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Historical Dance Bibliography

Here is a transcription of entry with id skinner_1880:

Transcribed by University of Aberdeen

James Scott Skinner, William Scott

MS 3088

10 Quadrilles

A quadrille, a quadrille is a pleasure,

Which they who know not, sure know nought:

'Tis a pastime beyond every treasure

That mirth, youth, and joy ever bought.


The quadrilles are the unbounded favourites of old and young and no wonder. When we see a lady moving softly and smoothly to the voice of melody, her ear feeling every note and her graceful figure gliding in keeping with it, avoiding all laboured steps and rude, vulgar swingin'! (every good, and truly graceful dancer does so), the movements of her feet are but the index to graceful dancing, or musical motion, for the head, neck and body come in for a duo proportion of elegance, proving that “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever”. In our professional duties we have seen ladies, aye, and gentlemen too, give their hands with grace, ease and elegance that made their movements the “poetry of motion”. It has been said “The height of art is to conceal art”. Let this be so. With the above remarks we quote the following from “Analysis of the London Ball-Room”.

Quadrilles are of novel introduction into this country, and we are indebted to the French for their survival, for they approximate 11 so nearly to the dance termed cotillion that design or invention cannot with justice be applied. They are danced in sets of eight, twelve or sixteen persons; but the set of eight is best calculated for displaying the true spirit and the elegant graceful evolutions of this mode of dancing.' As Teachers of Dancing we earnestly hope and trust that the Quadrille may be revived and danced with freedom, chasteness, and graceful ease, and that the “rough and ready” style now in vogue may be viewed as the “Romance of quadrille dancing”.

Ball-room dances. Quadrilles.

The lady stands on the gentleman's right hand.

11. Only dwellers in the “Silver city by the sea” call the “Th' Edinboro' quadrilles”Paine's first set. ### First figure. Le pantalon.

  1. Top and bottom couples right and left.
  2. Set (four walking steps to right, four to left), turn partners.
  3. Ladies' chain.
  4. Half promenade, and half right and left. Side couples do the same.

This figure is performed twice; first by the top and bottom couples, and then by those at the side.

12 Second figure. L'ete.

  1. First or top lady and opposite gentleman to the right twice: (this is considered an improvement on advance and retire).
  2. Cross over five plain steps and at sixth turn the body half round and count 6, 7, 8.
  3. Being now vis à vis to each other to the right four plain steps.
  4. Return to partners and turn.

Attempts have been made to dance this figure double. Those who do so not only destroy the original figure but add confusion to former arrangements.

L'ete and La poule after it, are performed each four times; both in the following order: first the leading lady and opposite gentleman perform the figure: second, the first gentleman and opposite lady: third, the lady at the right of the top and opposite gentleman; and lastly, the gentleman at the right of the top and opposite lady.

Third figure. La poule.

  1. First lady and opposite gentleman cross over, offering right hands across giving left hands, and fall in a line, set four in a line.
  2. Half promenade to opposite places.
  3. First lady & gentleman advance twice, at second time the honours 13 at second time the honours of the dance, or in plain terms, 22. Another reprehensible custom is creeping in videlicet: Instead of doing the honours to your vis-à-vis wheeling round and doing them to partners. This may be new (?) but is neither polite nor politic. Avoid it.bow and curtsey.
  4. Four advance and retire: half right and left.

Fourth figure. La pastorale.

  1. The top couple galop round twice, leave lady on left of opposite gentleman and retire.
  2. Three advance and retire, advance a second time and leave ladies with top gentleman.
  3. Top gentleman advance and retire twice with ladies.
  4. Four hands round in circle to each others places.
  5. Right and left to places.

Fifth figure. La finale.

  1. All join hand advance and retire twice to centre of circle.
  2. Top and bottom couples advance and retire: galop to each others places.
  3. Ladies chain.
  4. Top and bottom couples advance and retire: galop to places.

La pastorale and La finale are each repeated four times. Flirtation sometimes used as a sixth figure. As there is no set music for this figure, and no set arrangement we have omitted it.

14 The lancers

The Lancers are not new but have again become popular in consequence of their elegance and revival at state balls + circles in high life.

Arrangement for eight

Each figure 4 time through — beginning after 8 bars of music.

  1. First lady and opposite gentleman advance and retire: re-advance, turning each other with hands to places. First couple join hands and lead through third couple. Third couple join hands, and lead through first couple. All set at the corners, and turn to places. This is repeated by all the others.
  2. First couple advance and retire. Re-advance, gentleman leaving partner in centre (facing him). The set and turn to places. Sides part and form two lines at top and bottom. All join hands, advance, and retire, and turn partners to places. The whole of the above is repeated by the other couples, in order 3, 2, and 4, but 2 and 4 form the lines at sides.
  3. The ladies advance and retire; re-advance, gentlemen meanwhile join hands: ladies curtsey, and pass backwards under the gentleman's arms. Each lady places hands on gentleman hands; and all galop round to the left to places. Gentlemen advance and retire; re-advance,turning round; all bow or curtsey to partners. The four gentlemen crossing left hands, galop with partners to places. The whole of the above repeated33. [It is now the fashion for the four ladies to advance and courtesy to each other; then each lady turns to her partner and curtseys to him. The ladies do the moulinet while the gentlemen all move round outside the quadrille and return to places. This is repeated four times. The second and fourth times all the gentlemen advance, and immediately turn towards their partners and bow to them, and continued the figure as before]. We approve of this change as it suits tall and short dancers.
  4. First couple join hands, and visit side couple (2 and 4), bowing. First and fourth couples couples chassez and turn partners to places. First and third couples right and left to places.This is repeated by couples 3, 2, and 4 in order, each observing that they visit the couple on their right, then those on their left, and finishing by dancing right and left with their vis-à-vis
  5. Grand chain. First couple face outwards. Couples 2, 4, and 3 in order back up into line, each lady being slightly in advance of partner. Ladies move to left and gentlemen move to right, then ladies to right and gentlemen to left. All cast off. The ladies to the left and gentlemen to right then form opposite lines. The four gentlemen join hands, and the ladies likewise. All advance and retire and turn partners to places.

