Findings from Yes I Dance: A Survey of Who Dances in Canada

Ekos Research Associates

From the Executive Summary:

As part of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Canada Dance Mapping Study, Canadians who dance, teach dance or choreograph were invited to participate in a bilingual nation-wide online survey called Yes I Dance (Oui je danse). The survey was designed with the purpose of gaining a better understanding of who dances in Canada, where they dance, and why. This report presents the findings from this landmark survey of the dance field in Canada.

Variety of Respondents & Dance Forms

The sample of 8,124 respondents to the survey includes 2,176 individuals, or 27 per cent, who are dance professionals and 5,948, or 73 per cent, who are leisure dance participants.

One hundred and ninety dance forms are represented in the survey. Six in ten participate in the two most popular types of dance: contemporary and modern dance (34 per cent), and ballroom and social dance (26 per cent).

Reasons for Dance

Survey findings put enjoyment at the top of the list of primary reasons for involvement in dance when both dance professionals and leisure dance participants are looked at together. Dance professionals, however, have fairly different motives for dance compared with leisure dance participants. The most often citied motive for dance professionals in the survey to be involved in dance is artistic expression (cited by 78 per cent), in addition to enjoyment (76 per cent). Employment (61 per cent) and performing (57 per cent) are also strong reasons. Among leisure dance participants enjoyment is the most frequently cited (94 per cent), followed by exercise and fitness (81 per cent), and then social connection (72 per cent), with artistic expression as a distant fourth reason (42%). Responding to an open-ended question, many in the survey said that dance provides them with the benefit of developing deeper social connections; a response considerably more prevalent among men, in both the dance professional and leisure dance participant segments. Many also described dance as a source of joy and passion that provides them a sense of mental and physical well-being, stimulation and, in some cases, escape from the stresses of daily life. Others talked of the opportunity to express themselves and tapping their creativity, as well as teaching other valuable life skills.

The full report, dance wheel & summaries by geographic regions are available online at

Resource/Research Type:
Resource Type: Report
Document Details:
Author: Ekos Research Associates
Publisher Details:
Publisher: Canada Council for the Arts
Publisher Year: 2014
Audio/Video Details:
Area: Canada
Art Form / Modality: Dance / Movement