American Ballroom Companion presents a collection of over
two hundred historical social dance manuals. The list begins
with a rare late fifteenth-century source, Les basses danses
de Marguerite d'Autriche (c.1490) and ends with Ella Gardner's
1929 Public dance halls, their regulation and place in the
recreation of adolescents. Along with dance instruction manuals,
this online presentation also includes a significant number
of antidance manuals, histories, treatises on etiquette, and
items from other conceptual categories. Many of the manuals
also provide historical information on theatrical dance. All
illuminate the manner in which people have joyfully expressed
themselves as they dance for and with one another.
you will find a detailed description of each of the manuals
included on this CD.
|Elegantní tanecník / dle rozlicných pramenu upravila
Anna Lorenzová. Lorenzová, Anna.
CREATED/PUBLISHED V Trebíci : Nakladatel Jindrich Lorenz,
[189-] (V Dacicích : Tisk Ant. Kasalého)
SUMMARY This diminutive manual, written in Czech, contains
descriptions of popular ballroom dances including the
polka, mazurka, waltz, quadrille, and polonaise. Lorenzová
demonstrates that late nineteenth-century ballroom traditions
were similar throughout western and eastern Europe.
|Trattato teorico-prattico di ballo di Gennaro Magri
... Magri, Gennaro, fl. 1779.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Napoli, V. Orsino, 1779.
SUMMARY This manual represents one of the most important
sources on dance technique for the second half of the
eighteenth century and is a critical link between Baroque
dance and early romantic ballet. Part one is divided
into sixty sections describing various aspects of dance
beginning with a statement on the utility of dance,
and feet positions. The manual continus with descriptions
of many steps, for example, four of battemens, nine
types of pas de bourrée; balloté; and twenty-three types
of cabriole. Also includd is extensive information on
late eighteenth-century grotesque style, especially
important for the study of Italian pantomime. Part two
discusses the responsibilities of a dancing master and
manner of performing the minuet. The manual concludes
with instructions for thirty-nine contradanze (contredanses)
including one dance that is arranged for thirty-two
|Traité sur l'art de la danse, dédié á Monsieur Gardel,
l'ainé ... Par M. Malpied ... Malpied, N.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Paris, Boüin; [etc., etc., 1770?]
SUMMARY This instructional manual describes Baroque
dance steps and their correlation with music using the
notation system published by Raoul-Auger Feuillet in
1700. Additionally, the manual contains information
on the minuet and also provides an extensive discussion
on hand and arm positions.
|A treatise on the use and peculiar advantages of dancing
and exercises, considered as a means of refinement and
physical development ... By Francis Mason. Mason, Francis.
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, Sharp & Hale, 1854.
SUMMARY In this book dancing master Mason attempts
to make a case for the advantages of dancing and traces
the development of dance from ancient times. As part
of his argument, Mason often distinguishes between the
dance of civilized and uncivilized peoples. His bias
is clear in the following: "Man in a civilized state
generally turns the feet outwards, as in an uncivilized
state they are invariably turned inwards" (p. 11).
|The ball room guide, being a compendium of the theory,
practice, and etiquette of dancing, embracing the newest
quadrilles, polkas ... also, the Meyen quadrille, as taught
by H. Meyen ... Meyen, H[enry]
CREATED/PUBLISHED New York, E. & J. Magnus, 1852.
SUMMARY This manual begins, as do others of the period,
with a general introduction that covers the necessity
of dancing and a brief history of the dance. Declaring
that bodily exercise "drives away sorrow and care,"
the author asks, "how is it that there are men malicious
enough to condemn this innocent pastime?" (p. 12). The
manual continues with ten rules to be observed at balls,
duties of managers, and seven rules for the German cotillon
(a series of dance games). While Meyer gives figures
for quadrilles and directions for fourteen German cotillon
figures, his descriptions of round dances are vague.
For example, in a describing the polks, he notes it
"is either danced in a circle...or at variety, eight
bars to the right and eight bars to the left...(pg.
|Arte de danzar a la francesa, adornado con quarenta
figuras, que enseñan el modo de hacer todos los diferentes
passos de la danza del minuete, con todas sus reglas,
y de conducir los brazos en cada passo: y en quatro figuras,
el modo de danzar los tres passapies. Tambien estàn escritos
en solfa, para que qualquier musico los sepa tañer. Su
autor Pablo Minguet e Irol ... Añadido en esta tercera
impression todos los passos, ó movimientos del danzar
à la española ... Minguet é Irol, Pablo, d. 1801?
CREATED/PUBLISHED [Madrid, P. Minguet, en su casa,
SUMMARY Published in 1758 by engraver, writer, and
translator Minguet é Irol, this manual incorporates
sections of Raoul-Feuillet's Choreographie (Paris, 1700)
and Pierre Rameau's Le Maître de danser (Paris, 1725),
although neither author is credited. Part one describes
feet positions, the manner of managing one's hat, and
provides a large vocabulary of steps used in eighteenth-century
dance technique. Part two includes dances by Feuillet
and French dancer and choreographer, Guillaume-Louis
Pecour. The third section discusses contredances. The
last and most interesting part, dated 1764, gives descriptions
for forty-five steps used in Spanish dance.
|De la danse. Par Moreau de Saint-Méry ... Moreau de
Saint-Méry, M. L. E. 1750-1819. (Médéric Louis Elie),
CREATED/PUBLISHED Parme, Imprimé par Bodoni, 1801.
