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How to Dance the Can-Can

Dance the Can-Can

The Can-Can is a dance that originated around 1830 in Paris. A group of females stand, arm-in-arm, in a line. They dance in unison, kicking their legs and lifting their skirts suggestively to the audience. Follow these steps to dance the Can-Can.

Choose upbeat music to dance the Can-Can. Purists would have you select a song that is in 2/4 time (also known as half-time). The tune most associated with the dance is the gallop section of "Orpheus in the Underworld" by Offenbach.

Get a group of people together. While traditionally done with women, it might be fun to do with mixed sexes. Gather at least 5 people for the line.

Place your arms around the shoulders of the dancers on either side of you. Make sure you're all facing the same direction.

Kick your legs to the beat of the music. This can be a choreographed move, or you can simply take turns going "free-style" as you let each person create his or her own suggestive movements.

During selected moments in the music, turn and thrust your derriere out towards the audience while letting out a whoop! You'll have to organize this move with the other dancers.


Have a dance party where you and a group of friends all get together and perform old time dances. The Can-Can can be the finale. Dance the Can-Can to modern music. It's a cool way to hip up an old school dance.


  • Make sure adults who haven't moved in a while do light stretching before stepping onto the floor.
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