Every Savage Can Dance
As Mr. Darcy states to Sir Lucas in Pride and Prejudice ”every savage can dance.” Thus we are all without an excuse when failing to partake. Even the poorest performer can take to English Country Dancing. As a teacher once shared, “if you can walk, you can dance.”
Our time travel portal will feature two period balls – neither to be missed!
English Country Dance Weekend
Spencerville • June 21-23
A recent addition to the English Country Dance circuit, the Regency Ball in Spencerville is held upstairs in the village’s historic, stone town hall. Featuring two workshops and a period ball, the weekend appeals to both beginners and experienced dancers seeking heritage charm. The aim each year is to host a ball with as little instruction as necessary. To that end the local group begins practicing dances as early as January and makes a list of dances and steps available to distant travellers. David Smukler is again calling in 2013, and Playford Players will provide live music. The cost per person is $60.
Netherfield Country Ball
Upper Canada Village • July 13
A special one-time affair, the Netherfield Country Ball celebrates 200 years of Jane Austen’s classic novel, Pride and Prejudice. An addition to the biggest War of 1812 re-enactment in the region this year, the Bicentennial of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm, the Netherfield Country Ball will be called by Michel Landry with live music by Rufty Tufty. The ball is free. Period dress is strongly encouraged, but civilian spectators will be welcomed.
The Duke of Kent’s Waltz
Knowing at least one dance makes any ball that much more fun. Below are the steps and a video to the Duke of Kent’s Waltz a popular English Country Dance played at many events.
1794 • Duple Minor – Triple Meter, 3/4 time
Preston’s Twenty Four Country Dances for the Year 1794
A1 Right hand star all the way around, then left hand star.
A2 Ones join hands, slowly chasse’ down the center two steps, then chasse’ twice again back up to place (12 counts) Ones large cast down while the twos lead up.
B1 Each couple take’s partners right hand, balance forward, then back. Partners change places, with the smaller dancer turning under the other’s arm. (Couples are now ‘improper’). All switch to left hands. Repeat the balance forward -back – turn under sequence.
B2 All turn the person to their right diagonally by Right Hand once around (the woman at the top and man at the bottom will stand out for each diagonal turn). All turn by Left Hand once around to finish.