SUMMARY This manual describes a colonial view of the
history of dance in the West Indies, focusing on the
dance of Creoles. Moreau de Saint-Méry (1750-1819),
discusses the effects of slavery and the African roots
for such dances as the chica and notes that contredanses
and minuets were also performed.
|Nvove inventioni di balli; opera vaghissima nella quale
si danno i giusti modi del ben portar la vita, et di accommodarsi
con ogni leggiadria di mouimento alle creanze et gratie
d'amore. Conueneuoli a tutti i cavalieri, & dame, per
ogni sorte di ballo, balletto, & brando d'Italia, di Spagna
& di Francia. Con figure ... in rame et regole della musica
et intauolatura quali si richieggono al suono et al canto.
Divisa in tre trattati ... Negri, Cesare, b. 1536?
OTHER TITLES Nuove inventioni di balli
CREATED/PUBLISHED Milano, G. Bordone, 1604.
SUMMARY Originally published as Le gratie d'amore in
1602, this manual is considered one of them most valuable
and diverse primary sources on Italian court dance.
Divided into three parts, the first part illuminates
the career and students of dancing master Cesare Negri
(ca. 1536-ca. 1604; also known as Il Trombone); the
second is devoted to the era's most virtuosic dance
type, the galliard; and the third section details a
wide repertory of additional steps utilized in the treatise's
forty-three choreographies. Many of the choreographies
are preceded by full-page illustrations and each dance
is provided with appropriate music written in Italian
lute tablature and/or mensural notation.
|Dances of to-day, by Albert W. Newman ... an expert's
full directions, with illustrations and diagrams, for
learning or teaching the tango, hesitation, one-step,
Boston, maxixe and all other modern dances. Newman, Albert
CREATED/PUBLISHED Philadelphia, The Penn publishing
SUMMARY Declaring his book to be the "absolute authorith
on modern dancing," Newman describes a large selection
of the most popular ragtime dances including the Castle
Walk, Castle Glide, one step, horse trot, tango, maxixe,
and lame duck. The manual is enhanced with line drawings
and photographs and contains music for the "Newman Tango."
|Stage and fancy dancing. By F. C. Nott ... Nott, F.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Cincinnati, O., J. M. Wright, 1896.
SUMMARY Although the manual begins with a description
of the "five ballet positions," the book is intended
for amateurs. Nott presents directions for thirty steps
such as leap, boure [sic]-quick, hop, dash, slide, and
paddle step. Included also are choreographies for over
twenty dances such a "Skip Rope Dance," "Skirt Dance,""Cloak
Dance," "Witches Dance," and "Cachucha."
|The tango and the new dances for ballroom and home,
by Maurice [pseud.] ... illustrated with photographs and
diagrams. All steps described so plainly anyone can readily
learn them. [O'Donnell, Bales] 1874-
CREATED/PUBLISHED Chicago, Laird & Lee, inc. [c1914]
SUMMARY This manual is a series of articles written
by Maurice, who, along with his partner Florence Walden,
was one of the most famous exhibition ballroom dancers
of the era. Included are descriptions for the tango,
Brazilian maxixe, Maurice walk, nineteen figures for
"Nights of Gladness" Waltz, and twelve figures for "La
|Social dancing inconsistent with a Christian profession
and baptismal vows: a sermon, preached in the Presbyterian
church, Columbia, S.C., June 17, 1849, by B. M. Palmer
... Palmer, B. M. 1818-1902. (Benjamin Morgan),
CREATED/PUBLISHED Columbia, Printed at the office of
the South Carolinian, 1849.
SUMMARY Taken from a sermon delivered 17 June 1849,
Palmer's book is typical of midnineteenth-century antidance
literature. He declares that the seventeen references
to dance in the Bible are all performed by one sex,
in open fields, and in broad daylight. This, Palmer
(1818-1902) concludes, is not the case with balls, in
which the sexes dance together, in closed quarters,
and at night. The author declares that human nature
is "fallen and depraved, and subject to the domination
of wicked passions," therefore, attending balls is promiscuous,
demoralizing and inconsistent with baptismal vows.
|Le cotillon et les quadrilles actuels; traité théorique
et pratique, par F. Paul ... Paul, F.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Paris, E. Gérard et cie, 1877.
SUMMARY This manual provides instructions for the figures
of five quadrilles including one for three couples (rather
than the normal four couples). However, the main focus
of the book is on the cotillon (also known as the German),
a group dance consisting of a series of party games
of figures. The manual provides 182 figures.
|Sketches relative to the history and theory, but more
especially to the practice of dancing ... Intended as
hints to the young teachers of the art of dancing. By
Francis Peacock ... Peacock, Francis, 1723-1807.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Aberdeen, Printed by J. Chalmers
& co., 1805.
