ENGLISH OLD TIME DANCING

Don Herbison-Evans ,   donherbisonevans@yahoo.com

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, Australia, and New Zealand. A set of 19 dances have been approved by the Australian Dancing Board for use in dance competitions and championships in Australia:

  • Alpha Waltz
  • Balmoral Blues
  • Bambi Blues
  • Boston Two Step
  • Britannia Saunter
  • Camellia Tango
  • Gainsborough Glide
  • Lilac Waltz
  • Magenta Waltz
  • Mayfair Quickstep
  • Premier Two Step
  • Rialto Two Step
  • Regis Waltz
  • Saunter Reve
  • Tango Magenta
  • Tango Serida
  • Tango Solair
  • Veleta
  • Oldtime Waltz

  • starting The Veleta

    In 1984, a British 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (updated 30 May 2008, 4 May 2020)