How To Dance
How To Dance.
A COMPLETE BALL-ROOM AND PARTY GUIDE.
CONTAINING ALL THE LATEST FIGURES, TOGETHER WITH OLD-FASHIONED AND CONTRA DANCES NOW IN GENERAL
ALSO A GUIDE TO BALLROOM ETIQUETTE, TOILETS, AND GENERAL USEFUL INFORMATION FOR DANCERS
NEW YORK: TOUSEY & SMALL, PUBLISHERS, 116 Nassau Street, 1878,
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1878, by TOUSEY & SMALL, In the Office of the
Librarian of Congress, at Washington How To DANCE.
Since society's earliest formation, one of the most favorite and graceful amusements has
been dancing. it is sport par excellence in which both sexes can indulge with equal propriety
and pleasure, and has increased in favor with all, until at the present day scarcely a social
gathering is held at Which dancing in some of its many phases does not take place.
Dancing is essentially a home as well as a public amusement: father, mother, uncle, aunt, as
well as the young folks, can take part in it. and under the merry influence of the music and the
smiling faces around them, forget for the nonce their years.
A great many, however, are debarred from the enjoyment of the mazy dance by not knowing "how
to dance." Either bashfulness, pecuniary circumstances, or lack of time or Opportunity has
prevented them from attending dancing-school, or being taught by a master.
For the benefit of that large class, we have gotten up this book, at a great expense of labor and
We confidently state that by perusing its pages carefully, following the directions, and
practicing the examples found therein, that any of our readers will be able to figure with as
much grace and self-possession in the ball-room as if they had just emerged from the tuition
of some celebrated dancing-master.
With these brief words of introductory we leave our little gem of Terpischore to speak for itself.
The first consideration for a lady is simplicity of attire, whether the material be cheap or
costly-such simplicity as produces the finest effect with the least apparent labor, and the
smallest number of articles.
The next is elegance of make and propriety of color. Fashion generally will determine the former,
but the latter is to be left to individual taste.
In the selection of colors, a lady should consider her figure and complexion. If she be slender
and sylph-like, white, or very light colors are supposed to be suitable; but if inclined to
embonpoint, such colors should be avoided, as they apparently add to the bulk of the wearer.
Pale colors, such as pink salmon, light blue, maize, delicate green and white, are most in vogue
among blondes, as being thought to harmonize with their complexions. Brilliant colors are
generally selected by brunettes for a similar reason.
Harmony of dress involves also the idea of contrast. A pale girl looks more pale, and a brunette
less dark, contrasted with strong colors. But as the blonde and brunette are both beautiful
in themselves, when the contour of the face and figure is good, a beautiful girl, blonde or brunette,
may adopt either style, or both alternately; for a uniform style of dress finally assumes the
character of mannerism and formality, which is incompatible with the highest excellence
in any of the fine arts.
Ladies should remember that men look to the effect of dress in setting off the figure and countenance
of a lady, rather ladies' to its cost. Few men form estimates of the value of ladies' dress. This
is a subject for female criticism. Beauty of person and elegance of manners in woman will always
command more admiration from the other sex than costliness of clothing.
In having dresses made long, care should be taken that they be not so long as to touch the ground,
for in that case they are likely to be torn before the evening has half expired. It is almost impossible
to dance, if the dress sweep the floor. without such an accident, except with a very careful
and accomplished partner.
The head-dress should be in unison with the robe, though ladies having a profusion of beautiful
hair require little or no artificial ornament. A simple flower is all that is necessary. To
those who are less gifted in this respect, wreaths are thought to be becoming.
Tall ladies should not were anything across the head, as it increases their apparent hight.
A chaplet or drooping wreath would. therefore, be preferable.
White satin shoes are worn with light-colored dresses, and black or bronze with dark ones.
The gloves should fit to a nicety.
Mourning-even half-mourning-has always a somber appearance, and is, therefore, unbecoming
in a ball-room; but since decorating it with scarlet has come into fashion, an air of cheerfulness
has been imparted to its otherwise melancholy appearance.
A lady may wear a black dress with scarlet flowers and trimmings. Many ladies, whether in mourning
or not, wear black from preference, trimming it with such colors as their taste suggests. A
black satin dress looks better when covered with net tarleton or crape; the latter to be worn
only when in mourning.
There is very little variation in gentlemen's ball attire, it being generally black. INTRODUCTIONS.
The practice of introducing persons to each other in the ball-room has been ridiculed, on the
ground of the uselessness of making persons acquainted with each other where it can be of no
benefit to either party. The proper rule is not to introduce one person to another without knowing
that it is agreeable to both. Gentlemen are introduced to ladies. not ladies to gentlemen;
in other cases, the younger to the elder.
Our custom of indiscriminate introductions has often been made the subject of comment by foreigners,
who can discover no possible advantage in being made acquainted with those in whose company
they are likely to be but a few minutes, in whom they take not the slightest interest. and whom
they never may recognize or even meet. Besides. each one wishes to exercise his own judgment
or taste in the selection of acquaintances; and it is, therefore, clearly a breach of politeness
to introduce anyone to your friend or associate, before knowing that it will be agreeable to
When an introduction to a lady is solicited by a gentleman, the consent of the lady to make his
acquaintance should be asked, that she may have an opportunity of declining. This rule should
be adopted also in an assembly room, it being understood, however, that the introduction is
for that evening only, after which the acquaintance ceases.
In private parties introductions are not considered necessary. The having been invited by
the host is a voucher of respectability. Therefore, if a lady meet a gentleman who seems to be
desirous of becoming acquainted with her, there should be no hesitation on her part in meeting
his advances. without the ceremony of Introduction. But at a public ball. before an introduction
be given, the lady's permission and that of the gentleman accompanying her should be obtained.
All should be as much at case in the ball-room or private party as if at home; no person can be pleased
in the consciousness of being awkward-the possession of confidence, however, should be without
effrontery, which, next to affectation, is the most unpleasing fault in either sex. case is
to be admired. but carelessness and negligence are contrary to good manners.
Whoever is admitted to a company of ladies and gentlemen, is supposed to be, for the time at least,
on an equality with all present, and should be treated with equal respect.
When a gentleman accompanies a lady to a ball, he should dance with her first, or offer to do so;
and should take care that she be provided with a partner whenever she desires to dance.
At private parties ladies and gentlemen should not dance exclusively with the same partners,
if by so doing they exclude others from desirable company. We may, however, without impropriety,
ask a lady to join us the second time in a dance. We should treat all courteously; and, nor manifesting
preference for any one in particular, be ready to dance with whoever may need a partner.
Never become involved in a dispute, if it be possible to avoid it. Give your opinions, but do
not argue them. Do not contradict, and, above all never offend by endeavoring to correct seeming
inaccuracies of expression.
Never lose control of temper, or openly notice a slight. Never seem to be conscious of an affront.
unless it be of an unmistakably gross character.
In company it is not required to defend friends, unless the conversation be personally addressed,
and then any statement known to be wrong may be corrected.
Do not give hints or inuendoes. Speak frankly or not at all. Nothing charms more than candor
when united with good breeding. Do not speak in a loud tone, indulge in boisterous laughter,
nor tell long stories. Be careful not to speak upon subjects of which you are ill-informed.
Never seem to understand indelicate expressions, much less use them. Avoid slang phrases
and pet words. Confess ignorance rather than pretend to know what you do not. Use good English
words and not fantastic phrases. Call all things by their proper names; the vulgarity is in
Never repeat in one company any scandal you have heard in another. Give your own opinion; but
do not repeat the opinions of others.
Anxiety to accommodate and to make all happy, is a distinguishing mark of a gentleman or lady.
If you have in any manner given offense, do not hesitate to apologize. A gentleman on accidentally
touching you, or passing before you, will ask pardon for the inconvenience he causes.
Never forget that ladies are to be first cared for, to have the best seats, the places of distinction,
and are entitled ill all cases to your courteous protection.
Do not cross a room in an anxious manner, or force your way to a lady to merely receive a bow, as
by so doing you at tract the attention of the company to her. If you arc desirous of being noticed
by any particular persons, put yourself in their way as if by accident, and do not let it be seen
that you have sought them out; unless, indeed, there be something very important to communicate.
When meeting friends in public, you salute them the first time, and not every time of passing.
In ascending a staircase with ladies, go at their side or before them.
Great care should be given to prevent the appearance of awkward bashfulness. Assume a modest
confidence and all will pass smoothly.
The most obvious mark of good breeding and good taste is a regard for the feelings of our companions.
True courtesy is founded on generosity, which studies to promote the happiness and comfort
of others. It is more winning than grace or beauty, and creates sentiments of love at first sight.
When conversing with your partner, let it be done in a outer tone, avoiding affectation, frowning,
quizzing, or the slightest indication of ill-temper, and, particularly, criticising the
dress or appearance of others.
While dancing, a lady should consider herself engaged to her partner, and therefore not at
liberty to hold a flirtation, between the figures, with another gentleman; and should recollect
that it is the gentleman's part to lead her, and hers to follow his directions.
Pay strict attention to the dance, but not so marked as to appear as if that attention were necessary
to prevent a mistake.
At a private ball or party, a lady should not manifest preference for a particular partner,
but should dance with any gentle man who properly asks her company.
At a public ball, if a gentleman. without a proper introduction, asks a lady to dance, she should
When a gentleman, having been properly introduced, requests the honor of dancing with a lady,
she should not refuse without explaining her reason for so doing.
On no account should a lady parade a ball-room alone, nor should she enter it unaccompanied.
An introduction in the ball-room for the purpose of dancing. does not entitle you to afterwards
claim acquaintance with a partner; All intimacy should end with the dance. It is proper, however,
for the lady to recognize the gentleman, if such be her wish; he, of course, not failing to return
If a lady be engaged when you request her to dance, and you have obtained her promise for the succeeding
dance, be sure to be in attendance at the proper time, and thus avoid even the appearance of neglect.
If you cannot waltz gracefully, do not attempt to waltz at all In this dance the gentleman is
more conspicuous than in any other. In waltzing, a gentleman should exercise the utmost delicacy
in touching the waist of his partner.
If prudent, you will not enter a quadrille without knowing the figure, and at least a few of the
Dance quietly, from the hips downward. Do not jump, caper, or sway your body.
In giving hands for ladies' chain, or any other figures in the quadrille, you should accompany
it with an inclination of the head in the manner of a salutation.
When a gentleman accompanies a lady to a ball he will at once proceed with her to the door of the
ladies' dressing-room, there leaving her; and then repair to the gentlemen's dressing-room.