SUMMARY This manual begins with a discussion on the
importance of dance for youth and outlines the origins
of dance. Although much of the historical and theoretical
text is borrowed from other dance writers--notably Giovanni-Andrea
Gallini and John Weaver--the manual is important for
its description of the Scotch reel and accompanying
ten reel steps. Some of the steps include kemshóole
(forward step), minor and double kemkóssy (setting steps),
lematrást (cross springs), and curatag (turning step).
|An essay for the further improvement of dancing; being
a collection of figure dances, of several numbers, compos'd
by the most eminent masters; describ'd in characters after
the newest manner of Monsieur Feuillet. By E. Pemberton.
To which is added, three single dances, viz. a chacone
by Mr. Isaac, a passacaille by Mr. L'Abbe, and a jig by
Mr. Pecour ... Pemberton, E.
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, J. Walsh [etc.] 1711.
|There is no harm in dancing, by W. E. Penn, with an
introduction by Rev. J. H. Stribling, D.D. ... Penn, W.
CREATED/PUBLISHED St. Louis, Mo., L. E. Kline, 1884.
SUMMARY The basic premise in this antidance treatise
is typical of this genre of dance literature; namely,
dance is bad for the health and is a waste of money.
The author utilizes a novel approach and uses trees
as metaphors to support his arguments. Some trees are
"not comely to look upon, but the fruit very good."
Other trees have dangerous fruit and the author concludes
that samples of the fruit found on the tree of dancing
include "pride, lasciviousness, lying, drunkenness,
embezzlement, fornication, cruelty, idolatry, prostitution,
abortion, and assassination." The manual was reissued
in 1886 as The Upas Tree.
|Ist tanzen sünde? Von G. J. Pfefferkorn ... Pfefferkorn,
CREATED/PUBLISHED [Chippewa Falls, Wis.] c1901.
SUMMARY This antidance treatise was directed at the
large German-speaking population that settled in the
mid-western section of the United States. Pfefferkorn's
two main arguments are common in this genre of literature:
dance is a waste of time and money and, additionally,
is bad for the health. The author concludes that dance
is sinful and dangerous, leading to carnal appetites
and immoral thoughts and actions.
|Familiar dialogues on dancing, between a minister and
a dancer; taken from matter of fact with an appendix containing
some extracts from the writings of pious and eminent men
against the entertainments of the stage, and other vain
amusements ... By John Phillips ... Phillips, John, Rev.
CREATED/PUBLISHED New York, Printed by T. Kirk, 1798.
SUMMARY Substantiated by quotations from other writers
including Pascall, Prince of Conti, Chief Justice Hale,
and Archbishop Tillotson, Phillips declares dance to
be a vain and idle amusement. While he acknowledges
that many people assume the study of dance teaches good
carriage and a "graceful and easy way of moving our
limbs," he notes that Quakers, "who hold dancing in
abomination," manage to display good carriage without
benefit of dance instruction. As with other writers
of antidance literature, Phillips notes that, although
dance wasprevalent during biblical times, only women
|Powell's art of dancing; or, Dancing made easy ... By
R. Powell ... Powell, R.
OTHER TITLES Dancing made easy
CREATED/PUBLISHED Louisville, Ky., Harney, Hughes &
Hughes, printers, 1848.
SUMMARY In an attempt to inspire his readers who were
located far from the United States' urban, eastern cultural
centers, Powell notes that dance "has not improved,
except in the larger cities." Of primary interest is
the author's dance notation, a type of shorthand that
he utilized to describe bows, curtsies, and quadrilles.
|The royal ball-room guide and etiquette of the drawingroom,
containing the newest and most elegant dances and a short
history of dancing. By Rudolph Radestock ... Radestock,
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, Otley, W. Walker and sons
SUMMARY Like other nineteenth-century dance manuals,
this is a compilation of earlier writings. The book
provides a short history of dance, positions of the
feet, glossary of French terms, and suggestions for
giving balls including an admonishment to have enough
waiters at the supper table. Indicating the decade's
growing interest in elaborate balls, Radestock suggests
one waiter for each two persons. The section on etiquette
has been reduced to thirty-three short rules and the
manual describes most of the popular ballroom dances--quadrille,
waltz, schottisch, and a variety of country dances.
|Abbregé de la nouvelle methode, dans l'art d'écrire
ou de traçer toutes sortes, de danses de ville ... mise
au jour par le sr. Rameau ... Ouvrage très utile pour
toutes personnes qui ont sçu ou qui apprennent à danser,
puis que par le secour de ce livre, on peut se remettre
facilement dans toutes les danses que l'on à appris ...
CREATED/PUBLISHED Paris, Chez l'auteur, faubourg St
Germain [etc., 1725?]
