Another highly important part of finding a partner, was making sure that you found them during a certain period of time. The LA Times asked about this with “Bridgerton” consultant, Hannah Greig, who stated, “Each year, a small group of aristocratic British families descended on London for the roughly six-month social season, when balls, concerts, dinners and other lavish parties brought together eligible young men and women.” It was also incredible pressure to be married within this season to still be considered eligible. It was incredibly important to keep the money and power within a small circle so you had limited options and time to “succeed.” If you’ve seen “Pride and Prejudice”, “Sense and Sensibility”, or “Bridgerton,” you know how strict and heavily finding a spouse was pushed onto young people. Dancing was one of the few places that young people were able to get away from prying eyes and rigid rules and actually get to know each other. They were able to converse and touch without being shamed. However, rules still applied to the dances… in an article by Capering and Kickery they notice, “In Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, Fanny is actually pulled out of the dancing because she had ceased to do proper steps:
‘Sir Thomas, having seen her walk rather than dance down the shortening set, breathless, and with her hand at her side, gave his orders for her sitting down entirely.’”
Overall, dancing during the 1800’s certainly held a more consequential role than it does now. Today, dancing can purely be done for fun and it is a great way to get to know people. Many people have met their spouse on the dance floor. It brings out the best in people most of the time, because if someone is rude, no one will dance with them.
Can you answer the following questions about today’s proper dance etiquette?
Do you when asking someone to dance…
- Stand beside the person looking like you want to dance
- Extend your hand to say “would you like to dance the foxtrot?” to identify the dance.
- Ask the person who brought him/her if they mind if you dance with their date.
At the conclusion of the dance do you…
- Leave your partner on the floor
- Walk your partner to the edge of the floor to his or her seat
- Thank and compliment your partner
- Turn away from your partner and say to others. You’ve done your duty for the day.
When declining a dance do you…
- Laugh in his/her face or roll your eyes
- Lightly decline (I’m sorry I’m taking a break or say thank you I’m sorry I promised the dance to someone else.
- Say “no” and turn your head
- Jump up and grab someone else
If you know you have a problem with perspiration do you…
- Ignore it and wonder why people won’t dance with you
- Bring a small towel or a change of clothes
- Laugh it off and let people deal with it
We all wear some form of deodorant don’t we?
If you answered “b” to these questions you will be a most popular dance partner. If not, think about what it feels like to be the recipient of these other actions-NOT GOOD. Remember the golden rule applies to dancing and all situations in life.