Dancing Backwards

His-tory + Her-story = Our Story.

Welcome to Dancing Backwards - the place to find the stories of Canadian & First Nations women in leadership and governance, created by grade 5 students from across the country.


Dancing Backwards is a political education program that archives the stories of Canadian and Indigenous political women/leaders in governance and enshrines their place in history. The program is for grade five students across Canada, and is available in English and French and ready for roll out in 2016. Students discover and inventively document the legacy of political women as co-founders and co-shapers of our nation. Dancing Backwards was created by Sandy Mayzell, and grew out of her passion for gender equality and youth engagement in politics. In consultation with educators, trustees, students and politicians, Sandy developed a dynamic, interactive, modern approach to political education that has been enthusiastically received.

How it works

Satisfying provincial grade five curricula, students complete this interactive citizenship course as the foundation for the creative media section of Dancing Backwards. A guideline tool offers biographies of Canadian and First Nations political women to choose from – they then research and re-tell one story, in 3 minutes, using a medium of their choice. Their story work is recorded and shared on-line through the Dancing Backwards web site and becomes part of our historical legacy.


Our Vision is to instill the principles of equality and citizenship to students in a fun and creative way. Dancing Backwards capitalizes on students' innate sense of justice, and when students actually see a place for women's stories in history, a transformation occurs - it affirms that women and men both have equal value and a place in governance. Canada will benefit from having educated voters in the future – voters who understand that all voices, regardless of gender, matter. These and other democratic principles provide a foundation for respectful behavior in all relationships.

How you can help

Dancing Backwards requires robust funding to ensure all schools and students, regardless of finances and location, have access to the program. Corporate contributions will support the Dancing Backwards web site – an ever-growing archival collection of student-told stories that place women firmly into Canada's history books – and will cover the printing and distribution of the program across our country. Financial partners will be visually credited commensurate and tiered with contribution level.

Please join the Dancing Backwards legacy – a legacy that ensures powerful transformation as students discover and embrace their whole political history. Dancing Backwards is looking for funders whose core values align with equality, citizen engagement, and the value of critical, creative thinking in our nation's young people.



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