In the meantime, the lady, after adjusting her toilet, will retire to the ladies' sitting-room,
or wait at the door of the dressing-room, according as the apartments may be arranged. After
the gentleman has divested himself of hat, etc., and placed the same in the care of the man having
charge of the hat-room. receiving therefor a check, and after arranging his toilet, he will
proceed to the ladies' sitting-room, or wait at the entrance to the ladies' dressing-room
for the lady whom he accompanies, and with her enter the ball-room.
The ladies' dressing-room is a sacred precinct, into which no gentleman should ever presume
to look; to enter it would be an outrage not to be overlooked or forgiven.
At the commencement of a ball. it is customary for the hand to play a march, while the company
make a grand entree and march around the room; at the conclusion of which, the company, or as
many as convenient, should be seared.
After the march, and when the music for the promenade has ceased, all of the dancers will take
their places on the floor at the sound of a cornet or some other signal from the orchestra, or
by the announcement of the Floor Manager. But no position should be taken by any of the dancers
until the signal to do so has been given.
When forming the quadrilles, if by any oversight you should accidentally occupy another couple's
place, on being informed of the intrusion, you should immediately apologize to the incommoded
party, and secure another position.
Contending for a position in quadrilles, at either head or sides, indicates an irritable and
quarrelsome disposition altogether unsuited for an occasion where all should meet with kindly
When a gentleman is waiting on a lady to a ball, he should invariably dance the first set with
her; and may afterwards introduce a friend, or exchange partners, or dance again as circumstances
or inclination may dictate.
A gentleman having two ladies in charge may, in the absence of friends, address a stranger,
and offer him a partner, asking his name previous to an introduction, and mentioning that of
the lady to him or not, as he may think proper.
Persons unacquainted with the figures should not attempt to dance, as they expose their own
awkwardness and annoy all who may be dancing with them.
At the commencement of a quadrille, bow to your partner, and then to the lady on the left. This
is sometimes omitted in private society.
When passing through a quadrille, let your arms hang easily, and avoid any display of agility
or knowledge of steps.
When dancing with a lady to whom you are a stranger, be cautious in your conversation, saying
as little as possible, without being considered unsociable. Be mild in your deportment, leading
your partner gently through the dance, and simply taking, not rudely grasping, her hand. At
the end of the dance conduct your partner to her seat, and as she occupies it, politely bow and
If a lady refuses to dance with you, bear the refusal with becoming grace; and if you perceive
her afterwards dancing with another, seem not to notice it, for in these matters ladies are
exempt from all explanations.
Nothing is more indicative of vulgarity than the habit of beating time with the feet or hands
during the performance of an orchestra. It should be borne in mind that. however agreeable
to one's self, it is extremely annoying to the company.
Loud conversation, profanity, stamping the feet, writing on the wall, smoking tobacco and
spitting, or throwing anything on the floor, are strictly forbidden.
The practice of chewing tobacco and spitting on the floor, is not only nauseous to ladies, but
is injurious to their dresses. They who possess self-respect, will surely not be guilty of
such conduct. THE QUADRILLE.
The quadrille is the most universal, as it is most certainly the most sociable of all fashionable
dances. It admits of pleasant conversation, frequent interchange of partners, and is adapted
to every age. The young or old, the ponderous pater familias , or his sylph-like daughter, may
with equal propriety take part in its easy and elegant figures. Even an occasional blunder
is of less consequence in this dance than in many others; for each personage is in some degree
free as to his own movements, not being compelled by the continual embrace of his partner to
dance either better or worse than he may find convenient.
People now generally walk through a quadrille. Nothing more than a perfect knowledge of the
figure, a graceful demeanor, and a correct ear for the time of the music are requisite to enable
any one to take a creditable part in this dance. Steps are quite gone out of fashion; even the
chasse has been given up for some time past.
A quadrille must always consist of five parts. If a variation be made in the fourth figure, by
the substitution of Pastorale for Trenise , the latter must then be omitted; or vice versa .
As soon as a gentleman has engaged his partner for the quadrille, he should endeavor to secure
as his vis-a-vis some friend or the acquaintance; and should then lead his partner to the top
of the quadrille, provided that post of honor be still vacant. He will place the lady always
at his right hand.
Quadrille music is divided into eight bars for each part of the figure; two steps should be taken
in every bar; every movement thus invariably consists of eight or of four steps.
It is well not to learn too many new figures; the memory is liable to become confused among them;
besides which. it is doubtful whether your partner, or your vis-a-vis , is as learned in the
matter as yourself. Masters are extremely fond of inventing and teaching new figures; but
you will do well to confine your attention to a few simple and universally received sets, which
you will find quite sufficient for your purpose. We begin with the oldest and most common, the
First Set of Quadrilles.
The set is composed of eight persons-four ladies and four gentlemen. Two couples to form the
top and bottom, and two to form the sides. The gentlemen place themselves on the left of their
Before commencing a description of the Quadrilles or square dances, in order to save a repetition
of terms, I would wish the readers of this book to bear in mind the following instructions:
In all cases where you have to cross to the opposite side, turn your partner, or make use of the
ladies' chain, use seven walking steps, and bring the left foot up behind for the eighth.
When you have to advance and retire, or set to your partner, use three walking steps forward,
and bring the left foot up behind, and retire by walking back, first with the left. then with
the right-with the left again, and bring your right foot up to the left to finish.
First Figure .-The first part of this figure is called half right and left, because you pass
on the right hand side of the first person you meet in crossing, and the left hand side of your
own partner; when you get across, repeat the same to your place. Set-taking care to pass on the
right hand side of each other, give the right hand, and turn. .-The ladies cross, giving their
right hands to each other, and the left to the opposite gentleman-the same back to place. The
gentlemen move around behind their partners, giving the opposite lady their left hand, and
the same movement is repeated to meet their partners. Keep the hands-cross over to opposite
side-then half right and left to finish. The side couples repeat this figure.
Second Figure .-Top lady and opposite gentleman advance and retire, then cross over, in a semi-circle;
repeat these two movements to get to your places. Set to partners and turn. The side couples
repeat the figure.
Third Figure .-The top lady and opposite gentleman cross over, lightly touching the right
hand as they pass, return again, this time retain the left hand, all four form a chain, make one
small step forward. and one back, do this twice, then cross over to the opposite couple's place,
the couple who are dancing the figure advance and retire twice, give the nearest hand to your
partner, all four advance and retire, than half right and left, the same as in the first figure,
Fourth Figure .-Top lady and her partner advance and retire, the lady now crosses, the gentleman
leaving her halfway, retires alone; the opposite gentleman now advances with the two ladies,
taking their outside hands. The two ladies now cross to the other gentleman. The gentleman
who leads them retires alone. The three advance and retire from the other side, then all three
cross over, give hands around, cross over to opposite sides. Half right and left to finish.
The side couples repeat the figure.
Trenise .-The top lady and her partner advance and refits, they then advance again, the gentleman
leaving the lady opposite him. The two ladies cross to the opposite side. The top gentleman
advances to meet his partner, the bottom lady returns to her place; set to partners and turn.
Finale .-All join hands around, advance and retire twice. The top and bottom couples advance
and retire, then cross over. Repeat the same again. Ladies chain, and hands around. In crossing
do not alter the side on which you stand, but go straight across. CHEAT FIGURE.
Begin with first couple balancing to the right, turning opposite persons with both hands.
Balance to next couple, then to fourth, and then balance and turn partners. The third, second
and fourth couples follow the same order. You have the privilege of turning with the person
who presents hands or not, and anyone can step in between you while balancing, thus cheating
you in turning, or you can appear to turn to one person and then suddenly turn to another. JIG
Opens with hands all around. The ladies then leave their partners and balance to the next gentleman
on their right, and turn. Upon reaching her partner all balance to partners and turn. Hands
all around again, gentleman balance to the right and repeat the same movement. BASKET FIGURE.
Head couples forward and balance. The ladies join hands around in the center, the gentlemen
forming a circle outside. Gentlemen stop on the left hand side of their partners and pass their
hands, joined, over the heads of the ladies, allowing the ladies to pass backward and rise on
the outside, thus forming a basket. Balance and turn partners. Sides repeat. DOUBLE QUADRILLE.
This is a variation of the plain set, known as Coulon's Double Quadrille, which is sometimes
danced to secure an agreeable variety during a ball. It requires the ordinary quadrille music,
but only half that usually played to each figure.
First Figure .-The pecularity is, that all the couples, sides as well as top and bottom, start
at once. Double chaine Anglaise ; chaine Anglaise ; third and fourth, grande grande chaine
around them to places.
Second Figure .-Common single L'Ete , with this difference, that first lady and first side
lady commence at the same time to perform the figure with their gentlemen vis-a-vis . Lady of
second couple and second side repeat with gentlemen opposite.
Figure Three .-Similar arrangement to that in last figure; the two couples setting in cross
Fourth Figure .-The top couple dance with the right side couple; the bottom with the left. The
sides repeat, with top and bottom couples in like manner.
Finale .-Galopade around, top and bottom couple continuing it to center of figure and back,
then sides advance to center and back, and as they retreat, top and bottom couples galopade
into each other's places. Side couples do the same. Then repeat figure until all have regained
their own places. Double chaine des dames , and galopade around. Figure repeated, sides commencing;
the galop concluding. THE "NINE PIN"
Has become quite fashionable of late, affording more amusement probably than any of the other
dances. An extra gentle man takes a position inside of the circle and is known as the "Nine Pin."
Opens with hands all around. Nine Pin then turns each lady in succession: ladies and gentlemen
circle alternately around Nine Pin: back to places, and grand chain. Nine Pin joining in. At
the sound of the cornet, or stoppage of music, whoever is unfortunate enough to be without a
partner. (right hand to ladies in every instance,) is considered Nine Pin, and must take his
position inside of the circle. THE LANCIERS
Is undoubtedly one of the most popular and fashionable of the quadrilles.
It is more intricate and complicated than the plain quadrille, hence it is essential that those
who essay to perform it be especially careful to be quite perfect in the figure-bearing in mind
that a single mistake will frequently spoil the entire quadrille. But once having thoroughly
mastered the figure, the dancer will never forget it, for we know of no tunes which so completely
suggest the figure as the old-fashioned music of the Lanciers.
First Figure .-Head couples advance and retire: advance again, gentlemen turn opposite ladies
and retire to places (first eight bars). Cross over, couple passing between second (four bars).
Return to places, second couple passing between first (four bars). All balance to corners,
each gentleman turning his neighbor's partner on his left (eight bars).
Second Figure .-Opposite couples take partners by left hands: advance and retire; advances
again, leaving her in the center of the quadrille, and retire to his place (first eight bars).
