ENGLISH OLD TIME DANCING

Don Herbison-Evans, donherbisonevans@yahoo.com

Department of Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney

INTRODUCTION

The English Old-Time dances are sequence dances for couples, each couple consisting usually of a man and a woman. In sequence dances, every couple on the dance floor performs the same steps at the same time, and at the end of the sequence, the steps are started again. This makes sequence dances relatively easy to learn, as a beginner can easily copy the movements of adjacent dancers on the floor.

ENGLISH OLD TIME

In England, around the turn of the century, sequence dances were a popular style of dancing. The technique of the steps uses balletic foot positions, with the feet turned out each by 45 degrees. These dances were brought out by English colonists. Many of these dances are still performed today in Great Britain, and at social dances in Australia. A set of 16 dances have been approved by the Australian Dancesport Federation for use in dance competitions and championships in Australia:

  • Balmoral Blues
  • Boston Two Step
  • Britannia Saunter
  • Camellia Tango
  • Fylde Waltz
  • Gainsborough Glide
  • Lilac Waltz
  • Lola Tango
  • Mayfair Quickstep
  • Premier Two Step
  • Rialto Two Step
  • Saunter Reve
  • Tango Serida
  • Tango Solair
  • Veleta
  • Oldtime Waltz

  • The Veleta

    In 1984, a society was formed for those interested in this style of dancing and its music: The Old Tme Dance Society. Bryan Smith was the first President, until his death in 1996. Currently it has 1500 members worldwide.

    REFERENCES

    Neville Boyd,
    'English Old Time Sequence Dancing' DVD/VHS,
    165 Bobbin Head Road, Turramurra, NSW 2074, Australia

    Neville Boyd,
    'English Old Time Sequence Dancing Guide',
    165 Bobbin Head Road, Turramurra, NSW 2074, Australia (1984)

    Neville Boyd,
    'Supplement to English Old Time Sequence Dancing Guide',
    165 Bobbin Head Road, Turramurra, NSW 2074, Australia (1993)

    Derek Young,
    'An Introduction to English Old Time Dancing' video,
    Quasar Video, U.K. (1998)

    Victor Silvester,
    'Old Time and Sequence Dancing',
    Barrie & Jenkins, London (Revised Edition 1980)

    'Sequence Dance Videos and Books',
    Westport, Bristol (1998)

    Sequence Dance Scripts,
    Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London

    Dance Links in Australia

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