Ottawa Valley Stepdancing is a lively and entertaining regional form of dance, inspired by Irish Dance, which first began in the early 1900's and continues today thanks to schools across Ontario. It is traditionally danced to fiddle music which is also a very significant part of our rich Canadian heritage. Students are taught with their personal goals in mind, whether they are just learning for fun, to perform or to compete. Chad's students have won national titles and have entertained alongside some of today's headlining Celtic acts.
Chad's fiddle & stepdance lessons are offered in person at his school in Manotick, or online.
Chad Wolfe is a Canadian open stepdance champion and award winning fiddler who has performed across Canada and abroad. He was a principal dancer in the Mirvish production, The Needfire, and toured with, Memories of a Don Messer Jubilee. He has performed with Natalie MacMaster, Donnell Leahy, Ashley MacIsaac, and The Great Canadian Fiddle Show.
Chad has dedicated his career to preserving these time-honoured Canadian traditions not only through performing, but also teaching. The Chad Wolfe Studio of Fiddle & Stepdance has been in operation since 1996. He has also taught at fiddle camps and workshops from Halifax to Yellowknife.
Fiddle & Stepdance competitions were a major part of Chad's development as a musician and dancer. He encourages all students and fans to attend these events to keep this important part of our Canadian culture alive. You will still find Chad at many contests through out the summer, either judging, or jamming in the fiddle parks.
Chad joins these Ottawa Valley Stepdancers from the competitions of the 70s & 80s who show they've still got it!
Chad's fiddle & stepdance lessons are offered Monday-Thursday 1-7:30pm, either in person, or online.
The lesson season is divided into 3 terms: Sept-Dec, Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun.
Our current term is Apr.4th - Jun.9th 2022.
Fees are charged per term (not per class), though monthly payments are accepted by post-dated cheque or monthly e-transfers.
Breakdown of fees per class:
Group 4+ (45min): $14ea
One makeup lesson is offered at the end of each term for any missed classes.
SUMMER CLASSES- Please contact the studio for summer scheduling .
To schedule lessons and for information about purchasing dance shoes or purchasing/renting fiddles and other recommended equipment, please contact the studio.
Each year, Chad's fiddle & stepdance students have the opportunity to perform in a Celtic Christmas show for residents of a retirement community in Ottawa, and our June Recital which showcases students' accomplishments over the season of lessons. Watch for us at local charity and community events during the year as well!
Clogs & Jigs & Reels ... Oh My!
Sometimes we lrish forget that our people before us who emigrated to
‘foreign parts’, not least Canada and the United States, brought with them
their feet as well. And the feet of their descendants do today the same
things that we see here in Ireland - the old-style dancing that is now so
widely regarded and sometimes referred to as sean-nos dancing. And it's
often forgotten that other Western Europeans who emigrated over the
centuries to North America had feet as well and did the same sort of thing
what is called in Newfoundland “doin a few scuffs”.
I must say that I am impressed with this new CD of Chad Wolfe's, Clogs
& Jigs & Reels... Oh My! It's really exciting to see this new young
generation of dancers doing what the people did before them in the music
and the dancing. Indeed, where Chad is from in Ontario the tradition in
music, song and dance is stronger than ever. In the 60s, I remember
renowned fiddle players like Graham Townsend playing for the maestro
himself, Donnie Gilchrist, a major influence in the field of Canadian folk
dance. Donnie was a key figure in the promotion of Ottawa Valley step
dancing and its recognition as a unique style.
Chad's CD is organized for dancers to easily navigate through the
variety of tempos of clogs, jigs, reels, and medleys. I agree with Kyle
Burghout, North American Irish Fiddle Champion, when he says, “My
favourite part of the album is the ongoing interplay between fiddle and
piano a signature sound of the Canadian tradition, executed masterfully
by Chad Wolfe (fiddle) and Mark Allen (piano).”
Other accompanists are guitarists, Corey Thomas, Ted Chase and on
cello is Emma Grant-Zypchen. Xavier Leahy, newest member of the
famous Canadian Celtic band, Leahy, contributes both his guitar and
accordion skills. I had the pleasure of seeing his family perform in the late
1960s when I was singing in Peterborough, Ontario.
Adding to the delightful performance, dozens of tunes in the various
medleys are given intriguing titles like, Toto and Your Little Wolfe Too, The
Hearty Tin Man of Ballymote, Munchkin Maids of Castlebar, The Higher
Level Scarecrow, and The Reel Twister (the hand of a wizard is at work
here). Did I say I was impressed with this CD? I am and I think you will
be, too. Also, this fiddler and teacher of dance is a pretty good hand with
his feet and worth checking out online.
Aidan O'Hara - Irish Music Magazine
NOW AVAILABLE! This toe-tappin' collection of Celtic & Canadian tunes celebrates Ottawa Valley stepdance music and is for all you fiddle fans out there! The crowd pleasing clog-jig-reel is the standard Ottawa Valley dance set, and these are some of Chad's favourite tunes he's picked up over the years while fiddlin' and steppin' along his own yellow brick road.
This ambitious album contains 20 tracks, 60 tunes, & over 1 hour of music!
Click the video link for a fun little sample of the music, including an English lesson about: CLOGS & JIGS & REELS ...OH MY!
For full track samples visit: www.chadwolfe.bandcamp.com/releases
"Chad Wolfe's new album is a modern twist on the Old Time Canadian Fiddle style. With a clean virtuosic performance, the arrangements are sophisticated and smooth. A brilliant album by one of Canada's finest and kindest fiddlers and stepdancers."
- Celina Marie DiCecca (creator of the Great Canadian Fiddle Show and Toronto Fiddle Collective)
"A wonderful collection of traditional and contemporary tunes, all played with such great feel and danceability, which is increasingly rare to hear in new recordings being released. The tunes are tastefully arranged into medleys that are innovative while still maintaining their deep roots in the Ottawa Valley. My favourite part of the album is the ongoing interplay between fiddle and piano—a signature sound of the Canadian tradition, executed masterfully by Chad Wolfe and Mark Allen."
- Kyle Burghout, North American Irish Fiddle Champion
Chad's new recording, "Clogs & Jigs & Reels ...Oh My!" is designed to guide stepdancers of all levels down their own yellow brick roads. It contains 60 tunes, including exciting new pieces, and breathes new life into some old favourites. The tracks are organized for dancers to easily navigate through the variety of tempos of clogs, jigs, reels, and medleys. In addition, each of the 28 tracks also have up to 6 digitally rendered tempos that are on an accompanying Flash Drive (194 tracks in all to practice or perform with)!
The slower tempos are also perfect for fiddlers to learn these great tunes!
Both the CD/Flash Drive and Digital Versions are now available.
Click on the video link for a sample of the music.