lifted in the jams and I would feel so weightless and free. I never was afraid.

Its wonderful to find community spaces to feel free – free to be uninhibited, free to dance. The Sunday Tam-Tams is this kind of event, open to everyone. People of all ages and backgrounds are there, and you are free to do what you want – play hacky-sack, chill out on the grass, drum or dance or sing. I didn’t speak to anyone there but I didn’t need words to feel part of the Montreal community.

If you are ever in Montreal, join the Tam-Tams on Sundays. 


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