Zydeco, here we go!

So do you even know where the word Zydeco comes from?  It means “snap bean” in Creole, and I’m really not sure why they call the music and the dance  “snap bean”!  Maybe it’s from the sound the beans make when you snap them.  Or maybe it’s because the music and the dance are “snappy”.

No matter the reason, I just know we had a heck of a good time learning to dance Zydeco and listening to Mumbo Gumbo play their Zydeco selections.  But before we started dancing . . . we had dessert!

Our hostess literally thought of everything–she even spoiled us with the most decadent King Cake from Randazzo’s in New Orleans (way up there in Batavia, NY!).  And not just ONE flavor, but several.  The one with Pecan Praline filling was my very favorite.

So after we ate a few slices of King Cake, a bowl of Bananas Foster on top of vanilla ice cream, with a side of Cafe du Monde’s beignets, we needed to work off all those carb calories.  What better way than dancing, right?

Some of us had to be pried from our seats and rolled onto the stage, but it was well worth the effort.

Our instructor broke down the steps in a simple way we could understand them.  Then we were appointed as either leaders or followers.  Of course, as usual, there were more women than men, so we had some lady leaders.  I got to be a follower.   After we learned the basic step, we tried with our partner and then rotated around the circle until we had danced with each leader in the circle.

I really wanted to dance with this fellow, because he brought his snazzy dancing boots with him.  He and his dance partner came along with the instructor and his partner to show us how it should be done.  (Thanks for this pic, Diane!)

This is Del and Cindy.  They’ve been dancing together for quite a number of years, and man they were some good.  I noticed something watching them.  Their knees stay sort of bent almost the whole time they are dancing.  And they move as one.   He’s a great leader and she’s a great follower.  I just loved watching them dance.

And then there were those rogues who said “To heck with the formal partner dancing! Let’s just do our thing!”

And off they went, parasols and hankies in hand, and launched into a New Orleans Second Line.

Some of us really got into the action . . .

I had to give Lori a quick “rub board” lesson, and off she went!  She is such a fun lady!

And then the old pro jumped in and took her turn!

I wish all of you could have been there for the King Cake, coffee, dancing, and music!  It was great!

Coming soon: video footage of the Zydeco dance lessons and display!  Now THAT should be fun!

PS  Here are the dancing boots  that Steffi mentioned in her comment below

Enjoy your weekend,


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  1. I love Zydeco! After my first trip to Louisiana, I actually took Zydeco lessons in Houston. And lest you think it was some citified version, our instructor was born and bred in Lafayette. He knew his steps, and he knew his students. He used to say, “All you power-dressed ladies who are used to being in charge? I’m gonna make you FOLLOW, y’hear?” 🙂

    He told us “zydeco” comes from a French phrase les haricots sont pas sales, literally, “the snap beans are not salty”. It’s a metaphor for hard times that started showing up in songs. Eventually the pronunciation kind of slid from les haricots to “zydeco”. I’ve seen the same explanation elsewhere, so it might be true. Works for me, anyhow.

    What we need is a road trip to Whiskey River over at the Henderson levee. I’ve NEVER had more fun anywhere! Thanks for this great post, and for bringing up the memories.

  2. I love zydeco also! I’ll meet you at Whiskey River or maybe at Cafe Des Amis for a zydeco breakfast!

    Wendy – it sounds like it was a great time.

    1. Don? Hi there! Long time no see! Now you know you are fibbing. Someone has a selective memory!!! Welcome to the bayou. How long you been lurking here?

  3. Those boots may have been nice, but I bet they don’t come close in beauty or workmanship to those “Louisiana ” boots you posted a photo of about 4(?) yrs. ago. Will you dig out that photo again to show everyone? BTW, Who was the owner of that work of art in leather? I’m glad y’all had a good time dancing. Can’t wait for the “movie” to come out.

  4. Never could dance. I haven’t got artistic genes and it always killed the back. The back was bad before any exposure to dance. Heard all about that zydeco on ‘American Roots’ back couple week.

  5. It was a blast! I was hoping Cindy might share Del for a few dances, but no dice! So “free dancing” was the order of the night – no partner needed!

  6. Blu saw a few King Cakes today at Schnuck’s and is making kielbasa winter root veggie cabbage thing as we speak.

  7. Some hard to pronounce or remember bakery in St. Louis, Mo. Schnuck’s is from there originally. I might buy one if I go down tonight.

  8. I have figured out that Zydeco dancing takes very strong quadriceps because the knees are ALWAYS bent–if you’re dancing correctly, that is 🙂

    1. I think the resolution of the photos isn’t as high. They look slightly blurry but I’m not one to judge since I can’t see so well either!

  9. I thought it was my eyes. I can’t see the computer screen well with or with out my glasses. I need Trifocals.

  10. Well I just found out there is a cool zydeco accordion app for iPad as well as bag pipes etc. Gonna be fun thing soon.