Kensington Palace from the Gardens
Nelson Dawson, 1906

The Kensington



The Kensington is a satisfying mazurka sequence dance composed by Adèle Collier in 1906.

In addition to being a good dance, it's notable because Collier described the steps primarily for the lady. (At the time, almost all sequence dances, including those composed by women, were described primarily for the man.)

It was dedicated to Count Louis Hamon, a Irish astrologer who went by the name Cheiro (short for cheiromancy, a synonym for palm reading).

The Position

Waltz position, Lead facing out.

The Dance

Part I - La Koska Along LOD (4 bars): Three mazurka steps (slide-cut-lift) along LOD, as in the 19th century mazurka step La Koska (1, 2, 3 / 4, 5, 6 / 1, 2, 3), then, letting go of Lead's right and Follow's left hand, slide first foot side along LOD, and close second foot to it without weight (4, 5).

Part II - La Koska Against LOD (4 bars): Holding Follow's right hand in Lead's left, repeat Part I opposite, traveling against LOD (1, 2, 3 / 4, 5, 6 / 1, 2, 3 / 4, 5), taking closed position at the end.

Part III - Waltz and Chassé* (4 bars): Dance one full turn of right-turning waltz (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), then step side (1), close (3), side (4), close (6) along LOD.

Part IV - Waltz* (4 bars): Dance two full turns of right-turning rotary waltz (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 / 1, 2, 3, 4, 6).

* The second half of the dance is the same as Arthur Morris' Veleta (1900).

Repeat from the beginning.

The Music

"The Kensington" by Algernon Clarke is the specified tune, but it doesn't appear to have been recorded, so any square, early 20th century waltz will do.


© 2019 Nick Enge

For more dance descriptions, see our three books on dancing:
The Book of Mixers: 100 Easy-Teach Dances for Getting Acquainted (2022) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge,
Cross-Step Waltz: A Dancer's Guide (2019) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge, and
Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living (2013) by Richard Powers and Nick Enge.

For full-length teaching videos, visit: University of Dance.

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