Chassez croisez , and turn to places (second eight bars). Side couples join, top and bottom
couples making a line of four on each side; advance and retire four steps, each gentleman turning
partner to place.
Third Figure .-Couples forward and back (four bars); forward a second time and salute, and
return to places (four bars). Opposite couples right and left.
Fourth Figure .-Head couples visit couples on their right, to whom they bow, crossing over
immediately to the left couple and do the same, returning to places. First and second couples
then right and left; turn partners to places (second eight bars)
Fifth Figure .-This figure commences with the music, only one preparatory chord being sounded,
so each gentleman should stand with his right hand in that of his partner ready to start. It begins
with the grande chaine -that is, each gentleman gives his right hand to his partner, presenting
his left to the next lady, and so on alternately right around till all have once more reached
their places, saluting his partner each time they meet (sixteen bars). First couple form as
if for a galop, taking one turn around, returning to their places with their backs to their vis-a-vis
. Third, fourth and second couples step in behind them in the order indicated (third eight bars).
All chassez croisez , gentlemen passing behind ladies. First lady leading off to the right
and gentlemen to the left-each respectively followed by all the couples-till they reach the
Second couples and sides repeat. THE CALEDONIANS.
First Figure .-First couples and their vis-a-vis cross hands half around with left hands back
again, Balance to partners and turn. Ladies chain, All balance to corners, each gentleman
turning his neighbor's partner on his left (eight bars).
Side couples repeat.
Second Figure .-First gentleman advances and retires twice, second time bowing to opposite
lady. Balance to corners and turn. Each lady then passes to her neighbor's place. All then promenade
around with new parties. Repeat as above till each lady is brought back to her original partner,
in her own place.
Third Figure .-This figure, with the exception of the latter part, corresponds with first
figure of Lanciers. Head couple advance and retire. advance again; gentlemen turn opposite
ladies, and retire to places. Cross over, first couple passing between second; return, second
couple between first. Balance to corners and turn. All join hands, advance and retire twice;
turn partners to places.
Fourth Figure .-First lady and vis-a-vis gentleman advance four steps and stop; second lady
and first gentleman do the same. Each gentleman turns partner to place. All the ladies then
move to the right and the gentlemen to the left, to their neighbor's places-four steps. Another
four steps and they meet their original partners. Promenade to places.
Fifth Figure .-First couple promenade around on inside. Four ladies advance to center, courtesy,
and retire. Gentlemen advance and retire in a similar manner. Balance and turn partners. Grand
chain half around, promenade to places and turn partners. All chassez .
Second couple and sides repeat. THE VIRGINIA REEL.
Six or seven couples range themselves in two lines down the room, ladies on the right, gentlemen
on the left; partners facing each other.
The dance opens with the gentleman at the top of his line, and the lady at the bottom of hers, advancing
to each other half-way, courtesying and bowing, and back to places. Same couple advance to
center of line again, and turn with right hand, then with the left hand, then with both hands;
advancing fourth time and a dos-a-dos . First gentleman then turns his partner, she turning
each gentleman down the line with left hand, he turning each lady; upon each successive turn,
turn partner; arriving at bottom of line, first couple passes to head; separating, lady passes
outside of ladies' line, and gentleman outside of gentleman's line; ladies and gentlemen
follow their respective lines. meeting partners at bottom, and chassezing up the center:
first couple then chassez down the middle, and take position at foot of line. The other couples
follow as above, completing the figure with each line joining hands, turning partners and
In some circles the Virginia Reel is danced in the following manner:
The top couple advance to each other and bow, then the lady turns sharply off to the right and
the gentleman to the left, and the respective lines follow them to the end of the room (much as
in the fifth figure of the Lanciers.) On reaching bottom of figure, top couple join hands and
raise their arms, forming an arch, under which all the rest of the couples pass back to their
own places, except the top couple, who remain where they are at the bottom. The second top couple
(now become the top couple) now repeat these movements from the very beginning-lady at top
of her line and gentleman at bottom of his advance. and so on, until the original top couple have
worked their way back to their places at the top of the line, when the dance is finished, or may
be all done over again as often as found agreeable. THE WALTZ A TROIS TEMPS.
This is the "old waltz," as it is called, that which is always implied when " the waltz" is spoken
In this waltz the time is three-quarter: in each bar there are three steps in three beats of the
time. The gentleman takes his partner around the waist, in the same manner as for the polka and
all other round dances.
(First beat.) Pass your left foot backward in the direction of the left. (Second heat.) Pass
your right foot past your left in the same direction; care being taken to keep the right foot
in the rear of the left (third beat), and then bring the left up behind the right, completing
ONE BAR.-(First beat.) Pass right foot forward toward the right. (Second beat.) Pass left
foot forward still toward the right (third beat), and bring right foot up to right, turning
at the same time on both feet and completing the turn, TWO BARS.-Always conclude with the right
foot in front, in order to be ready to commence with the left.
The above description is intended for the gentlemen, as they invariably commence on the left
foot ; if, for a lady, "right" is Substituted for "left," in the foregoing, it will be found to
be equally applicable. The usual progression of all waltzes is from the gentleman's left to
right; but a good dancer should be able to waltz equally well in the reverse direction, as it
affords an agreeable change for his partner, and gives a pleasing variety to the dance. WALTZ
IN DOUBLE TIME.
(First beat.) Slide in the direction of the left with the left foot. (Second and third beats.)
Chassez to the left with the right foot, remembering not to-turn-FIRST BAR. (First beat.)
Pass right foot to the rear while turning half-around. (Second and third beats.) Pass left
foot behind the right foot, chassez forward, completing the turn.-SECOND BAR.
The great principle to be observed in all waltzes is to dance them smoothly and evenly with the
sliding step, or glissade . All jumping or hopping should be at once discarded as eminently
ungraceful. CELLARIUS OR MAZOURKA WALTZ.
This graceful dance is sometimes, though rarely, introduced as a feature in the programme
du bal ; we therefore give a description of the step, premising that it is not a dance to be learned
from a book, and that what we here set down is only intended to refresh the memory of those who
have learned it, but who, from its being so seldom danced, are likely to forget some one or mere
of the movements Of which it is composed.
The time is that of the Valse a Trois Temps , but the more slowly the dance is played, the more graceful
is the result.
The gentleman having half-encircled lady's waist with right hand, takes her right hand in
his left, slides forward with left foot, and hops twice on it; then slides with right foot and
hops twice on that. Repeat this for sixteen bars, letting the movement be circular, as in the
waltz, and getting half around during the two hops on each foot, the four completing the circle.
As formerly danced, there followed a movement which may be described as springing on each foot
in succession, striking the heels together, sliding, and so on-but this showy performance
has gone out of date.
At present, the dance concludes with a valse en glissade strongly marked. THE SCHOTTISCHE.
This is probably danced less than any of the other round dances in "best circles." being deemed
"vulgar." With children and young persons it is, however, still a favorite; and therefore
we give a description of the manner in which it is danced.
The Scottische is danced in two-four time, the first and third beat in each bar being slightly
marked. The slower the time is played, in moderation, the more pleasing the effect.
The gentleman takes the lady's waist and hand, as in the polka, and starts off with the design
of moving in circles; he slides forward the left foot, and as it stops, brings the right up to
it smartly: slides the left forward again, and gives a spring on it, while he raises the right
foot, and points it ready to start off with that, and repeat these movements. They may be continued
without variation, the dancers revolving as in a waltz, if it is agreeable to the lady; but she
may prefer that it should be continued as formerly danced. Then when the first step had been
performed eight times-that is, four starting with the left foot and four with the right, alternately-the
second part of the figure commences.
This consists of four double hops. Take two on the left foot, half turning at the same time, then
two on the right, completing the round. Repeat this; resume the first step for two bars; and
so on throughout. But the Valse a Deux Temps step is now generally substituted for the hops,
and indeed, when a Schottische is played, good dancers often use that step through it. THE POLKA.
A HOPPING or jumping movement in this dance is singularly ungraceful; so is the habit many have
of kicking out their heels to the inconvenience of other dancers. The feet should scarcely
be lifted from the ground-the dancers sliding rather than hopping-and the steps should be
taken in the smallest compass, and in the very nearest manner. Again, the elbows should not
be stuck out , nor the hands extended at arms' length, or placed upon the hip .
You will clasp your partner lightly around the waist with your right hand, and take her right
hand in your left, holding it down by your side, without stiffness or restraint. The lady places
her left hand on your shoulder, so that you may partially support her.
Remember that the polka is danced in three-four time, and that there are four beats to each bar.
Three steps are performed on the three beats; the fourth is a rest .
Observing this, proceed thus:
First Beat .-Advance your left foot, at the same time rising on the toe of the right with a springing
Second Beat .-Bring right foot forward, so that the inner hollow of it touches the heel of the
left foot, and as it touches raise left foot.
Third Beat .-Slide left foot forward and balance the body on it, while the right foot is slightly
raised, with the knee bent, ready to start with the right foot after next beat.
Fourth Beat .-Rest on the left foot.
With the next bar, start off with the right foot, and repeat the step, then with the left, alternating
the feet at each bar. Bear in mind all the while that you are to revolve in a circle. and to accomplish
this it is neccessary to half turn in each bar, so that two bars, one commencing with the right
foot and one with the left, will carry you around.
The lady reverses the order of the feet.
Relief from the fatigue of perpetual spinning around must be sought, not in promenading or
executing the steps in straight lines-these methods are exploded, and the correct thing is
to reverse the direction in which you have been revolving . Thus if you start from right to left
in the usual manner, change the step and revolve from left to right. This is difficult, but may
be achieved with practice. THE GALOP.
Among our notices of the round dances-not merely those which are fashionable, but even those
that can by any possibility occur in any modern ball-room-we can not do better than describe
the Galop. This is undoubtedly one of the fastest of dances, and from its life and spirit-also
from the circumstance of its always being allied with the most dance-compelling music-it
has always been, and, we venture to say, will long continue to be a great favorite.
The tempo (time) of the Galop is two-four, but the step resembles, as nearly as possible, that
of the Valse a Deux Temps . The great rapidity of this dance requires the utmost care to prevent-as
we remarked with regard to the deux-temps -its degenerating into a mere scramble. A good dancer
should be able to introduce into the galop every variety of reverse-movement. REDOWA.
