How to Dance Greensleeves English country dance for two couples, a historically accurate cartoon princess dance for Maleficent

How to Dance Greensleeves English country dance for two couples, a historically accurate cartoon princess dance for Maleficent at Bishops CastleMaleficent

Did you ever wonder about who Maleficent was? I have always felt that strong women were demonized in fairy tales, and that this was Maleficent’s fate. Her name even means doing evil or harm. Some have even traced Maleficent back to Nemesis, the goddess of moral indignation and retribution. In Basile’s version she was the jilted wife of the king who was romancing sleeping beauty. In later versions Maleficent took on various roles, a wise woman, a studied Druid, a Fairy, and once even a fortune teller. She had not been seen or heard from for a very long time and was presumed dead. The other fairies in the story were given place settings of gold. Maleficent did not get the same gold gift, so she got even with a curse on the royal infant. But as fate would have it, what was meant for ill ended in good.

For our Maleficent, we have chosen to travel beyond the court for the country dance version of ‘Greensleves’. ‘Greensleves’ is a song about a jilted lover, and fitting for Maleficent. It was also a Carol dance and banned in the 1600’s, and it was later re-written as ‘What Child Is This’. We traveled deep into the San Isabel National Forest to a hidden gem Bishop’s Castle, to film the instructional portion of the ‘Greensleves’ Country Dance.
Audio: Greensleeves by the king singers https://play.google.com/music/m/Tnienedjellk3rcakzcoyf4lhve?t=Greensleeves_Greensleeves_-_The_Kings_Singers

Terms: Hesitation is 1 step 3 beats, a cantor is two steps in 3 beats or 1 hold 2, step 3- Left, pause, Right-repeat. Can be done Right, pause, Maleficent dancing GreenslseevesLeft repeat.

  1. Both Couples Curtsey & bow for the lead in to the verse
  2. Couple 1 right to right hand half turn to take your partner’s place four slow hesitation steps
    ( couple 2 curtsey and bow)
  3. Couple 2 right to right hand half turn to take your partner’s place four slow hesitation steps
    ( couple 1 curtsey and bow)
  4. Couple 1 left to left hand half turn to take your partner’s place four slow hesitation steps
    ( couple 2 curtsey and bow)
  5. Couple 2 left to left hand half turn to take your partner’s place four slow hesitation steps
    ( couple 1 curtsey and bow)
  6. Couple 2 half figure eight diagonally up the center, around the back of couple 1 and cross paths to end in your original place. Use a cantor step for 6 measures
  7. Measures 7,8 both couples curtsey and bow ending stretching right hands to the center of the circle
  8. Four hands to center walk 4 hesitations to left one half turn ending with the lords on the ladies original side
  9. Couple 2 is now at the top of the square and they cast down (behind couple 1’s back)  and cross up the center to their original position using 4 cantor steps
  10. Both couples hold two hands with their partners and turn a half and fall back to their original position in 2 hesitations.
  11. Couple 2 is now in the top position and becomes couple 1 and the original couple 1 now is couple 2. Repeat from the beginning.

For more fun learning, check out the companion book,
Experience history through the wedding of Sleeping Beauty

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Holly Collins
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Historically Accurate Princess Dances,
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Adventures in Dance
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