Regency Ball

Might not the evening end in a dance?

Susan Taylor
Susan Taylor

You are cordially invited to the 2016 AGM Regency Ball!

Susan Taylor will lead the Regency Ball and teach the always-popular dance workshops.  Susan has extensive experience teaching and calling English country dances, and has led many events throughout the United States.  Both beginners and experienced dancers can expect mildness and good principles from “poor Miss Taylor.”

Elegant Echoes
Elegant Echoes

Music for the ball will be provided by Elegant Echoes: Becky Ross (fiddle), Colleen Reed (flute), and Liz Donaldson (piano), with Bruce Edwards (bassoon and concertina).  Members of Elegant Echoes will also provide live music for the workshops.  The ensemble performs extensively and has released a CD entitled “English Echoes,” featuring English country dance music.  If you would like to hear Elegant Echoes before the AGM, please check this page for samples of their music:

If you would like some English country dancing instruction before the ball or you just like to shake your slippers every chance you can get, dance workshops are both helpful and fun.  See our list of dance workshops here.

Dances for the ball will be selected from this list.  (Our caller will make a final selection—but the selected dances will all rely on an easily learned repertoire of steps.)  The list includes links to videos of most of the dances performed by experienced dance groups as well as instructions.  This guide is for the entertainment or edification of those who care to look at them; please be assured that we don’t expect you to study the dances in advance, or require you to have any experience!

Our dance instructor, Miss Taylor, sends these words of welcome:

I’m looking forward to meeting with you to enjoy stunning music and lively, lovely dancing together.  We will orient ourselves to the steps and fun of period dancing, as well as review Ball dances at the workshops.  But if your plate is filled with other activities, please know that the dances will be prompted at the Ball.  I am here to facilitate an enjoyable community experience for you!  Everyone is welcome, regardless of prior experience!  I’ve included a few general notes below.

Dance roles: While identified by gendered titles, dance roles are only an historical convention discriminating the placement and role of persons in the lines.  From the point of view of the band and caller, looking down onto the dance floor, the women’s line is on the left, and the men’s line on the right.

Types of dances: Dances can be either longways, or set dances.  In a longways dance, any number of couples can participate.  Couples join a line or set by standing across from one another, and then take hands in small groups of 4 or 6 dancers as specified (duple = two couples, triple = three couples).  Dancers progress up (toward the music) or down (away from the music) in the line, and will retain their partner while dancing with many others in the line.  Set dances are simply that: a set that is complete with two or three or four couples, not interacting with any of the other sets on the floor.

Partners and corners: Your partner stands directly across from you.  Diagonally across from you in your small circle is your corner.  When a dance step involves four people, the term “first corners” refers to the first man and second woman, and “second corners” refers to the first woman and second man.  How do we know who is the first man or woman?  It’s the person closest to the top of the room in each small circle of dancers.

Enjoying oneself dancing with others to gorgeous music is the whole point!  Let’s do that together, shall we?