This dance, though a very popular one. is somewhat difficult, and directions for dancing it
can hardly be conveyed to the mind of the reader in print. Most of the Redowa music, however,
is very suggestive, and to any one acquainted with the more simple dances, the Redowa step is
soon acquired. The movement is about as follows:
Gent takes one hop on left foot and lady upon right simultaneously. Gent then takes one hop upon
right foot, which has been passed behind, and to right of the left, which movement will turn
gent to right, turning lady, who makes the movement in two running hops. This is continued alternately,
one hop in time of partner's two running hops, care being taken to keep in perfect time with the
music. POLKA REDOWA.
This dance, from its simplicity and grace of movement, is a very popular one, and as the time
is much slower than in any other, it is not quite so fatiguing, and is therefore more generally
preferred. The movement is the same as in the Polka, so the same general rules and directions
will apply, the only difference being in the time. ESMERELDA.
This round dance has become almost obsolete in fashionable circles, so that a description
is not essential. DANISH POLKA
is performed with four steps, followed by four hops, turning; four steps then in opposite direction,
with other foot. Hops same as schottische movement. THE MAZOURKA VALSE.
The time of this dance is the old Valse played slower.
The gentleman commences from the Valse position with the left foot and the lady with the right.
First Movement .-Slide the foot forward and spring lightly on it twice.
Second Movement .-Repeat the first movement with the other foot; having practised this portion
of the step well from side to side, you may turn with it.
Third Movement .-Spring on each foot in succession, striking the heels together, then slide
to the side. This portion of the step is seldom if ever used now; the dancers generally finish
with the old Valse step after using the first and second movements as described. THE WALTZ COTILLION.
In this dance the couples form the same as for a Quadrille. The old Valse step or trois temps ,
is used. Top couple walk around inside the set until sixteen bars of the music have been played;
then the top and bottom ladies advance, retire, advance again, and cross over, turning. This
occupies eight bars of the music. The top and bottom gentlemen do the same. This is repeated
by the ladies and gentlemen at the side. The top and bottom couples walk to their places, and
the side cuoples to theirs. All set to partners with the Valse step, and turn half around with
right hands, finishing opposite the next lady or gentleman at your side; Repeat this till all
are in places again.
All walk around. It is usual to perform the whole of the figure four times, but of course it will
be left to the discretion of the dancers to continue the figures if they wish. Two or three chords
are usually struck before commencing the dance. COUPLE DANCES.
In all Couple Dances, before commencing, the gentleman places his right hand to the lady's
waist, so as to form a perfect support-the lady places her right hand in the gentleman's left.
Raise the arms to a level with the shoulders. Both Shoulders should be parallel The lady's head
turned to the left. THE NEW VALSE COTILLION.
This dance is an importation from Paris, and has been used in the upper circles during the last
three or four seasons. The figures are very numerous, as additions have been made since its
introduction into this country, but the original six figures will be here described.
All who wish to join in this dance seat themselves around the room; of course an equal number
of ladies and gentlemen is required, and certainly not less than ten couples should be present
to make the dance enjoyable. One gentleman should be selected from the company to act as director.
First Figure .-The first lady at the top of the room takes a seat in the center (which the gentleman
who has been selected to conduct the Cotillion places for her). He presents her with a cushion,
which she rests on the floor, still retaining hold of it. The gentleman who conducts the dance
then introduces another gentleman to her, who attempts to kneel on the cushion; if the lady
does not wish to dance with him she pulls the cushion away, and he takes his place behind her chair.
The next gentleman is then introduced. who makes the attempt to kneel, and unless the lady wishes
to dance with him, she serves him in the same manner as the former gentleman; the second gentleman
in that case takes his place behind the first. Another and another is introduced, until the
lady selects one to dance with. In that case she allows the cushion to remain whilst the gentleman
kneels upon it. He having knelt on the cushion, the lady arises, present her hand to the gentleman,
with whom she valses. This is a signal for all the couples to follow their example and valse once
or twice around the room. The gentleman who conducts the dance claps his hands as a signal for
all to resume their seats. He then selects another lady to take the place of the first one in the
center, and the figure is repeated until he wishes to change it.
Second Figure .-The director of the dance leads the first lady again to her seat and presents
her with a small hand mirror, into which she gazes. The director then introduces a gentleman
behind her chair. Of course his image will be reflected in the mirror, and if the lady does not
wish to dance with him, she rubs the surface of the mirror with her handkerchief; this is continued
until she has selected a gentleman to dance with, then she presents her hand, which, as in the
former and all figures, is a signal for all to valse around the room, till the gentleman who conducts
the dance claps his hands.
Third Figure .-The conductor of the dance takes a small basket containing various kinds of
flowers (an equal number of each kind should be provided), and presents one of each kind to a
lady and gentleman. (Care should be taken not to present flowers of the same kind to ladies and
gentlemen sitting next to each other, because the figure loses its interest.) The gentleman
on having a flower presented to him, arises, and walks around the circle until he finds the lady
who has a corresponding flower. Having found the lady, she arises and valses with him. (Care
should be taken to keep in the center of the room, as in this figure, dancers and gentlemen seeking
partners, shall keep clear of each other.)
Fourth Figure .-The first lady is led into the center of the room by the conductor of the dance,
who presents her with an orange (sometimes an apple or a ball is substituted); he then selects
two or three gentlemen and places them opposite the lady in a line. The lady throws the ball up,
and the gentleman who is successful in catching it valses with her; another lady is then selected,
and the successful gentleman's place is filled by another. This is continued until all the
ladies have occupied the position of the first lady. The director then gives the signal and
all valse around.
Fifth Figure .-For this figure two, three, or more white aprons with long strings attached,
must be provided. The director leads a lady into the center of the room, and hands her a chair.
He then introduces two or three gentlemen to her, and presents them with an apron each, nicely
folded. At a given signal they all unfold their aprons, and the first who succeeds in tying it
on (having wound the string twice around his body and tied it in a bow in front) claims the privilege
Sixth Figure .-All form the same as for the Lancers last figure. The music and step is changed
from Valse to Polka time. Give right and left hands alternately, till all in places; then, still
keeping the Polka step, form the same as for Sir Roger de Coverley. The two lines advance and
retire; advance again, take partners, and finish with a Galop ad lib .
Note .-The music for the new Cotillion is the Valse a Deux Temps . Change to Polka and Galop when
necessary. THE VARSOVIANA.
This dance is seldom danced now, though it formerly had an ephemeral popularity. We always
considered it a rather boisterous sort of performance, and more suitable for the casino than
the private ball-room. The following, however, will convey a distinct idea of the step:
First Part .-Pass the left towards the left, followed by the right foot in the rear, twice (first
bar.) Repeat (second bar.) During the turn execute one polka step (third bar) and bring your
right foot to the front, and wait one bar (fourth bar.) Begin as above with right foot, consequently
reversing the order of feet throughout the step.
Second Part .-Commence with left foot, one polka step to the, left-turning partner (first
bar.) Right foot to the front, and wait a bar (second bar.) Polka step, right foot towards the
right, and turn partner (third bar.) Left foot to front. wait one bar (fourth bar.)
Third Part .-Three polka steps, commencing with left foot, toward the left (three bars.) Right
foot to the front and wait one bar (four bars.) Repeat, beginning with right foot (eight bars)-making
in all sixteen bars, into which the music for this dance is always divided. THE GORLITZA.
The time is the same as that of the Schottishe, but not quite so quick. Take your position as for
First Bar .-One Polka step to the left, beginning with left foot, and turning half around.
Second Bar .-Slide your right foot to right; bring left foot up close behind it, as in the fifth
position; make a glissade with your right foot, ending with your left in front.
Third Bar .-Spring on your right foot, raising your left in front. Fall on your left foot, passing
it behind your right foot. Glissade right with your right foot, ending with your left foot in
Fourth Bar .-Again spring on right foot, raising left in front. Fall on left foot. passing it
behind right. Glissade to right with your right foot; end with same foot in front. Then repeat
from beginning during the next four bars, but the second time be careful to end with the left
foot in front. During the last two bars you turn around, but do not move forward.
The step for the lady is the same, with the order of the feet, as usual, reversed; except, however,
in the last two bars of this figure, which both begin with the same foot.
The Gorlitza, like the preceding dance, is divided into parts. The first part occupies eight
bars of the music; the second, sixteen bars. The step for the second part is as follows:
First Four Bars .-Commence with Polka Mazourka step with left foot to the left, and turn half
around. Then do the step of the Cellarius to the right, beginning with the right foot. Fail on
left foot, keeping it behind right foot; glissade with right foot, and end with same in front.
Second Four Bars .-Polka Mazourka with right foot to the right, and turn half around. Cellarius
step with left foot to the left. Fall on right foot, keeping it behind; glissade with left foot,
bringing it behind.
Repeat from beginning, which completes the sixteen bars of second half of the figure. Lady
does the same steps with order of feet reversed. THE NEW VALSE.
This graceful variation of the valse movement has not long been introduced, and is not yet so
universally popular as it promises to become. It is more elegant than the Valse a Deux Temps
, and more spirited than the Cellarius. The tempo is slower than that of the ordinary Valse .
The step is extremely simple.
Gentleman takes his partner as for the Valse a Deux Temps . Fall on the left foot, and make two
glissades with the right (first bar.) Repeat, reversing order of feet (second bar.) Lady begins
with her right foot as usual. The step is the same throughout. Figure en tournant .
The peculiarity of this Valse lies in its accent, which cannot properly be explained in words,
but must be seen to be under stood. We recommend our readers to lose no time in acquiring a correct
knowledge of the New Valse. It is unquestionably the most easy and most graceful dance which
has appeared of late years, and we are told on first-rate authority that it is destined to a long
career of triumphs. POP GOES THE WEASEL.
Performed the same as the Country Dance, the ladies and gentlemen being placed opposite each
First couple down the outside, back-down the center, back -swing three hands once and a half
around with second lady (first couple raise their hands) second lady passes under them to place-first
couple swing three hands with second gentleman (first couple raise their hands), second gentleman
passes under to place. POLKA COUNTRY DANCE.
Dancers form two lines-ladies on the right, gentlemen on the left. Top lady and second gentleman
set a Polka step, and cross into each other's places; second lady and top gentleman repeat same
to places. The two couples polka down the middle and back again. Same repeated till bottom couple
are at top, and so on at pleasure. THE TRIUMPH.
This good old-fashioned country dance is at once graceful and attractive.
The dancers stand in two rows-ladies on one side, gentlemen on the other. First lady and gentleman
dance down the middle and up again; then the lady passes down the dance with the next gentleman
followed by her partner. The two gentlemen lead the lady up between them, each taking her up
by one hand, and holding their other hands above her head; pousette all around, and repeat the
figure till all the ladies have been taken in triumph through the dance. HIGHLAND REEL.
