How to dance the Minuet for Beauty and the Beast a historically accurate princess dance

How to dance the Minuet for Beauty and the Beast a historically accurate princess dancebeauty Belle and Beast dance

Do you love a good story? I do. Beauty and the Beast is a classic French fairy tale, and Belle has always been one of my favorite heroines. She loved books and dance, just a few of my favorite things. My favorite scene is when Belle and Beast waltzed around the ballroom in each other’s arms.

Beauty and the Beast is set in the end of the Baroque period in France. Like all good stories, the tale can be traced back to antiquity, but the tale we know today was a French fairy tale.

The dance Beast and Belle do in the animated Disney version is a Viennese waltz, a dance of the Victorian period. I started to wonder what dance beauty and the beast would have done for the Baroque period that their tale was set in. Then it hit me that the iconic dance of the Baroque era in France was the Minuet. It was named the “queen of the ball”

The Minuet developed from the Branle of Poitou. It is first referenced in 1670 in the French court of King Loui XIV in Versailles.  The name Minuet means small, and referred to the small steps taken in the dance.  It was a stately exhibition ballroom dance often performed facing the most noble guests and danced one couple at a time to Grant-Humphrey's Mansion loin windowenable the partners to display their elaborate attire. I have put together a tutorial on how to dance the Minuet for Beauty and the Beast.

To film this dance tutorial, I enlisted the help of the Grant-Humphrey’s Mansion in Denver.  This Neo-classic building was built in 1902 for Colorado governor Grant, following his term as the third governor of Colorado. It is now a historic building maintained by the city of Denver; available for tours and events.

How to Dance the Minuet,
A Historically Accurate Princess Dance for Beauty and the Beast:

 

 

Music– String quartet in E Major Op. 13-Minuet

Basic step 6 counts:
1-Both partners step forward right foot Gaston Dance
2-tap left behind right as you bend (plie) you knee
3-step forward left foot
4-step forward right foot
5-step forward left foot
6-tap your right foot behind left foot as you bend (plie) your knees

Alternative simplified Basic step 6 counts:
1-Both partners step forward right foot
2-tap left behind right as you bend (plie) you knee
3-tap left to side
4-step forward left foot
5-step forward right foot
6-step forward left foot

Minuet Sequence:Belle Beauty and beast dance

1st set of 6 (1-6) couple 1 curtsey and bow.
2nd set of 6 couple 1 promenade holding gentleman’s left hand to lady’s right hand,
couple 2 curtsey and bow.
3rd & 4th set of 6 both couples promenade down the floor.

Peel off

1st & 2nd set of 6 couple1 peels off and progresses past couple 2 as they promenade forward.
3rd & 4th set of 6 couple 1 promenade’s forward as couple 2 peels off.

Promenade back up the floor

1st & 2nd set of 6 couples turn 180 degrees to promenade to starting positions.

Peel off

1st & 2nd set of 6 couple1 peels off and progresses past couple 2 as they promenade forward.Gaston, lady, Belle, Beast at grant Humphrey's fireplace
3rd & 4th set of 6 couple 1 promenade’s forward as couple 2 peels off.

Promenade down the floor

1st & 2nd set of 6 couples turn 180 degrees to promenade down the floor.

Right to right and Right turn

1st & 2nd set of 6 shake right to right hands and dance the minuet circling to the right around partner
3rd & 4th set of 6 release handshake hold and rotate on a small circle to right.

Left to Left and Left turn

1st & 2nd set of 6 shake Left to Left hands and dance the minuet circling to the left around partnerBelle and beast dance at grant humphry's denver
3rd & 4th set of 6 release handshake hold and rotate on a small circle to left.

Four hands, reverse and progress

1st & 2nd set of 6 hold 4 hands and dance the minuet circling to the left around partner.
3rd set of 6 release hands and dance the minuet back away from each other.
4th set of 6 dance the minuet forward toward partner.

Extended box

1st set of 6 dance the minuet forward past partner’s right side.
2nd set of 6 turn ¼ turn to your right and dance minuet forward.
3rd set of 6 turn ¼ turn to your right and dance minuet forward past partner’s right side.
4th set of 6 turn ¼ turn to your right and dance minuet forward to end in front of partner.

Repeat from Right to right and Right turn

1st & 2nd set of 6 shake right to right hands and dance the minuet circling to the right around partner
3rd & 4th set of 6 release handshake hold and rotate on a small circle to right.

Left to Left and Left turn

1st & 2nd set of 6 shake Left to Left hands and dance the minuet circling to the left around partner
3rd & 4th set of 6 release handshake hold and rotate on a small circle to left.

Four hands, reverse and progress

1st & 2nd set of 6 hold 4 hands and dance the minuet circling to the left around partner.
3rd set of 6 release hands and dance the minuet back away from each other.
4th set of 6 dance the minuet forward toward partner.

Repeat from

1st set of 6 (1-6) couple 1 curtsey and bow.
2nd set of 6 couple 1 promenade holding gentleman’s left hand to lady’s right hand,
couple 2 curtsey and bow.
3rd & 4th set of 6 both couples promenade down the floor.

Peel off

1st & 2nd set of 6 couple1 peels off and progresses past couple 2 as they promenade forward.
3rd & 4th set of 6 couple 1 promenade’s forward as couple 2 peels off.

Promenade back up the floor

1st & 2nd set of 6 couples turn 180 degrees to promenade to starting positions.
Curtsy and bow when the music ends.

Thank you to the Grant-Humphery’s Mansion for letting us film there. This is made possible by the support of the Adventures in dance crew, Robyn Collins, William Hooker, Craig Tomazin, and Holly Collins. Thank you all for your support of history and dance.

Holly Collins
WEDDING DANCE instruction
DANCE LESSONS.
author of
Holly’s hot wedding tips, 
Historically Accurate Princess Dances,
Winner of:
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top 50 Dance Blogs

Champion Ballroom Dancer & Coach

owner of
Adventures in Dance
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