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Holiday Ball - Dance Instruction

No, you won't find any of your disco, hip hop or modern day music and dancing here, but you will gain some insight into our styles of dancing.  Below are some instructions to some of our most popular dances. Before you begin, however, you will need to know the definitions of some of the French terms used in them.

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Gilderoy The Lancers Waltz in Double Time The Galop
The March Spanish Dance Rustic Reel The Schottishe


First couple down the center with the second lady, (leave the lady at the foot) back first couple down the center with the second gentleman (leave second gentleman at the foot) back--first couple down the outside pass in to center at the foot, up the center followed by second couple--right and left four.

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The Lancers

  1. (3 strains) All balance and turn corners--first two forward and back, forward again and swing round with both hands to place--first four cross over (first couple passing between the other couple, on the outside in crossing back)--all balance corners and partners--next two forward, etc.
  2. (3 strains) First couple forward and back, forward gain and leave the lady in the center--first couple chassee across (or balance), and turn to place--first couple separate facing each other, the other six form in lines by their sides, all forward and back, turn partners to place--next couple forward, etc.
  3. (3 strains) First lady forward to center and stop, opposite gentleman the same, lady returns to place--gentlemen the same--four ladies cross right hands, give left hand to the gentlemen, promenade to the right round to place--first two forward and back, forward again (curtsey and bow) back to places--next two forward, etc.
  4. (3 strains) First couple lead to the right and bow--lead to the left and bow--chassee across with the same couple, right and left with opposite couple--next couple lead to the right, etc.
  5. (3 strains) Grand right and left--bow to partners, grand right and left--bow again to partners--first couple face round (right hand side couple pass in behind the first) and other side couple; second couple (gentlemen and ladies each in a line) promenade outside--ladies to the right--gentlemen to the left--all forward and back--forward again, turn partners to places.
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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.

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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 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 (Waltz in Double Time). The great rapidity of this dance requires the utmost care to prevent its generating into a mere scramble. A good dancer should be able to introduce into the Galop every variety of reverse-movement.

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The March

This figure, to be effective, should be danced by at least eight sets. Commence at the same time as the music.

  1. First Couple Promenade, Facing Outward 8 bars.
  2. First couple dance around the inside of the quadrille, back to places, facing outward.
  3. Remaining Couples Fall in Column
  4. Pause in music. The third, fourth and second couples take their positions in succession behind the first couple, all facing in the same direction.
  5. Ladies to the Right, Gentlemen to the Left; Forward, March.
  6. The music plays a march, the gentlemen turn to the left and march in line down the outside of the column; the ladies turn to the right and march down the outside of their side of the column. When the head gentleman meets his partner at the bottom of the room, he turns to the left, she to the right and march up the center, followed by the others in rotation.
  7. Halt.
  8. All turn and face partners.  Gentlemen turn quarter-face to the right, ladies same to the left, bringing partners facing each other.
  9. All Four Steps Backward.
  10. The gentlemen and ladies all step backward, forming a line on each side with a space down the center between them, and partners facing each other.
  11. The music now changes to a quick-step.
  12. Head Couples Forward Two and Back 4 bars.
  13. The head gentleman and his partner opposite, each take four steps toward each other, and back to places.
  14. Forward Again and Swing 4 bars
  15. The same forward again and swing once and a half around with both hands.
  16. Down the Middle and Take Bottom Places.
  17. The same glide or chassez down the middle, and take places at bottom of the lines, each on the proper side.
  18. Each couple the same.
  19. As soon as the first couple start down the middle, the second commence "forward two," etc., and the moment the second couple start down the middle, the third couple commence, and so on, the lines gradually edging sideways toward the upper end, as each successive couple gets to the bottom. When the head couple have got back again to the top of the lines:
  20. All: Forward and Back 4 bars.
  21. The two lines advance four steps and back again.
  22. Turn Partners, Couples in Column.
  23. All forward again and turn partners, ending in column as at the commencement of the march.
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Spanish Dance or Waltz

Couples form in a line, or in a circle around the hall, every two couples facing each other. In waltzing the gentleman should hold the lady by the right hand with his left, his right hand placed just above her waist, her left hand resting upon his arm just above the elbow. The arms should be kept in a rounded position preserving them without motion, which is the most graceful. All the beats should be clearly marked, being attentive to turn on the toes. Every turn in the waltz should be fully performed, so that in finishing, the waltzers will be opposite the side they were on when commencing, without which their course cannot be followed, causing confusion in the set.

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The Rustic Reel

Each gentleman has two partners: from as for the Spanish Dance.

Each gentleman chassee with right hand lady, opposite and back--chassee out with the left hand lady opposite and back--all forward and back, pass through to the next couples.

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The Schottische

The Schottische 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 fist step for two bars; and so on throughout. But the Valse a Deux Temps (Waltz in Double Time) step is now generally substituted for the hops and indeed, when a Schottische is played, good dancers often use that step through it.

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