This , more or less, is the general reel of the English. Irish and Scots; except that the latter
adopt the Highland step, which cannot be taught on paper. The dancers in parties of three or
four-a lady or two ladies back to back, between two gentlemen in line to form one reel- chassez
and form the figure eight, the gentleman changing places at each turn of the figure eight, and
dance to partners; and continue the figure according to the time of the music. ARKANSAS TRAVELER.
Balance first six, chassez half around-balance again chassez around to place-cross hands
around to place, first couple swing quite around-down the center, back and cast off-right
and left. PORTLAND FANCY.
Join hands and swing eight-head couple (gentlemen and opposite lady) down the middle, and
the foot couple up the outside, back to places-head couple down the outside, and the foot couple
up the middle, back to places-ladies chain at the head, and ladies chain at foot-all forward
and back, forward and cross by opposite couples and face the next four. CAMPTOWN HORNPIPE.
First couple down the outside, back-down the center (swing at the foot half around, (up the
center (lady on the gentleman's side) and cast off-ladies chain-first couple balance and
swing to place. JORDAN AM A HARD ROAD. SIX COUPLES IN A SET.
First couple balance, cross over and down the outside-balance at the foot, cross over up the
outside, down the center, back and cast off-right and left. SOLDIER'S JOY. FORM AS A SPANISH
All forward and back, swing the opposite-all balance to partners, and turn-ladies chain-forward
and back, forward again and pass to next couple. SICILIAN CIRCLE.
This dance is formed precisely the same as the Spanish Dance, and the figures are performed
in the same manner as the first number of a Quadrille, as follows: MUSIC IN TWO-FOUR TIME-Four
1. Right and Left 8 bars.
2. Balance to partners, and turn "
3. Ladies' Chain "
4. All promenade-Passing once and a half around, and finish facing the next couple, with whom
the same figure is again repeated 8 "
Each time the figure is repeated, the dancers will face new couples, and the dance is ended at
the option of the Floor Manager.
This dance was formerly a great favorite at public balls, but is now very seldom introduced,
on account of the rude manner of performing it. Instead of setting to their partners and turning
in places, or passing once and a half around in the promenade, the majority of rude dancers move
hastily off with a gallop, sometimes passing more than half the length of a ball room, and at
crowded bails are often unable to find the places which they left. When properly danced, however,
it is a very social dance. RUSTIC REEL.
this dance, in which each gentleman has two ladies, is formed in the same manner as the Spanish
Dance, by each three facing three. Thus: MUSIC IN SIX-EIGHT TIME.-Three Parts.
1. Each gentleman takes the opposite lady on his right hand, and then chassez to the right across
the room and back 8 bars.
2. Take the other lady, and chassez to the left in the same manner, and back again to places 8 "
3. All forward and back (joining hands,) forward again, and pass through between each other,
meeting the next set, with whom the same figure is repeated 8 "
This dance is continued in the same manner, until the Floor Manager thinks proper to stop. FAVORITE
AMERICAN COUNTRY DANCES. MONEY MUSK.
First couple give the right hand, and swing one and a half around; then go below one couple and
forward and back six; right hand to partner, and swing three quarters around; forward and back
six; swing to places and right and left four. CHORUS JIG.
First couple down outside and back; down the center and back; cast off; swing contra corners;
balance, and swing to places. COLLEGE HORNPIPE.
First lady balances to the third gentleman, and turns the second; first gentleman balances
to the third lady, and turns the second; down the middle and back; cast off, and right and left.
At the end of each figure pass one couple.
N. B.-Country dances are usually known by the name of the music to which the figures are set,
and were formerly danced in an almost endless variety. As they are no longer fashionable, it
is unnecessary to give additional descriptions of them. FRENCH TERMS USED IN DANCING.
A vos places , back to your own places.
A la fin , at the end.
A droite , to the right.
A gauche , to the left.
Balancez , set to your partners.
Balancez aux coins , set to your corners.
Balancez quatre et ligne , four dancers set in a line, joining hands, as in La Poule.
Balancez en moulinet , gentlemen and their partners give each other right hands across, and
balancez in the form of cross.
Balancez et tour des maims , all set to partners, and turn to places. (See Tour des mains .)
Ballotez , do the same step four times without changing your place.
Chaine Anglaise , opposite couples right and left.
Chaine des dames , ladies' chain.
Chaine Anglaise double , double right and left.
Chaine des dames double , all the ladies perform the ladies' chain at the same time.
Chassez croisez , do the chasse step from left to right, or right to left, the lady passing before
the gentleman in the opposite direction, that is, moving right if he moves left, and vice versa.
Chassez croisez et dehassez , change places with partners, ladies passing in front, first
to the right, then to the left, back to places. It may be either a quatre-four coupis-or les huit-eight
Chassez a droit-a gauche , move to the right-to the left.
Le cavalier seul , gentleman advances alone.
Les cavaliers seuls deux fois , gentlemen advance and retire twice without their partners.
Changes vos dames , change partners.
Contre partie pour les autres , the other dancers do the same figure.
Demi promenade , half promenade.
Demi chain Anglaise , half right and left.
Demi moulinet , ladies all advance to center, right hands across, and back to places.
Demi tour a quatre , four hands half around.
Dos-a-dos , lady and opposite gentleman advance, pass around each other back to back, and return
Les dames en moulinet , ladies give right hands across to each other, half around, and back again
with left hands,
Les dames donnent la main droite-gauche-a leurs cavaliers , ladies give the right-left-hands
En avant deuw et en arriere , first lady and vis-a-vis gentleman advance and retire. To secure
brevity, en avant is always understood to imply en arriere when the latter is not expressed.
En avant deux fois , advance and retire twice.
En avant quatre , first couple and their vis-a-vis advance and retire.
En avant trois , three advance and retire as in La Pastorale .
Figurez devant , dance before.
Figurez a droit-a gauche , dance to the right-to the left.
La grande tour de rond , all join hands and dance completely around the figure in a circle back
Le grand rond , all join hands, and advance and retreat twice, as in La Finale .
Le grand quatre , all eight couples form into squares.
La grande chaine , all the couples move quite around the figure, giving alternately the right
and left hand to each in succession, beginning with the right, until all have regained their
places, as in last figure of the Lancers.
La grande promenade , all eight (or more) couples promenade all around the figure back to places.
La main , the hand.
La meme pour les cavaliers , gentlemen do the same.
Le moulinet , hands across. The figure will explain whether it is the gentlemen, or the ladies,
or both, who are able to perform it.
Pas de Allemande , the gentleman turns his partner under each arm in succession.
Pas de Basque , a kind of sliding step forward, performed with both feet alternately in quick
succession. Used in the Redowa and other dances. Comes from the south of France.
Glissade , a sliding step.
Le Tiroir , first couple cross with hands joined to opposite couple's place, opposite couple
crossing separately outside them; then cross back to places, same figure reversed.
Tours des mains , give both hands to partner, and turn her around without quitting your places.
Tour sur place, the same. Tournez vos dames, the same.
Tour aux coins , turn at the Corners, as in the Caledonians, each gentleman turning the lady
who stands nearest his left hand, and immediately returning to his own place.
Traversez , cross over to opposite place.
Retraversez , cross back again.
Traversez deux , en dormant la main droite, lady and vis-avis, gentleman cross, giving right
hand, as in La Poule.
Vis-a-vis , opposite.
Figure en tournant , circular figure. LONDON POLKA QUADRILLE.
First Figure .-(Four strains.) Forward four, change hands, return to places, polka waltz
figure once around-balance and turn partners half around with right hand; ditto to places
with left hand, promenade forward, turn without quitting hands, promenade to places, sides
Second Figure .-(Three strains.) The first couple waltz back to couple on their right, ending
with the hands across-ross hands half around with the right hand, ditto, back with the right
hand, ditto, back with left hand, first couple waltz to their places; half promenade with opposite
couple, waltz back to places; next couple, etc.
Third Figure .-(Two strains) First couple lead or waltz up to opposite couple, turn the opposite
couple half around with the right hand, turn back with the left hand, first couple waltz to their
places; next couple, etc.
Fourth Figure .-(Three strains.) The first couple forward
Fifth Figure .-(Four strains.) The grand round all balance en carre; the first lady cross over,
followed by her partner, the gentleman dances back to his place, followed by the lady. N. B.-The
arms placed akimbo after the round. First couple waltz once around, others the same, etc.
Sixth Figure .-(Three strains.) The first couple waltz back to the couple on their right, ending
with the hands across; cross hands half around, with the right hand, ditto, back with the left
hand, first couple waltz to their places; half promenade with opposite couple, waltz back
to places; next couple, etc. FLOWER GIRL'S DANCE. FORM AS FOR THE SPANISH DANCE.
All chassez to the right, half balance; chassez back, swing four half around, swing four half
around and back; half promenade, half right and left; forward and back all, forward and pass
to next couple. CIRCASSIAN CIRCLE. FORM AS FOR THE SPANISH DANCE.
All balance, swing four hands, ladies chain; balance and turn partners; right and left; all
forward and back, forward again and pass to next couple. TEMPEST. FORM IN TWO LINES OF SiX OR
EIGHT COUPLES ON A SIDE.
First two couples down the center (one couple from each line) four abreast, couples part at
the foot and up abreast and each turn around opposite the next couple that was below them on starting;
four on each side right and left; ladies chain with the same couple; balance, four hands around
(on each side), same four down the center, etc. RUSTIC REEL. EACH GENTLEMAN HAS TWO PARTNERS;
FORM AS FOR THE SPANISH DANCE.
Each gentleman chassez with right hand lady, opposite and back; chassez out with the left hand
lady opposite and back; all forward and back, pass through to the next couples. DEVIL'S DREAM.
FORM IN SETS OF SIX COUPLES.
First couple down the outside (foot couple up the center same time) back first couple down the
center back and cast off (foot couple up the outside and back at the same time); ladies chain
first four; right and left. FANCY FIGURES OF THE COTILLION. THE PURSUIT.
Three or four couples lead off. Each gentleman of the cotillion has the right to go behind any
of the dancing couples and take the lady to dance with. He should clap his hands to announce that
he means to substitute himself for her partner. This figure continues until each gentleman
has regained his lady, to conduct her to her place. In order to give animation to the figure,
as soon as a gentleman seizes a lady he should immediately be replaced by another. THE FINAL
All form a general round. The leader and his lady separate from the circle (which immediately
re-closes), and perform a Waltz in the center. At a signal he stops, and his lady passes out of
the circle. He selects another lady, with whom he also dances Within the circle. He passes out
of the circle in his turn, and the lady selects another gentleman-and so on for the others. When
only two or three couples remain, all the couples finish with a Tour de Valse . THE SNAIL.
