Voyageur Songs and Dances
with Marc Kotz

Marc Kotz Voyageur photo



Visit via videoconference in your school with an authentically clad French Voyageur and learn some of the activities, songs and dances done by fur traders during the 17th and 18th centuries in the Great Lakes region. On this voyage you will practice paddling a canoe like a Voyageur, learn about other work they did, what their living conditions were like, and what happened when they wanted to relax and let off some steam!

Students will learn three Voyageur songs along with accompanying movement/dances. First-person interpretation of the life of the voyageur will allow your students to imagine themselves in a nearby place long ago, when adventure was waiting around every new bend in the river or over every roll of the horizon.

Learning Objectives:

Students will

  • Understand how and why the fur trade existed in North America. Appreciate the life and experiences of Voyageurs and others in the fur trade, including practicing songs and dances done by them. Learn and practice simple French greetings and fur trade-related terminology. Appreciate the importance of the waterways to early European trade and exploration in North America (includes an historic map of the Great Lakes).
  • Identify roles, artifacts and other facts significant to the fur trade.


Students, grades 3-12

Primary Disciplines:

History, Foreign/World Languages, Fine Arts, Performing Arts, Phy Ed

Cost per program:

$150, maximum of 30 students

For more information:
Visit the Center for Interactive Learning & Collaboration (CILC) for more details, including standards met by this program.


View a video about this and Marc’s other efield trip offerings

Comments made about this program:

“Students learned that the Voyaguers did have some free time to enjoy themselves and where other trading posts were located. Because I have third graders, I think getting up and being able to move and not just sit and listen helped keep their attention. They were able to apply prior knowledge and build on what they had already been taught.” – Westview Elementary, Michigan

“I feel the students will remember the vocabulary better because they actively participated in the lesson. They stood and pretended they were canoeing and even tried a few dance steps with the presenter.” – Ranney School, NJ

“The students were thoroughly engaged in this workshop. They had a great time. The tie in between French and Music was excellent and something that my particular group of students are very interested in.” – Parkhill Academy, Ontario Canada

About the presenter:

Marc Kotz is a life-long performing artist and teacher who delights in venturing to other cultures and times through the means of dance, theater, music and educational exploration. His career has taken him around the world, (literally and figuratively) delving into diverse cultures and artistic disciplines. He has performed in numerous dance and theater forms, collaborated on two dozen plays/musicals/operas and has choreographed and directed ten concert-length productions, half of which were his own original scripts. Marc received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowas as an Iowa Arts Fellow, has taught all ages from pre-school to the aged (including 12 years at the university level) and directs his own arts-integration company, Born 2 Move Movement Adventures, LLC.





For more information, contact:

Dean Leisgang
Distance Learning Coordinator & Scheduler
(920) 617-5633

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