The Next Chapter

Katherine Govier on dancing the can-can

The author of The Three Sisters Bar & Hotel describes dancing the can-can to pay her way through university.
Katherine Govier's new novel, The Three Sisters Bar & Hotel, is available March 1. (HarperCollins Canada)

Katherine Govier is the author of Creation, Half for You and Half for Me and her latest, The Three Sisters Bar & Hotel. Before she was a novelist, Katherine and her friends from the University of Alberta came up with a creative solution for their financial woes.

Between my second and third year of university, I had a job dancing the can-can at the Klondike Days in Edmonton and the Calgary Stampede. I earned enough money to help me out through the next year. I did this with a group of friends — we made our own little dance troupe, and we had red costumes with black and white ruffles under the skirt. We played the Offenbach can-can music and we got ourselves gigs at a number of restaurants in Edmonton and in the casino in Calgary, where, on the hour, the shrieking voices of our little troupe would ring out over those people playing the slot machines, and we raced onto the stage and kicked our legs and flipped up our skirts and then we ran off again. It was a lot of fun, and I remember it well.

Katherine Govier's comments have been edited and condensed.