SUMMARY The first part of this manual discusses performance
of various steps including demi coupé, bourée, chassé,
and pirouette. Through the use of text and tables, Rameau
also provides discussion on an improved and simplified
version of Feuillet notation, the eighteenth-century
system of recording dances. The second part of the text
consists of notations for twelve duets choreographed
by French dancer and choreographer, Guillaume-Louis
|Le maître a danser. Qui enseigne la maniere de faire
tous les differens pas de danse dans toute la régularité
de l'art, & de conduire les bras à chaque pas ... Par
le sieur Rameau ... Rameau, Pierre.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Paris, Rollin fils, 1748.
SUMMARY Originally published in 1725 and reissued in
1734 and 1748 by French dancing master and writer Pierre
Rameau (1674-1748), this is one of the most important
sources for the study and reconstruction of eighteenth-century
dance technique. Part one of the text (with accompanying
full-page plates) carefully describes the appropriate
manner of walking, feet positions, bows, and a large
vocabulary of steps. Part two covers use of the arms
while dancing. The manual was translated into English
in 1728 by dancer and dancing master, John Essex.
|The dancing-master: or, The art of dancing explained
... In two parts ... The whole containing sixty figures
drawn from the life, and curiously engraved on copper
plates. Done from the French of Monsieur Rameau, by J.
Essex ... Rameau, Pierre.
OTHER TITLES Art of dancing explained Dancing-master
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, Printed and sold by him,
and J. Brotherton, 1728.
SUMMARY This is a translation of one of the most important
sources for the study and reconstruction of eighteenth-century
dance--Pierre Rameau's 1725 Le maître a danser. Translated
by English dancer and writer John Essex (c. 1680-1744),
part one of the text and accompanying full-page plates
carefully focus on the appropriate manner of walking,
feet positions, and bows, and describe a large vocabulary
of steps. Part two covers use of the arms while dancing.
This English translation was reissued in 1732.
|The amateur's vademecum. A practical treatise on the
art of dancing ... By E. B. Reilley ... Reilley, E. B.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Philadelphia, J. Nicholas, printer,
SUMMARY Reilley's work is a typical example of dance
manuals published during the last quarter of the nineteenth
century. Whereas previous manuals often had many pages
devoted to etiquette and deportment, Reilly devotes
but two paragraphs noting that he was leaving the rest
to the "good sense and nature" of his readers. The manual
provides an extensive history of dance from the Greeks
and Romans to the courts of Italy and France to the
dances of aboriginal American Indians. Demonstrating
the century's growing interest in physical education,
Reilley provides a detailed section on exercise. The
manual gives descriptions of the popular ballroom dances
of the era--quadrilles, waltz, schottisch, and polka.
|A discourse on dancing, delivered in the Central Presbyterian
church, Cincinnati. By N. L. Rice. Rice, N. L. 1807-1877.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Cincinnati, The Presbyterian book
depository, and W. H. Moore, 1847.
SUMMARY This book is typical of mid-nineteenth century
antidance works. While many writers noted that the Bible
contains numerous references to dance, Rice (1807-1877)
points out that, in a biblical context, dance was utilized
as a part of worship, performed exclusively by women
dancing with each other. (The dangers of contact between
the sexes while dancing were a common theme in antidance
literature.) The second point, also common in antidance
books, centered on the notion that dancing was bad for
the health, especially in women.
|A full description of modern dances. By C. H. Rivers.
Rivers, Charles H.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Brooklyn 
SUMMARY Unlike earlier manuals that contained detailed
information on etiquette, this manual reflects the trend
of late nineteenth-century manuals to shorten or eliminate
such information. This manual contains only one-third
of a page of etiquette. Dances described include the
waltz (with reversing steps), polka, schottisch, polka
redowa, polka mazurka, galop, quadrilles, contra dances
("Scilian Circle," "Spanish Dance" and "Rustic Reel").
Thirty-seven figures are given for the popular series
of party game figures known as the cotillon or German.
|Roberts' manual of fashionable dancing and vade mecum
for the ball-room; containing a review and full description
of all the modern dances, &c. Roberts, [Henry]
CREATED/PUBLISHED Melbourne, G. Robertson, 1875.
SUMMARY Like many European and North American manuals
of the nineteenth century, this Australian version is
acknowledged by the publisher to be a compilation of
other writer's work. To enhance the book's marketability,
the author states that many "who have left the colonies
for London, Paris, and other continental cities" have
admirably acquitted and distinguished themselves. The
book describes quadrilles and waltzes as well as dances
popular in the 1840s such as the "Cellarius Waltz."
|The prompter's own book; or, Rowe's calls for the ball
room. Contains all the latest and best calls necessary
for an all night party ... Rowe, George H.
OTHER TITLES Rowe's calls for the ball room
CREATED/PUBLISHED Boston, G. H. Rowe, c1878.
SUMMARY Foreshadowing the growing trend of late nineteenth-century
dance manuals to reduce discussion on etiquette, Rowe's
treatise contains absolutely no information on the subject
but begins directly with information on the quadrille.
This book advertised for 25 cents, is far less extensive
than most published during the 1870s.
|Die modernen Tänze, von msgr. don Luigi Sartori. Frei
übersetzt und verändert von p. Vigilius H. Krull, C. PP.
