The Full title is "An analysis of country dancing: wherein are displayed all the figures ever used in country dances, in a way so easy and familiar, that persons of the meanest capacity may in a short time acquire (without the aid of a master) a complete knowledge of that rational and polite amusement. To which are added, instructions for dancing some entire new reels; together with the rules, regulations, and complete etiquette of the ball room. By Thomas Wilson ... Embellished and illustrated with engravings on wood, by J. Berryman."
I am a man on a mission. My mission is to establish a basic level of historical understanding in what we refer to as "Regency Dance". The current state of things in Regency Dance is, from a historical perspective, pretty dismal. In all but a very few places, the terms "Regency Dance" and "English Country Dance" are more or less interchangeable, with a slight concession that, if you are calling it a Regency Dance, you should probably keep the number of recently created dances to a minimum. The steps and stylings that gave the Country Dance of the Regency its character are entirely dispensed with, and people walk through the choreographies without any notion of what could be.
I had a very interesting chat with the supervising ranger at Los Encinos State Historic Park where I volunteer. I was talking to him about yesterday's Will Rogers Jazz Age Picnic, and he was saying he was very keen on similar costumed "flash mobs" descending on Los Encinos.
Last month there was a bit of bruhaha over the discovery of two amazingly ugly dead critters who were breathlessly identified in the media as "chupacabras".
The "cooler heads" then quickly moved in and pooh-poohed the idea that the nasty things were the legendary goat suckers. "You poor benighted rednecks. They are not chupacabras" they declared, "they are in fact hairless mangy coyotes".
For something like a decade now, we have had a very nice ragtime tea dance in the Lanterman House in La Canada/Flintridge. Ian Whitcomb has provided the music, and the Locke - Noble Tea Company provided the tea, and 50-60 people have had a very nice afternoon in the ballroom of the 1915 Craftsman house.
This is a video of the "Grand Opera Ball", held in November 2003 to celebrate the Social Daunce Irregulars' 15th Anniversary. The Social Daunce Irregulars have been staging Victorian Balls since 1988.
The dance was in the Pasadena Masonic Hall. Music was provided by the Philadelphia Promenade Orchestra.
This was held on Saturday, June 5th 2010 at the South Pasadena War Memorial Hall.
Website for the Social Daunce Irregulars:
Website for the Band of the California Battalion