All form a general round, and turn to the left. At a signal the leader drops the hands of the lady
on his left. enters the circle, and continues moving to the left, forming a colimacon (snail),
while the lady moves to the right, outside the circle. The leading gentleman and last lady each
draw the others after them. When they are entirely coiled, the leader, with the others, pass
under the arms of one or more couples to get outside: all follow without quitting hands. The
leader conducts the others around the room at pleasure, and ends by reforming the general round.
All finish with a Tour de Valse . THE TWO LINES.
First couple, with all the others following, promenade around the room. The leader, with the
other gentlemen, form a line; the ladies form a line opposite, each facing her partner. The
first couple start off in a waltz, and pass down behind the line of ladies, and still waltzing
pass between the two lines, and behind the ladies' line a second time; they stop below the last
couple, the gentlemen on the ladies' side. and the lady on the Side of the gentlemen. Each couple
in succession execute the same figure. Finish with a Tour de Valse generale . THE WINDING ALLEY.
The leader, holding his lady by the hand, promenades, inviting the other couples to follow
in their order. Two circles are then formed, one within the other, the ladies by themselves
forming the inner circle, the gentlemen the outer one. The gentlemen leader with his lady starts
Off in a waltz, and goes through the winding alley formed by the two circles, until he has regained
his place. He then exchanges places with his lady, she taking his place in the gentleman's circle-he
her's in the ladies' circle. Each couple in turn perform the same figure. Finish with a Tour
de Valse , by all. THE LABYRINTH.
All the couples form a ring, and turn to the left. At a signal, the leader quits the hand of the
lady to his left, and continuing to turn to the left, enters the circle forming a colimacon (snail),
while the lady moves to the right outside the others. A circular space must be maintained, in
order to waltz within it. In this position the leading Couple set out by waltzing, and following
the winding of the labyrinth formed by the general chain coiled upon itself; until they arrive
at the last couple, and then take a place in the chain. As a new couple arrives, it takes its place
next to the last arrived. When all in turn have arrived, finish with a Tour de Valse . THE EUROPEAN
MAZOURKA QUADRILLES. DESCRIPTION OF THE FIVE FIGURES.
Introduction. -Wait eight bars; take hands around. Grand round, all to the left, four steps,
to the right four steps, eight bars. Petit tour , forward and backward, eight bars.
First Figure .-Right and left, or chaine Anglaise , eight bars. Top and bottom couples advance.
then the two ladies cross over, while the two gentlemen execute a quick turn, in giving each
other the left arms by the elbows, and finishing back to places, four bars. Petit tour backward
with the opposite lady, four bars. Right and left, eight bars. Advance, the two ladies cross
over, while the gentlemen execute a quick turn in giving each other right arms, four bars. Petit
tour forward, four bars. Side couples repeat the same figure, which takes thirty-two bars.
Second Figure .-Eight bars rest. Top and bottom gentlemen give right hands to their partners,
then they advance and retire; eight bars. Cross over by the left, four bars. Petit tour forward,
four bars. Ditto to places. Side couples repeat the same figure, which takes thirty-two bars.
Third Figure .-Eight bars rest. Top and opposite ladies cross over, four bars, and recross
in giving the left hand, they stop in center of the cotillion. The gentlemen, their partners,
give them their right hands, and place the left around their waists, four bars. In this position,
and without the ladies quitting each other's left hand, they make a half turn, to change places,
four bars. Petit tour backward, four bars. Hands across, or moulinet , one round, six bars.
Retire by taking partners' hands, two bars. Same figure to places, without the hands across
the second time. Side couples repeat the same figure, which takes forty bars.
Fourth Figure .-Eight bars rest. Top gentleman gives his right hand to his partner, then they
advance and retire, eight bars. A promenade. Petit tour forward and backward; a reverse, eight
The Graces .-They advance again, the gentleman turns half around without quitting his partner's
hand, and gives his left hand to the opposite lady, the two ladies join hands behind the gentlemen,
four bars. Advance and retire by three in this position, four bars. The gentleman stoops and
passes under the ladies' arms, four bars. One round thus to the left, at the end of which the opposite
lady so taken is returned to her place, four bars. Gentleman then promenades to his place with
his lady, four bars. Petit tour (sur place,) four bars. Same figure for the opposite couple,
which takes forty bars. Side couples repeat the same figure, which takes forty bars,
Fifth Figure .-Eight bars rest. Half right and left, and petit tour backward, eight bars. Ditto
to places. Hands four half around; petit tour forward, eight bars. Ditto to places. Right and
left, eight bars. Petit tour forward and backward, eight bars. Side couples repeat the same
figure, which takes forty-eight bars.
Finale .-Grand round all to the left and to the right, sixteen bars, and a Grande Chaine-plate
. Right and left all, eight around. When the partners meet in places, make the Tour sur place
, or Mazourka, turn in place at pleasure, sixteen bars.
Note .-We give E. Coulan's description of this quadrille, the figures being the same as the
Cellarius Mazourka. But the description of the former teacher, being more concise and simple
than that of the latter-we adopted it for our little volume.
This dance, like other fashionable ones, has been modified in its simplicity to suit the taste
and capacity of the dancing public to acquire with ease and facility its figures and steps.
It may be either danced in the form of a Cotillion, or by two couples, without the sides, as the
Quadrille Francaise is often danced, which figures it much resembles.
It takes about ten minutes to dance; new couples can join in it at any time. The steps employed
are the Mazourka. The great objection to the Mazourka Quadrille with us, is its unusual length.
The Mazourka Cotillion is now but seldom danced in fashionable society, and like the Cellarius
Valse , which, since it was first introduced in 1844, has been so much altered in steps and time,
that it is difficult to recognize its original features; therefore, it is of little moment
to the social dancer-and its interest only rests with the profession, as to its merits or orthodox
The Military Quadrilles axe a beautiful set, which are executed only with walking and gallopade
step. The figures, however, are complicated, and would require a lengthened choreographic
description to make them in any way understood. HUNGARIAN RIGADOON OR MENUET QUADRILLE OF
As composed by Markowski, of the Imperial Academy of Music, expressly for the French empress'
fete , given at the Tuileries, and as danced by her highness and court suite.
It is danced in two parallel lines of eight, or four couples, and may be formed of sixteen, twenty-four,
thirty-two, etc., persons, arranged up and down the saloon like a contra dance. But eight persons
in four opposite couples are requisite for each Quadrille.
Its character and steps are Mazourka.
First Figure .-All join hands- Glissade to the right and back to the left, four bars. Repeat
the same figure, omitting the round de jambe , and execute in its piece the reverence and salute,
(that is, courtesy and bow), four bars. Each gent with lady by the hand, advance to center with
six jetes and pas final , four bars. Change ladies in center and Holubiec with them by the waist,
shifting from right to left arms, four bars. Each gent resumes his lady by left hand and return
to places execute the same six jetes and end with Holubiec and pas final on their places, four
These jetes are to be made small and kept back and well marked with the music, so as not to advance
too rapidly to the center; or to cover too much ground.
Second Figure .-All the gentlemen go to right with right feet and within (viz. the gents move
to right in a circle movement, while the ladies move to the left without-moving as a circle movement),
while the ladies to the left, and without, doing a Glissade-Glissade , and pas final , and thus
altogether move around and so back to places-each gent stopping before each second lady, and
seizing her in vales position, executes the Holubiec , sixteen bars. Each gentleman takes
his lady under the arm, (her left arm under his right arm), and promenades to center with pas
Glissade - Glissade three times, the fourth time the pas final , turn to places and return to
them with the same step, fourth time all Holubiec on places, eight bars. Repeat No. 2, as above,
eight bars. Bars thirty-two, B.
Third Figure .-All to center separately , with two jetes and three little rustic steps, de bourre
, a run with pas final in center-then Holubiec in center and return to places with same steps,
one, two, and one, two, three, and pas final and Holubiec again on places, sixteen bars. Waltz
by all across and back to places, so as to occupy sixteen bars.
Step .- Glissade and hop lightly on the same foot, and repeat with the same foot, making one,
two, three, four. Then walking steps around, one, two, three, four, at the fourth time, hopping
on this foot, or pas final , according to the measure of the music, so as not to recommence the
Glissade until this fourth time is well out.
This Valse movement is very pretty, and makes an excellent Waltz in couples.
Fourth Figure .-Solo by four ladies to center, with jete by right foot, left foot before ( i.e.,
pas de Basque ), and two small fouettes in the air, (whip step), making three times, and the fourth
time pas final , returning to places with Same step, having made a Holubiec in center in two couples,
sixteen bars. All to center by hand- Glissade - Glissade , and pas final , and form two rings in
center of four each, four bars. Rings around to right and left, eighteen bars. All to places
with Glissade , and Holubiec on places, four bars-thirty-two bars.
Fifth Figure .- Kolo .-Viz.: A ring by all to right with Glissade - Glissade , and pas final at
each two bars, eight bars. Back to left, eight bars, Ring broken-all the gents to right, and
ladies to left, making a circle in going around, as described in figure second, No. 1, sixteen
bars. All Waltz as in figure three, sixteen bars-forty-eight bars.
Professor Markowski causes the reverence and salute-that is, the bow and courtesy, to be done
in the first figure, first part, as also in the other figures, instead of the pas finale , one,
two, three, and the Rond de Jambe .
Also, his Jetes are each followed by a slight hop on the same foot-thus giving time to keep the
measure. The little hop must be carefully executed.
The following explanation is necessary to a proper understanding of the last figure-as taught
by the composer, and with which Mr. F. Troubat, who now resides in Paris, had the goodness to
"In the last figure after the round or general ring, and the starting to right by the gentlemen
and ladies separately, the eight dancers take hands in a straight line, and advance with a pas
marche , two measures; Holubiec in couples in a straight line, two measures; resume hands and
advance, two measures; Holubiec again, two measures; and so twice more, being eight measures,
or bars. Then attack the waltz."
Markowski's Holubiec is a single pas marche around, and not the difficult whirl, called tour-sur-place
, as in the Mazourka Quadrille.
This dance is almost entirely executed in the valse , side and forward movements, and Holubiecs
with the pas marche step. The Mazourka steps used in it are hardly more than a graceful walking
movement, and depend upon manner altogether.
The form and figure of the Mazourka Quadrille are being dropped, or not now used. It is simply
danced in fashionable circles, in couples as the other valses, and the figures improvised
as they progress around; or as fancy may dictate. Intricate quadrille figures have been abandoned
in society. THE TRIPLET.
It is a lively medley, and very popular in the English ball rooms.
The object of this dance is to combine, and reduce to order, the three dances now so popular.