S. Sartori, Luigi, b. 1843.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Collegeville, Ind., St. Josephs buchdruckerei,
|Modern dances, by Rt. Rev. Mgr. Don Luigi Sartori. Sartori,
Luigi, b. 1843.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Colleg[e]ville, Ind., St. Joseph's
printing office, 1910.
SUMMARY Like other publications of its kind, the book
defends the dances of the Greeks and Romans as well
as dances mentioned in the Bible on the grounds that
they were performed by segregated sexes. With customary
western bias, Sartori notes that when Christianity "supplanted
Paganism, it found many objectionable practices and
customs which it had to eradicate. One was dancing."
The author objects both to waltzing, which he claims
to be a violation of the Sixth Commandment, and the
quadrille, which is "a malicious preparation to enjoy
the mad rush to a close embrace." The manual was also
published in German under the title Die modernen Tänze.
|The art of dancing, embracing a full description of
the various dances of the present day ... by Judson Sause
... Sause, Judson.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Chicago, New York [etc.] Belford,
Clarke & company, [c1889]
SUMMARY This manual is acknowledged by the author to
be a compilation of other sources. In its eight chapters,
the work covers etiquette, general instructions for
feet positions and bows, the quadrille, contra dances
("Spanish Dance," "Sicilian Circle," and "Virginia Reel"),
as well as the polka, redowa, York, schottisch, military
schottisch, Bohemian, and several waltz variations--modern,
hop, five-step, and knickerbocker. The manual concludes
with thirty-two figures for the German (also known as
|Course of instruction in dancing and aesthetic development
of the body [by] L. F. Segadlo ... Segadlo, L. F.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Newark, N.J., c1889.
SUMMARY This is a translation by Segadlo of an article,
by an unknown author, found in the Universal Gazette,
published in Vienna, Austria. It is a strong defense
of dance and exercise, a subject that was often discussed
during the late nineteenth century. The manual concludes
with three sets of quadrilles as taught by the author,
"Princeton University Lancers," "Saratoga Lancers,"
and the plain quadrille.
|Manners and social usages, by Mrs. John Sherwood ...
Sherwood, M. E. W. 1826-1903. (Mary Elizabeth Wilson),
CREATED/PUBLISHED New York, Harper & brothers, 1887.
SUMMARY Etiquette manuals are an important sources
of information on ballrooms and social dance during
the nineteenth-century. Sherwood's book is an exceptional
source for etiquette as it was practiced in the late
1880s. Additionally, of the book's fifty-nine chapters,
two are devoted to dancing and balls.
|A history of dancing. By Reginald St. Johnston ... St.
Johnston, Thomas Reginald, Sir, 1881-1950
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton,
Kent, & co., 1906.
SUMMARY Saint Johnston claims to be filling a gap in
the tracing of dance history and confesses he knows
of only three books on the subject, those by Gaston
Vuillier, Edward Scott, and John Weaver. The work contains
much of the sme information found in numerous other
historiographies of the era. The author considers the
birth of stage dancing to be the Kate Vaughan's "Skirt
Dance" and other opinions expressed by Saint Johnston
include the erroneous notion that the quadrille was
one of the dances that directly followed the minuet.
As was common thinking during this era, the author maintains
a strict western bias with chapter titles such as "Quaint
Dances in Civilized Countries.
|Call book of modern quadrilles ... Arranged and explained
by Herman A. Strassburg, jr. ... Strassburg, Herman A.,
CREATED/PUBLISHED Detroit, Mich., American music co.,
SUMMARY The author of this manual declares that "every
person should be able to dance ... quadrilles without
the aid of a 'caller.'" Unlike other contemporary call
books, Strassburg provides the calls as well as a brief
description of the figures. The work also includes three
waltz quadrilles (one is set for three couples) that
are credited to the well-known dancing master E. W.
Masters of Boston.
|Elements of the art of dancing; with a description of
the principal figures in the quadrille. By Alexander Strathy
... Strathy, Alexander.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Edinburgh, Printed for the author,
and sold by F. Pillans [etc.] 1822.
SUMMARY One of the most important manuals devoted to
the performance of early nineteenth-century quadrilles,
Strathy divides this manual into two parts. Part one
is an extensive treatment of exercises for the improvement
of one's deportment. Part two provides lucid descriptions
for more than twenty steps appropriate for the performance
of the quadrille, a popular ballroom dance performed
by four couples who face each other in a square. Additionally,
Strathy provides combinations of steps for the most
common figures of the quadrille. The manual concludes
with directions, given in French and English, for eleven
|The tango, as standardized and taught by the representative
dancing masters of the North American continent; tango
two-step, hesitation waltz, Boston glide, one-step, described
by Miss Eileen Swepstone ... illustrated by Miss Swepstone
and Mr. Bernard Tweedale. Swepstone, Eileen.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Vancouver, B.C., J. H. Welch 
SUMMARY This pamphlet on the tango, claimed by its
author to have been "shorn of crudities which caused
it to be criticized," describes a variety of steps and
|Letters on dancing, reducing this elegant and healthful
exercise to easy scientific principles ... By E. A. Théleur
... Illustrated by twenty-four copper-plate engravings,
by Stewart, Halpin, Hicks and Read ... Théleur, E. A.
