Dancing with Dickens, a Victorian Christmas with English Country dance how to
When I was in Jr. High School, my father took me to the great Dickens Fair in San Francisco. I was enchanted by the dancers, as they grabbed me and spun me around the floor. I had the opportunity to return with my daughter this year. No sooner that we arrived at Fezzywig’s Dance than we were asked by two gentlemen to go for a spin. From there my husband and I were swept into an English country dance, the Queen’s waltz. We learned the patterns on the fly, and made new friends.
We were enchanted by the live Christmas carol that made its way through our dance. Then we found Characters from Alice in wonderland and had tea with them. The Day concluded with a Christmas proclamation from Queen Victoria herself as she set everyone to waltzing.
From all of this fun, I wanted to share a little piece of 1840’s Victorian Christmas with you. I will demonstrate and describe the English Country Dance, the queen’s waltz with you.
- Begin with a square of two couples (4 people)
- Everyone puts their Right hand in the center and travels forward for 4 measures
- Turn and put your left hand in and travel forward for 4 measures
- Top Couple Skips between second couple to his right 2 measures and returns for 2 measures
- Top Couple peels off and takes the place next to the second couple giving up their lead for 4 measures as the
second couple moves up the line to top position.
- Join hands Right to Right and hesitate Forward and Back, then cantor past the lady while leading her in an underarm turn exchanging places
- Join hands Left to Left and hesitate Forward and Back, then cantor past the lady while leading her in an underarm turn exchanging places
- Join hands Right to Right and pull past your partner to end in their place
- Join hands Left to Left and pull past your partner to end in their place
- Begin from the beginning.
- This can also be done with changing partners by shaking hands with you partner to your left in steps 8,& 9
Have a happy Christmas as you try this Victorian Christmas Dance! Get into the spirit (or die laughing while trying!)
Dance with happy feet.
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