The Society



Contemporary Description

This unique waltz variation from Gilbert's Round Dancing (1890) is almost ridiculous enough to make one wonder if it was some kind of inside joke or elaborate April Fool's prank. But there it is in 19th century black and white, mixed in with all the classic variations.


The Position

Waltz position throughout.


The Footwork

Here's Gilbert's explanation:

Three Waltz steps applied to two measures of music. In making the application, which, by the way, is quite a difficult task, one should make the movements very short, and count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; making the first five movements in the first measure, and four movements in the second measure. One can better realize the time by accenting the first and sixth counts. Many fail in attempting this application, doing simply a rapid Waltz regardless of time. It is only the most expert who can make a success of the Society.
Reading this description, one is reminded of George Mallory's response when he was asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest: "Because it's there."

Gilbert obviously had a similar philosophy with regard to dance. (A philosophy that I must admit I share...)


The Music

Waltz music.


© 2015 Nick Enge


(Click to expand)

Historical Descriptions


The Society (Gilbert, 1890):

Three Waltz steps applied to two measures of music. In making the application, which, by the way, is quite a difficult task, one should make the movements very short, and count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; making the first five movements in the first measure, and four movements in the second measure. One can better realize the time by accenting the first and sixth counts. Many fail in attempting this application, doing simply a rapid Waltz regardless of time. It is only the most expert who can make a success of the Society.


For more, including descriptions of 25 different waltzes and hundreds of variations thereof, see Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living a book by Richard Powers and Nick Enge.


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