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, Author, 1832.
SUMMARY This manual is considered one of the most important
discussions regarding the style and steps of early Romantic
ballet. A dancer and dancing master, Théleur (née Taylor;
fl. c. 1817-c.1844), wrote his manual in the form of
a series of thirteen letters that includes a brief history
of dance as well as a section devoted to social dance.
The book is enhanced by full-page prints, including
illustrations of dancers on full pointe. Théleur's dance
notation system, the first in the nineteenth century,
also helps illuminate theatrical dance practices of
|The lady's guide to perfect gentility, in manners, dress,
and conversation ... also a useful instructor in letter
writing ... etc. By Emily Thornwell ... Thornwell, Emily.
CREATED/PUBLISHED New York, Derby & Jackson; Cincinnati,
H. W. Derby & co., 1857. NOTES Etiquette manuals are
an important source for information on issues relating
to the study of nineteenth-century social dance. Thornwell
discusses the complexion, appropriate dress, introductions,
behavior at parties, rules "on polite, easy, and graceful
deportment," hints for conversation including "words,
and sayings to be avoided," and concludes with chapters
on needle-work and dress-making. Although much of Thornwell's
manual was extracted from E. C. de Calabrella's 1844,
The Ladies' Science of Etiquette, the manual was popular
enough to be reissued ten times between 1857 and 1890.
|Samouchitel' modnykh bal'nykh i kharakternykh tantsev.
Tikhomirov, Aleksei Dmitrievich.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Moskva, 1901.
SUMMARY Translated as "Self-tutor of fashionable social
and characteristic dances," this is an important Russian-language
manual that describes the role of social dance, the
importance of proper bearing, bows, introductions, and
etiquette. Many of the same are the same as those performed
in the ballrooms of western Europe, such as the waltz,
quadrille, polonaise, polka, pas de patinier. Other
dances are more interesting--the mazurka, pas de'Espagne,
Hongroise, csárdas, and kamarinskaya. The descriptions
are enhanced by diagrams and drawings. Some of the dance
titles are written in French, the prevailing language
of the ballroom.
|The art of dancing explained by reading and figures;
whereby the manner of performing the steps is made easy
by a new and familiar method: being the original work,
first design'd in the year 1724, and now published by
Kellom Tomlinson, dancing-master ... Tomlinson, Kellom.
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, Printed for the author, 1735.
SUMMARY The title page indicates the book was completed
in 1724. However, the cost of the thirty-five full-page
plates precluded publication until 1735. In this treatise
of two parts, Tomlinson (c. 1690-1753?) sets forth the
principles of Baroque dance. Book one covers description
of twenty nine steps; book two discusses the minuet,
including four methods of performing the minuet step.
|Clog dancing made easy. The elements and practice of
that art arranged, simplified and corrected ... By Henry
Tucker. Tucker, Henry.
CREATED/PUBLISHED New York, R. M. DeWitt, c1874.
SUMMARY This manual contains instructions for twelve
steps that, according to the author, can be learned
by practicing two hours a day. Libretti and music are
provided for four musical comedy sketches that require
|Essai sur la danse antique et moderne ... Par Mme Élise
Voiart. Voïart, Élise, 1786-1866.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Paris, Audot, 1823.
SUMMARY All of Mme. Voiart's manual is devoted to the
history of dance. Quoting heavily from many previously
published materials, including a number of travelogues,
this book discusses the origins of dance and devotes
a chapter each to Greek and Roman dance. The second
part of the book discusses transition to what the author
terms "modern dance," in this case the court dances
of France. In examining the dances of the French Baroque
court, Mme. Voiart (1786-1866) refers to a great variety
of dances including the courante, minuet, and gavotte
as well as dances from at least one hundred years earlier
such as the pavane and branle. Demonstrating an interest
in non-European dance, the book also discusses dance
as practiced in other parts of the world including Norway,
Canada, the Sioux of Missouri, and Africa. Although
the scholarship, by contemporary standards, is seriously
flawed, the book is part of the large body of literature
that has influenced the writing of dance history for
more than one hundred years.
|The modern dances, how to dance them, by Caroline Walker;
complete instructions for the tango, the Castle walk,
the walking Boston, the hesitation waltz, the dream waltz.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Chicago, Saul brothers, 1914.
SUMMARY In her introduction, Walker strongly defends
the new dance trends of the ragtime era and provides
instructions for the tango, Castle Walk, Walking Boston,
Hesitation Waltz, and Dream Waltz. A series of photographs
and diagrams is included.
|Cotillion figures, by Joel H. Watkins. Watkins, Joel
CREATED/PUBLISHED New York, Washington, The Neale publishing
SUMMARY Red and black diagrams are utilized to show
the floor patterns of more than twenty figures for the
cotillon (also known as the German), a series of party
game figures performed to music and an important staple
of the ballroom repertory during the last half of the
nineteenth century. The figures in Watkins book are,
in fact, many of the same figures used in the grand
|A collection of ball-dances perform'd at court: viz.
the Richmond, the roundeau, the rigadoon, the favourite,
the Spanheim, and the Britannia. All compos'd by Mr. Isaac,
and writ down in characters, by John Weaver, dancing-master.
