The Dancing Master 

18th Century:  

This period of dance history is often refered to as 'Baroque Dance'.

The dances from the court of Louis XIV (the Sun King and builder of Versailles) and his contemporaries, take a high degree of technical skill and expertise and include the allemande, courante, sarabande, minuet and gigue.


there was a clear divide between the dances for court & stage and the social dances of the assembly rooms and ballrooms. These were mainly country dances and are, as then, great fun. Dancing masters such as Thompson, Wilson and Dale produced book after book of country dances with accompanying tunes; enough to satisfy the appetite of any Georgian ball-goer. Later in the century, the cotillon and the couple allemande start to become fashionable and pave the way for the quadrilles and couple dances of the 19th Century.  

All the dances that I teach are from their original sources such as dance fans, dance manuals and music manuscripts. I am the dancing master in the Amanda Vickery's BBC TV series, 'The Georgians, Behind Closed Doors'. I even have a dancing master's 'pochette' violin (and can play it!) 

Some of the dances from this period:

  • Minuet
  • Auretti's Dutch Skipper
  • Mr Beveridges Maggot
  • Cottilons