About English Country Dance

Q:  What kind of Dancing do we do at the Pride & Prejudice Ball ~ Winnipeg?  Why?

A:  The kind of dance that we will do at the Pride & Prejudice Ball is called English Country Dance, and is also known as Contra Dancing.  Our goal at the Ball is to immerse ourselves in the time of Jane Austen (c. 1815) which is known as the English Regency Period (c. 1800 – 1820).  Ballroom dancing, as we know it, did not yet exist, and people of the time would attend Balls (private parties) and Assemblies (public parties) to dance all of the favourite English Country Dances.  Jane Austen was a great fan of dancing, and wrote often of her enjoyment of this pastime.

At the time, dancing was one of the only ways to spend time with and be close to a member of the opposite sex and even the small connection of hand holding was very exciting!  People employed the services of a Dance Master to teach them the dances, so that everyone attending a ball would have known all of the footwork.

English Country Dance groups continue to be active worldwide.  It is a kind of dance that is very accessible to people of all ages and abilities.  Some dances are more active, while others are elegant and sensual.

Here are a few examples of some of the dances we will do at the Pride & Prejudice Ball!  We will learn all of these at the Dance Lessons, so be sure to register!

The Hole in the Wall:

Mr. Beverige’s Maggot:
The Duke of Kent’s Waltz: (The dance starts at 0:45)
The Indian Queen:  (the tutorial is in German, but has English subtitles)