Weaver, John, 1673-1760.
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, Printed for the author, and
sold by J. Vaillant, 1706.
SUMMARY Dancer, teacher, and theoretician John Weaver
(1673-1760) compiled this important collection of choreographies
by Mr. Isaac. With melodies composed by James Paisible,
the collection contains six ballroom dances: "The Richman,"
"The Rondeau," "The Rigadoon," "The Favorite," "The
Spanheim," and "The Britannia." All are couple dances
and are notated in a notation system first published
in 1700 by dancing master Raoul-Auger Feuillet (1659
or 1660-1710). The system is based on tract drawings
that trace the pattern of the dance. Additionally, bar
lines in the dance score correspond to bar lines in
the music score. Signs written on the right or left
hand side of the tract indicate the steps.
|Dancing, as a means of physical education; with remarks
on deformities, and their prevention and cure. By Mrs.
Alfred Webster ... Webster, Alfred, Mrs.
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, D. Bogue; [etc., etc.] 1851.
SUMMARY In her strong defense of dance and its application
to female physical education, Mrs. Webster declares
that dancing, as a exercise, "is the very best safeguard
against the evils of over mental education." While she
approves of calisthenics and various mechanical apparatus-including
swings and pulleys and a "prone couch"-she delivers
a stinging rebuke regarding the wearing of corsets.
|The dance of modern society. By W. C. Wilkinson. Wilkinson,
William Cleaver, 1833-1920.
CREATED/PUBLISHED New York, Oakley, Mason & co., 1869.
SUMMARY Unlike many other nineteenth-century antidance
writers who base their arguments on Scripture, Wilkinson
asks that his readers formulate their opinions on reason,
conscience, and common sense. In fact, Wilkinson argues
that he is not an enemy of dance and declares it to
be perfectly innocent. His argument is against the "modern
manner of dancing" that requires expensive clothing
and the "massing together of a jostling crowd of mute
or merely gibbering animals." Thus, he summarizes, dancing
does nothing to "enhance the intellectual improvement
|Asa Willcox's book of figures, 1793; multigraphed from
a manuscript in the possession of the Newberry library.
OTHER TITLES Book of figures
CREATED/PUBLISHED Chicago 
SUMMARY Based on an original manuscript published in
1793 and located in Chicago's Newberry Library, the
editor of this modern version notes that the "spelling,
capitalization, punctuation and underlining of the original
have been scrupulosly followed, occasionally at the
expense of clearness" (pg. ii). The manuscript contains
one- or two-sentence descriptions of figures for thirty-eight
country dances (dances that consisted of a series of
figures and danced by a column of men facing a column
|A study in modern dance positions, by G. Hepburn Wilson
... Wilson, George Hepburn, 1876-
CREATED/PUBLISHED New York, The Inner circle, c1916.
SUMMARY This short manual consists of a series of photographs
and accompanying text that show the correct positions
for dance, for example the placement of the lady's left
hand upon the gentleman's right shoulder in waltzing.
Several of the photographs also show the incorrect way
of holding one's partner.
|An analysis of country dancing, wherein all the figures
used in that polite amusement are rendered familiar by
engraved lines. Containing also, directions for composing
almost any number of figures to one tune, with some entire
new reels; together with the complete etiquette of the
ball-room. By T. Wilson ... Wilson, Thomas, dancing master.
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, J. S. Dickson, 1811.
SUMMARY Designed for "those who possess no knowledge
whatsoever of country-dancing," the manual uses text,
tables, and color-coded diagrams to explain the figures
for English country dances. Performed as a series of
figures by a column of men facing a column of women,
the English country dance was one of the most popular
early nineteenth-century ballroom dances. Originally
published in 1808, the namual was reissued in 1822,
and another version appeared in 1815 under the title
The complete system of English country dancing. This
edition is dedicated to Madame Angiolini, principal
dancer at the King's Theatre, where Wilson held the
post of dancing master.
|An analysis of country dancing: wherein are displayed
all the figures ever used in country dances, in a way
so easy and familiar, that persons of the meanest capacity
may in a short time acquire (without the aid of a master)
a complete knowledge of that rational and polite amusement.
To which are added, instructions for dancing some entire
new reels; together with the rules, regulations, and complete
etiquette of the ball room. By T. Wilson ... Embellished
and illustrated with engravings on wood, by J. Berryman.
Wilson, Thomas, dancing master.
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, Printed by W. Calvert, to
be had to Mr. Dutton [etc.] 1808.
SUMMARY This is the first of several books published
by Wilson on the subject of English country dancing.
