SEPTEMBER 9-30, 2024

Regency Dance and the English Ballroom

WITH CARA KING
Coming Soon
From the 1790s, a Thomas Rowlandson caricature depicting dancers.

Class Description

Social dancing was a vital skill for the upper classes of Regency England, when everyone from Jane Austen to the Duke of Wellington considered dancing crucial for courtship, display, diplomacy, and celebration.

But what was Regency dancing really like? Who did it, where, and with whom? How did it differ from what one sees in Jane Austen adaptations?  How did one learn to dance in the first place? How could one use dancing to flirt, to learn about someone’s character, or to impress someone? And what things could go disastrously wrong?

Then once one knew how to dance, what about the ballroom itself? Could anyone attend a ball in an Assembly Room? What sort of layout did a ballroom have, what kind of music, what rules?

If you’re looking for amusing stories, weird facts, and useful information that will increase your understanding of the fiction of Jane Austen and her contemporaries, or are a writer of Regency-set fiction looking to add historical accuracy or richness to your ballroom scenes, or are simply interested in social history for the joy of it, you’ll find what you need here…and soon you’ll know where in a ballroom you could find “Drops of Brandy” or “Boney in the Dumps.”

Photo of Cara King in Regency Garb

About the Instructor

Cara King is a freelance researcher, caller, and teacher of historical dance, with a focus on English Country Dance and the social dancing of Regency England. She has lectured on Regency dance for the Jane Austen Society of North America (Southwest Region) and for the Historical Tea & Dance Society (HTDS) in Pasadena, California, and was twice Dance Mistress at the annual conference of the Beau Monde (the predecessor of the Regency Fiction Writers).Cara is a frequent English Country Dance caller for both Monrovia English Country Dance and the Historical Tea & Dance Society, where she serves as Dance Mistress at their annual “Jane Austen Tea Social.” She has attended week-long English Country Dance camps in Massachusetts and California, has choreographed over a dozen new English country dances, and has taken some invaluable online classes in historical dance footwork from Susan de Guardiola. After attending over thirty-five balls in Regency costume, she has made or seen nearly every faux-pas in the books. (Luckily, she has yet to have her gown fall off on the dance floor.)

Cara is a frequent English Country Dance caller for both Monrovia English Country Dance and the Historical Tea & Dance Society, where she serves as Dance Mistress at their annual “Jane Austen Tea Social.” She has attended week-long English Country Dance camps in Massachusetts and California, has choreographed over a dozen new English country dances, and has taken some invaluable online classes in historical dance footwork from Susan de Guardiola. After attending over thirty-five balls in Regency costume, she has made or seen nearly every faux-pas in the books. (Luckily, she has yet to have her gown fall off on the dance floor.)

Her explorations into the Regency period have led her to amass hundreds of research books, some acquired in the years she lived in London and Norwich, and more during her subsequent trips to England (when she wasn’t drinking tea). But for dance research, nothing compares to primary sources, many of which are now available online (while drinking even more tea!).

Learn more at http://caraking.com

Class Delivery

Class Format

3-WEEK COURSE

Written Lectures: Many
Video Lectures: A talk or two with Q&A via Zoom (recorded so can be viewed later)
Other Videos: Some
Pictures: Some
Audio Files: Possibly
Writing Exercises: A few (optional)

Class Fees

$30 for RFW members
$45 for non-members

Coming Soon

Scholarships are available for members

Learn more