This is something that completely escaped me, Miss Austen’s almost obsession with the “Dance” this is a great read and well illustrated. For lovers of Jane Austen I highly recommend this post to you.
“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.” ( Pride and Prejudice , Chapter 3) During Austen’s time, young people looked for a potential mate at dances. Austen, herself, enjoyed a good dance, and, therefore, she often used dance as part of her plot line. In a 1798 letter to her sister Cassandra, Austen wrote, “There were twenty Dances & I danced them all, & without any fatigue.” Dancing well was a “necessary evil.” Those who trod on their partners toes (i.e., Mr. Collins) were seen as gauche. Children of the gentry learned the latest dance steps early on.
Public balls or assemblies and private balls formed the two types of formal dances. Assemblies took place in large ballrooms in market towns and cities. They were constructed for the purpose of public gatherings. One might also hold a dance in the ballrooms at country inns…
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2 thoughts on “Regency Customs: I Won’t Dance, Don’t Ask Me ~ Using “Dance” As a Plot Device In Jane Austen’s Novels”
I Love to dance, however i can’t dance a lick. I always look like someone who’s being tazed by the police LOL. Due to my not being able to dance, I made sure all my kids could, started them dancing at a very early age. Happy to say all 3 are very good dancers now.
What a great shame Lisa theres was nothing I enjoyed more than dancing and I know what you missed but would you believe both women I wed did/do not dance? Ridiculous! 🙂