Performed as a series of figures by a column of men
facing a column of women, the English country dance
was one of the most popular early nineteenth-century
ballroom dances. Although the manual has a section on
ballroom etiquette, it is most useful for its text,
tables, and color-coded diagrams, which explain the
figures. This edition is dedicated to Madame Desayes,
principal dancer at the King's Theatre, where Wilson
held the post of dancing master. The manual was expanded
and reissued in 1811 and 1822, and a version was published
in 1815 entitled The complete system of English country
|The complete system of English country dancing, containing
all the figures ever used in English country dancing,
with a variety of new figures, and new reels ... By Thomas
Wilson ... Wilson, Thomas, dancing master.
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, Sherwood, Neeley and Jones
SUMMARY Originally published in 1808 and expanded in
1811 under the title An analysis of country dancing,
this edition borrows extensively from earlier editions.
As with earlier editions, the figures for English country
dances are explained through text, tables, and diagrams.
Performed as a series of figures danced by a column
of men facing a column of women, the English country
dance was one of the most popular early nineteenth-century
ballroom dances. This edition contains an extensive
discussion on music with ten musical examples scored
for treble instrument.
|The quadrille and cotillion panorama, or, Treatise on
quadrille dancing, in two parts: with an explanation,
in French and English, of all the quadrille & cotillion
figures generally adopted, as described by diagrams on
the plate, by Thomas Wilson ... Wilson, Thomas, dancing
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, R. & E. Williamson; New York,
Sold by Messrs. Geib and co.; [etc., etc., 18--]
SUMMARY Originally published c. 1818, this second edition
of 1822 contains an opening three-color-fold-out and
nine plates. In this treatise, Wilson analyzes the figures
and components of the quadrille--a figured ballroom
dance for four couples facing each other, popular throughout
the nineteenth century. Divided into two parts, the
manual provides suggestions for music and steps, concluding
with an alphabetical list of technical terms used in
quadrilles. The manual was reissued in 1839.
|The treasures of Terpsichore; or, A companion for the
ballroom. Being a collection of all the most popular English
country dances, arrange alphabetically, with proper figures
to each dance. By T. Wilson ... Wilson, Thomas, dancing
OTHER TITLES Companion for the ballroom
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, Printed for the author; and
to be had of Messrs. Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1816.
SUMMARY One of several treatises devoted to English
country dancing by Thomas Wilson, dancing master to
the King's Theatre, this manual consists of an alphabetical
listing of country dances and their figures. Lamenting
the present state of country dancing, the author fears
"it [will] be perverted into a chaos of riot and confusion"
(p.iii). Wilson's other manuals on the subject contain
detailed text, tables, and diagrams to explain the figures.
Their titles include An analysis of country dancing
(1808 and 1811) and The complete system of English country
|The danciad; or, Dancer's monitor. Being a descriptive
sketch in verse, on the different styles and methods of
dancing quadrilles, waltzes, country dances, &c. &c. ...
Together with observations on the laws regarding dancing,
with extracts from the acts of Parliament relating thereto.
By Thomas Wilson ... Wilson, Thomas, dancing master.
OTHER TITLES Dancer's monitor
CREATED/PUBLISHED London, The author, 1824.
SUMMARY "Written in verse as a dramatic play in two
parts, Thomas Wilson, dancing master to the King's Theatre,
comments on the state of teaching, public balls, and
the character of many dance instructors. Nearly every
page contains additional remarks in the form of footnotes
ranging from an abstract of the 1752 Act of Parliament
on illegal dancing to a long discourse on English country
dancing and quadrilles.
|The perfect art of modern dancing ... [Witherspoon,
CREATED/PUBLISHED London and New York, The Butterick
publishing co. (limited) c1894.
SUMMARY This manual, part of a series that included
such publications as The perfect art of canning and
preserving and Nursing and nourishment for invalids,
was directly marketed to women. It begins by discussing
the suitability of teaching dance to children. The author
suggests that dance is good for health and deportment
and lessons should commence at age five. Various dances
are described including quadrilles, contra dances, round
dances, and the German (also known as the cotillon)
|Grammar of the art of dancing, theoretical and practical;
lessons in the arts of dancing and dance writing (choregraphy)
with drawings, musical examples, choregraphic symblos,
and special music scores, translated from the German of
Friedrich Albert Zorn... edited by Alfonso Josephs Sheafe
... Zorn, Friedrich Albert.
CREATED/PUBLISHED Boston, Mass. [The Heintzemann press]
SUMMARY Originally published in Leipzig in 1887 under
the title Grammatik der tanzkunst, the book was translated
into English and Russian. Zorn is well known for his
innovative dance notation system that is utilized in
this work. The system is important for its information
on the step terminology of mid-nineteenth-century ballet.
Through text and notation, the manual covers positions
of the feet, preparatory exercises, arm movements, as
well as describing many steps. Several quadrille figures
are also notated as well as the minuet, gavotte, and
numerous waltz, polka, and galop steps. A volume of
music that includes over one hundred melodies to accompany
the steps, exercise, and dances accompanies this edition.
is a must have collection for any serious study of the history
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