Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Trouvaille du Jour: Dance practice

Courtesy: The British Museum

"Why do people attend balls if they don't know the dances?"
Ever caught yourself asking this question during an event? Or ever been asked this question? 
Fear not, you are not alone, nor is it a recent phenomenon.

We're still in December 1803 ;-) yes, this edition proved to be a mine of interesting bits and bobs: 

Today's dances are so difficult that they ceased to be entertainment, and became work. Once upon a time, if one asked a lady to dance, she would accept, whether she learned that dance or not.
Though nowadays at least two years of lessons are required, before one ventures into a contredanse. Of twenty ladies asked to dance, nine-teen refuse by saying "I am just beginning, and by no means advanced enough".
In some circles of society, where the hostess isn't yet advanced enough, four sprightly dancers are asked to dinner, and as many good female dancers, who will throughout the evening delight the assembly: This way one will be entertained as well.... By watching others dancing.

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