Dance, Dancing, and Dancers: The How-To Guide to Victorian Dance
It is with a great sense of responsibility and delight that I bring to you, young people on the verge of entering society, this short dissertation concerning the guidelines for cultured dance. I am confident that, as long as you adhere strictly to what is written in this manual, you will succeed in all your dancing endeavors.
Dancer's Place in Society
Due to the exquisite tastes of our Queen Victoria, dance, which is intimately aligned with musical ability, has become an integrated part of our society. Although the variety of dance ranges from the new Viennese waltz and the Sir Roger De Coverly to square dances and ...view middle of the document...
A Gentleman's Place in Dance
Gentlemen are expected to know very well what is required of them. When asking a lady for a dance, use such phrases as, "Will you honor me with this dance?" or "Shall I have the pleasure?" A true gentleman will not sit next to a lady who is not an acquaintance of his. Under the circumstance that he knows her, he may ask permission to sit. Without proper introduction, a gentleman should not ask a lady to dance. White gloves must be worn at all times, taken off only to eat supper. If a gentleman escorts a young lady home, he should not go inside, instead, he should make a call during the next day. Dancing with a lady once does not entitle the gentleman to another dance with her. Lastly, one of the indispensable qualifications of a gentleman is the desire of imparting pleasure to the ladies. This should be a main objective for the evening ("Ballroom"). Success in this endeavor will lead to the success of the evening.
The ability to present oneself properly while dancing is invaluable. People from every class take part in dancing. The distinction between the...