And while retaining all their animation and vivacity, to prevent the present crowding, confusion
and collisions, so generally complained of. THE TRIPLET FIGURES-GALOP.
Four couples stand as for a set of Quadrilles. Eight bars before beginning.
First Figure .-The four couples galop with four steps into the couples place and turn half around,
the same around to places, eight bars.
Second Figure .-The first couple galop once with four steps toward each couple all around,
eight bars. The second, third and fourth couples do the same, twenty-four bars.
Third Figure .-The four couples advance with four slow setting steps to the center and galop
around to left, to places, eight bars.
Fourth Figure .-The first figure repeated.
Fifth Figure .-The first couple galop between the opposite couple and return outside ( a Tiroir
.) The side couples the same; this repeated, thirty-two bars.
Sixth Figure .-The third figure repeated.
Seventh Figure .-The first figure repeated.
Eighth Figure .-The first couple do the valse galop around the center of set, eight bars. The
second, third and fourth couples do the same, twenty-four bars.
Ninth Figure .-The third figure repeated.
Tenth Figure .-The first figure to finish. THE TANGO.
The Tango was originally a South American dance, composed in two-four time. Arranged for the
ball-rooms by M. Markowski. TO BE DANCED IN COUPLES.
First Part .-The gentleman and lady at the beginning stand face to face, without taking hands,
or holding by the wrist.
1. Echappe with the right foot, and raise the left foot; the second time to the side, point it
down. Spring on the right foot slowly, the three following times quicker. The lady does the
same with the gentleman.
2. Give their right hands to each other and place their left on their sides. During these steps
they look under and over their arms, which they move in graceful circles four times changing
their hands and feet, and finish by Echappe leve bringing the foot into the third position.
Three jetes well marked. They turn their faces from right to left, and from left to right.
The four measures which follow are different from the first, because the dancers turn, sometimes
to the right and sometimes to the left. The gentleman holding the lady by the waist as in the tarantula
Second Part .-Valse time movements to form the graces.
1. The gentleman takes the lady by the waist as in other dances. He commences with the left foot
Coupe , bring the left foot back slowly in the third position.
2. A Jete in front.
3. Fouatte (whip step) with the left foot, and spring on the right foot.
4. They turn in the Valse, at their pleasure from right to left, or left to right. The gentleman
commences with right foot.
The lady does the same all through, taking care always to commence with the left foot, if the
gentleman Commences with his right or the opposite foot to the one he begins with. GERMAN OR
These Cotillions may be danced with the step, either of the Waltz, or the Polka, the Mazourka
or the Valse a Deux Temps , by an unlimited number of persons.
Each gentleman places his partner on his right hand. There is no rule that any particular figure
shall be danced, nor is it intended that the figures here explained shall be danced in rotation.
The selection is left to the determination of the leading couple, who commence the figure,
which the other couples repeat in succession. In large parties of twenty-four or thirty couples,
it is customary for two or more couples to perform one figure at the same time, otherwise the
amusement might be tedious by its length.
To preserve the regularity of the dance, the same seat should be maintained by each individual
It must be well understood that in selecting partners for the figures hereafter explained,
no previous introduction between the parties is requisite. It is only necessary to present
the hand to the lady or gentleman who is chosen.
One great interest in these figures is, that their constant variety enables each gentleman
to dance with almost every lady.
The first couple start with the Polka, or Valse, and are immediately followed by all the other
After one round the places are resumed, and what may be called the first figure is begun.
The leader selects two ladies, and his partner selects two gentlemen. Thus:
They advance, and each gentleman takes the lady opposite to him, and dances one or two rounds
with her, after which they return to their places: The next couple do after the same manner,
and if, as I said before, the Cotillion be a large one, two or more couples begin at the same time.
The first three couples begin with the Polka or Waltz around the room. The first three ladies
choose three other ladies, and the six ladies place themselves thus:
The three gentlemen then select three other gentlemen, and holding each other's hands pass
in zigzag form between the ladies; when on a signal given by the leader, each gentleman takes
one of the ladies standing, and dances the Polka with her. When they have resumed their seats,
the other three couples repeat the same figure, and so on until all the couples have danced it.
THE TWO FLOWERS.
The leader takes two ladies, and asks them each to name a flower. He then presents them to one
of the gentlemen, desiring him to say which flower he prefers. When the gentleman has made his
choice, he is presented with the lady the name of whose flower he guessed-he dances with her,
and the leader dances with the other lady around the room. The other couples perform the same
figure in their turn. THE ROUND AND GRAND CHAIN.
The first two couples dance several rounds of the Mazourka and Petit Tour . The first gentleman
takes another lady, and the second lady takes another gentleman.
They then advance and retire, advance again, and the two gentlemen with the lady pass under
the arms of the two ladies facing them, and join hands behind the gentlemen. The ladies also
join hands behind the center lady. They turn one round to the left, afterwards form a circle
holding hands. Then Grande Chaine until they meet their partners, when they couple off with
the Mazourka. The same figure for the remaining couples. THE STAR.
The first three couples commence with the Polka. The ladies select three other gentlemen,
and the gentlemen three other ladies. The six ladies place themselves in a moulinet right hands
in the center, giving the left hands to the gentlemen, and all turn.
Three of the ladies hold their hands a little above those of the other three.
At a given signal the three ladies who hold their hands above, leave the center and dance with
their partners in the narrow space between each lady and gentleman.
Meanwhile the three other couples continue to turn slowly one way and the other, still keeping
in the center of the star, changing from right hands to left.
After repeating this two or three times, they finish with a round of the Polka, and return to
their places. The same to be repeated by the rest. RUSSIAN MAZOURKA QUADRILLES. DESCRIPTION
OF THE FIVE FIGURES.
Introduction .-Wait eight bars. 1. Kolo , or the grand round -all taking hands-four steps to
L, four steps to R, or back to places, eight bars.
The step thus used is the Waltz Mazourka , with the Coup de talon , which can be done in moving sideways,
or in waltzing.
2. Grand chain, half around and return to places with the Mazourka step, eight bars.
3. Figure part begins. Top couple goes out with Mazourka step and two Pas de Basque steps, four
bars, and Redowa Valse to places, four bars.
4. The same couple Holubiec , thus: Pas de Basque around each other in places, and Mazourka valse,
The other couples do the same figures.
Second Figure .-1. Kolo . The four couples in waltz position, go around with the Mazourka sliding
heel and stroke step, viz., Coup de talon , done three times, and for the fourth time one whole
waltz turn; this is executed four times in going around, and four waltz turns in each quatre
of the Quadrille; or at the end of every four bars a waltz turn, sixteen bars.
2. The leading couples in waltz position, glide around each other with sliding Mazourka step,
to their respective right hand side couples, four bars, and with the sides perform the Tiroir
Figure -this is simply a Chassez Croisez , the gents and ladies facing their own partners (ladies
passing in center), two bars one way, and two bars back again.
4. The leading couples then hands four in center, four bars.
5. Redowa Valse to places, four bars.
6. Holubiec in places-the Redowa step done as a square, and the partners disengaged; finish
with Valse, eight bars.
The side couples execute the same figures. SECOND PART OF SAME QUADRILLE.
1. The leading couples do the Cellarius Valse movement, (so called), sixteen bars.
This figure cannot be easily described, and must be taught.
2. The same couples Holubiec in places, eight bars, viz., Jete Volte, Pas de Bourre back.
Sides repeat the same.
Third Figure .-1. Kolo .-The four couples together perform the Tiroir figure all around to
places, eight bars.
2. The leading couple Valse out four bars, gentleman takes the right hand side lady, and with
his own partner executes the "Graces," which takes twenty-four bars.
This is only done once by each gentleman, going regularly around.
This figure must be taught.
Fourth Figure .-1. Kolo .-All the couples promenade around with the forward Mazourka step,
and Pas de Basque , half ground the Quadrille, eight bars, and Redowa Valse to places, eight
2. The leading couples Tiroir into each others' places, four bars.
3. Set to partners with Mazourka step, four bars.
4. Re- traversez to places, with the same figure, four bars.
5. Set again to partners in places with Mazourka step. Side couples do the same. SECOND PART
1. The two leading couples cross over with Mazourka and Pas de Basque steps, eight bars.
2. Redowa Valse to places, eight bars.
Sides the same.
Fifth Figure .-The Kolo is as the first quadrille-all eight hands around.
2. All the gentleman Allemand with their partners in places, ending with casting their ladies
to the left hand corners, while they go to the right hand corners, each meeting at the corners
a lady and a gentleman. This takes eight bars.
3. The ladies and gentlemen thus meeting, (partners being changed all around,) Pas de Basque
around each other, four bars. The lady being thus left on the right of the gentleman, they will
join hands, and with the forward Mazourka step promenade half around quadrille, four bars,
and casts the lady thus with him to the left hand corner, where new partners are met as before-where
all execute the Pas de Basque again, and promenade half around. These changes of partners are
done four times, with the same steps and figures, till the gentlemen regain their own partners.
Salute partners and finish.
The steps of this dance are nearly the same as those of the old Mazourka set, only the Pas de Basque
and Redowa Valse steps are combined with them, making it a light and elegant Mazourka set, being
less fatiguing and much shorter than the other quadrilles. They are easily acquired, but must
be taught, no written or choregraphical description can convey them accurately to the pupil.
Like all dances and steps they must be learned. Books can only assist the amateur and learner.
JUNIOR SCHOTTISCHE QUADRILLE. DANCED TO ONE AIR, OR CHANGES MAY BE MADE IN THE MUSIC AT PLEASURE.
First Figure .-Top and bottom couples promenade around each other inside of figure, eight
bars. The same couples waltz across into each other's places, eight bars. The side couples
do the same figures, eight bars. All waltz around to places, eight bars.
Second Figure .-Eight bars rest. Top and bottom couples promenade up, and exchange ladies.
Gents with the ladies thus exchanged waltz back to places, eight bars. All the couples allemand
, thus: The gentlemen swing the ladies half around with right hands, four bars, and back with
left hands. four bars, in places, eight bars. The side couples do the same. Exchange ladies,
eight bars. All thus again allemand in places. The leading couples meet again, and the gentlemen
Third Figure .-Eight bars rest. The leading couples promenade up to their respective left
hand side couples, four bars. The four gents take the ladies thus brought opposite to them,
and waltz out to their left hand sides, forming a line of four across the room-the leading couples
in the center of the line-the side couples outside. This takes four bars. The two lines forward,
each meeting thus their partners, take partners and waltz to places, eight bars. The side couples
repeat the same, taking care to form the line up and down the room. The side couples are now in
the center of the line, eight bars.
Fourth Figure .-Double lady's chain. The four ladies hands across half around, four bars;
on reaching the gentlemen opposite their places, they waltz in places (or, swing with left
hand), with him, four bars. The four gents then also right hands across, until they reach their
respective ladies, four bars, then waltz with partners in places, four bars, all waltz around
to their own place, eight bars.
Fifth Figure .-Eight bars rest. Grand chain-viz: Right and left all eight. The gentlemen waltzing
with every third lady he meets, four bars, in going around-which will be four times, thirty-two
bars. The top and bottom couples balance to their respective right hand side couples and do
the tiroir figure-the two couples pass through each other in open order, the ladies passing
in the center, with four turning voltes -the gentleman pass outside-thus they pass around
the Quadrille, doing the Schottisch balance and four voltes with each couple they meet, till
they have arrived in places, taking four times for the passes, thirty-two bars. Finish with
the Schottische Valse , sixteen bars, Waltzing ad libitum . DANCING, AND ITS HAPPY INFLUENCES.
In classing this elegant accomplishment with the fine arts, we adopt the distinction made
by the ingenious author of a work entitled "The Fine Arts Reduced to a Principle." He divides
the arts in general into three kinds, with a view to their different ends. The first, he observes,
have for their object the necessities of man, whom Nature seems to leave to himself as soon as
she has performed the office of ushering him into the world. Exposed as he is to cold, hunger,
and a numberless train of ills, the remedies and preservatives of which he Stands in need, seem
ordained to be the price of his own labor and industry. This gave rise to the Mechanical Arts.
The next have pleasure for their object. These sprung wholly from the bosom of Joy, and owe their
existence to sentiments produced by ease and affluence. They are called, by way of eminence,
the Fine Arts-such as Poetry, Painting, Sculpture, Music, and Dancing.
The third kind are those which are subservient to both usefulness and pleasure: Architecture,
for example, and Eloquence. Necessity first produced them, and taste has given them the stamp
of perfection. They hold a sort of middle rank between the two other kinds, and may be said to
share their utility and delight.
Dancing is, of all the Fine Arts, that which seems peculiarly devoted to cheerfulness and joy.
It is the lively expression of these emotions by gestures and attitudes. It seems to have nothing
but pleasure in view, yet, like Music, its sweet accompaniment, it tends to refine the manners.
and to give health, activity, and vigor, as well as graceful ease and elegance to the human frame.
People are too apt to look upon Dancing as merely a pleasant recreation, and seldom think of
any important end which it can answer. A few lines, therefore, may not be misemployed in illustrating
Few persons are ignorant of the good effects of exercise in preserving or restoring health.
But of all active exercises, Dancing is undoubtedly to be preferred. The best medical writers
seem only afraid of recommending it with too much earnestness, lest the pleasure it affords
may often lead to excess. When kept within the bounds of moderation, it gives salutary play
to the organs of life; every muscle is in motion; the lungs are expanded; the stomach is strengthened;
obstructions are prevented or resolved; the circulation of the blood and the performance
of all the necessary secretions are most desirably facilitated.
Let us next consider its happy influence on the mind. The usual cheerfulness of well-bred company,
the sprightly dispositions which draw young people together on festive occasions, and the
charms of music, give a spring to the spirits, and dispel vapors, melancholy and every sickness
of the heart. Thus we find that this agreeable amusement contributes as much to health, both
of mind and body, as to outward grace, well-bred demeanor, and to a becoming, yet modest assurance,
not only in public assemblies, but in the circles of private intercourse.
The lovers of dancing, like those of music, are ever fond of variety; and, indeed, to give a true
zest and to keep up the interest created by each, variety is and ever will be essential
As authors generally are disposed to entertain a very elevated opinion of the subject on which
they discourse, our readers should not be surprised that we regard the art of Dancing not only
as an agreeable and elegant pastime, but as one of the most efficient as well as delightful means
of civilization. So long as dancing is cultivated, civilization progresses; but no sooner
is the interdict issued against this elegant accomplishment and social amusement, than the
people who had been refined and polished by its inspiration, relapsed into barbarism, or gave
place to others more spirited than themselves
In every period of life, the art of dancing facilitates the acquisition of ease and elegance
in personal deportment, but especially when acquired in early life. They who have learned
to dance in childhood are ever distinguishable in manner from those who have not learned. They
enter a room and retire therefrom, or pace an apartment, with ease and dignity of carriage.
Graceful movement has become a second nature by early training and continued practice.
Nature alone will not teach good manners. Art is Nature's younger sister, and comes in to finish
what Nature begins. Each has her beauties, each her imperfections; and they correct each other.
Guided solely by nature, we are awakened-by Art, we become formal, cold and deceitful.
Books alone are not sufficient to teach our art. Personal instruction and discipline are indispensable.
A few lessons sometimes suffice for those gifted with a delicate sensibility and quickness
of apprehension. But a living model, a severe and friendly criticism are necessary to render
books of etiquette available even to those who are naturally elegant.
Dancing, says a recent author, has been employed by all nations in all ages, to exhilarate the
mind, and give expression to the consciousness of abounding health, which there is no doubt
it contributes to maintain. It has the advantage over most other exercises, in being social
. Being accompanied by music, both the mental and muscular powers of all those engaged in it
are united in executing the same movements, which are consequently effected without much
exertion of the will; so that it secures a large amount of exercise with but trifling fatigue.
It harmonizes with the general plan of the organic movements of the body; and should be cultivated
in every family as an antidote to the effect of toil and weariness.
We need not enter into a defense of dancing. This the wisest and best men have done, who, discriminating
between its use and abuse, have delivered it from its isolated position as the only one of the
liberal arts which had been discountenanced, because, forsooth, it was sometimes carried
to excess. Solomon, the wise man, says that there are times for all good things, and adds, that
there is a time also to dance. THE SUPPER ROOM.
Before entering the supper-room, it is necessary for the managers to designate which end of
the room is to be for the head of the table, and then form the company for a march, When ready, direct
the first couple how to proceed. But if no particular arrangements are made, the company will
proceed to the further end of the room. While marching to the supper-room, each couple should
keep their position in the line, so that all may take their places at the table in regular order.
If the company be large, there is often a reluctance on the part of gentlemen taking the head
of the table, because of the onerous duty it sometimes imposes of crowing. This should be cheerfully
performed by every gentleman to the best of his knowledge.
Gloves should be removed at the supper-table. Servants in waiting are the only persons privileged
to wear them.
If the supper be a private one, the lady of the house sits at the head of the table, and the gentleman
opposite to her.
The places of honor for gentlemen are on each side of the lady of the house, and for ladies on each
side of the gentleman.
The company should be so arranged that a gentleman will be beside each lady to assist her.
It is the duty of a gentleman to see that the ladies near him are properly attended.
The best guide for persons unacquainted with the usages of society is to pay attention to what
others do, the majority of whom know, or ought to know, what is proper on such occasions.
Before rising from the supper-table, be assured that the majority are prepared to leave. Should
there be insufficient room for presenting your arm to the lady, let her precede you; conduct
her to the ball-room or ladies' sitting-room, as she may prefer; and as soon as dancing is resumed,
be prepared to take part with your partner. ADVICE TO WALTZERS.
The first requirement is that pupils, while dancing, be as careful to observe a strict deportment
as to preserve a graceful carriage, Which cannot with impunity be neglected.
During many years of professional labor, we have received not a few suggestions in the art from
both the progress and deficiencies of pupils, the natural graces of some, and in others the
awkwardness suggestive of rules for improvement.
On a dancer's first entering a crowded assembly, the management of a partner is not an easy task,
requiring, as it does, so much tact and delicacy; and so many obstacles to uninterrupted facility
presenting themselves. If a gentleman cannot avoid contact with other dancers, or cannot
keep clear from even the most inexperienced; or if he do not keep in time to the music, as it becomes
quick or slow, he cannot be considered to be a good waltzer. These points can be gained only by
con constant practice-practice in the dancing school, where the dancer should serve his apprenticeship,
rather than make his debut in the ball-room, where he subjects others to vexation and himself
Though a pupil has attained perfect skill in his steps and can go through the most difficult
evolutions of the waltz; if his head be rigid on his shoulders, his arms contorted, his back
bent, or his legs be stiff and ungraceful, he cannot justly claim to be good waltzer.
A dance should not be looked upon as a constrained exercise. still less as one of display. Whoever
in a waltz loses his natural air, and assumes an attitude, or even a look, which is foreign to
him, may be sure that he waltzes badly. This is addressed not to gentlemen only, but also to ladies,
to whom we wish to secure simplicity and ease of motion, and a consciousness of the necessity
of perserving graceful and natural attitudes.
It is recommended that the lady, when waltzing, leave herself to the direction of her partner,
trusting entirely to him, without in any case seeking to follow her own impulse. A lady who should
endeavor to avoid an encounter with other dancers, would risk interfering with the intention
of the gentleman, to whom alone should be intrusted her security amid the crowd surrounding
and crossing her in every direction. Should she wish to rest, let her inform the gentleman of
her desire, and not suddenly stop in the midst of the circle. Her partner should have the opportunity
of choosing the time and place of stopping, so as to insure her safety amid the mass. A gentleman
should not relinquish his lady until he knows that she has fully recovered from the effects
of long continued rotatory motion, which are sometimes so powerful as to cause loss of equilibrium
if she be detached too quickly.
The part of the gentleman is not the least difficult, it demanding more care and detail, he having
to direct himself and his partner at the same time; but to suppose that the lady's part is simply
negative, not requiring any particular skill, is a great error.
Ladies who imagine that a few attempts made in private and under the supervision of parents
or friends, will enable them to appear with success in society, greatly deceive themselves;
and we are not prompted solely by professional interest in saying that the instruction and
advice of a master are not only useful, but absolutely necessary. It is a master's duty to point
out to the lady the steps and attitudes she should acquire, to remark such steps as may be imperfect,
when her hand is misplaced, when she weighs unduly upon her partner's arm, throws herself back
too much, or has any other defect which if not amended at the outset may subsequently become
Professors, while regulating the steps and attitudes of their pupils, should at the same time
attend to the preservation of the natural and graceful characteristics of each one; causing
Art and Nature to aid each other in producing a beautiful effect.
In a large class of scholars there will always be a diversity of style. There should, therefore,
be no spirit of rivalry as to superiority, as pupils with very different qualifications may
yet be equally good dancers. That one should as a partner be preferred to another, ought neither
to offend nor surprise; as the preference arises generally from agreement of style or movement.
These differences of movements, common to both sexes, make the waltz highly attractive.
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