    This figure, with all the others, is dances four times through. The second ime the order of forming couples is — 3, 4, 2, 1, also facing outwards; the third time couples 2, 3, 1, 4, facing outwards, also at the sides. In this figure grand chain always follows turn partners.

15 Cuirassiers

  1. First and opposite couple half right and left — side couples the same. All promenade to places and turn partners. The ladies advance and retire - gentlemen do the same. All set and turn partners.
  2. Two ladies move to right, and hands three round. The ladies again set to right and turn opposite gentlemen. Lady and opposite gentlemen advance twice. Advance four, resume partners and places.
  3. Ladies hands across, while gentlemen promenade. Sit in a cross, gentlemen outside, and turn to places. Lady and opposite gentlemen advance and retire, back to back. Set and turn partners.
  4. First lady advance twice. Opposite gentleman do the same. First couple advance twice, leaving lady at left of opposite gentleman. The two ladies cross and change sides, while first gentleman passes between them — the same repeated to places — set and turn partners.
  5. All change sides and back again. Lady advance and retire opposite gentleman the same — the ladies move to the right into next lady's place and stop. The ladies again to right — gentlemen to left. All promenade to places and turn partners.

16 Caledonians

  1. Leading couples hands across and back. Set to partners and turn. Ladies chain. Half promenade: half right and left. Other couples repeat this.
  2. Leading gentleman advances and retires twice. All set corners and turn, each lady passing into next lady's place. Having changed partners, all promenade quite round. Second, third and fourth gentleman repeat this figure.
  3. Leading lady and opposite gentleman advance and retire twice. Leading couples cross over with hands joined, whilst the opposite couple cross over outside them: the same reversed. All set corners and turn. All advance and retire twice, in a circle, hands joined. Repeated by other couples in succession.
  4. Leading lady and opposite gentleman advance and stop; partners do the same; both couples turn partners to places. Ladies then move to the right each into the other's place: gentlemen to the left, each into the other's place. Again ladies to the right; gentlemen to the left. Promenade and turn partners. Other couples repeat the figure in succession.
  5. Leading couples galop round the inside of the figure. The four ladies advance, courtesy to each other, retire: the four gentlemen do likewise and bow. All set to partners and turn. Grand chain, half round. All promenade to places, and turn partners. All chassez to partners places and back again. Repeated by the other couples in succession. Galop for finale.

17 Royal Victoria

Commonly called “Marshall's”.

  1. Ladies' chain, double; hands across half round, and back again to places; all promenade, turning partners at each side, all eight swing partners with right hand and back with left to places. Twice.
  2. Top and bottom couples set to couples on their right, lead through, and back to places; top and bottom ladies advance, retire, and advance and retire back to back; gentlemen the same; also eight chassez to partners places and back again and turn corners. Twice.
  3. Top and bottom couples advance and retire, and advance and set in centre: the four change places all round; the two ladies advance, retire, and advance and stop in the centre; two gentlemen do the same; hands four round. Four times.
  4. Grand square; ladies' hands across, all round, holding right hand up in centre; gentlemen do the same; all eight join hands and set, the gentlemen with their backs facing the inside of the figure, and turn partners. Four times.
  5. Grand chassez of eight round the figure, the first couple leading outside the couple on their right; finish in two lines, and turn partners, the ladies lead round to the left inside the figure, the gentlemen at the same time to the right outside the figure, and finish in two lines, the two centre couples hands four round to places, and turn partners. Four times. Finish, grand chain, and turn partners.

18 Le polo. A new French quadrille. By monsieur F. Paul, Paris. ### Arrangement for four couples ### 1. The promenade

All four coup galop half round (4 bars). 1 and 3 turn partners, 2 and 4 turn partners (4 bars) . 1 and 3 half right and left, 2 and 4 half right and left (8 bars). Da capo. 4 ladies moulinet (8 bars); 4 gentlemen moulinet (8 bars).

2. The corbeille

All four couples full promenade turning (8 bars). 4 ladies back to back, 4 gentlemen four hands round them (4 bars). All turn partners, leaving 4 gentlemen back to back in centre, la ladies' four hands round the gentlemen, and turn partners, regaining places.

3. The petits ronds

1 and 3 ladies change places (2 bars); the 2 and 4 ladies change places (2 bars); 1 and 3 gentlemen do (2 bars); 2 and 4 gentlemen do (2 bars). X giving their left hand to their lady, and the right hand to the lady on the right, forming a rond of eight, the 4 gentlemen having their backs to centre of quadrille X (4 bars), then balancé (4 bars), increasing size of rond or circle: all 8 grand promenade in this position to the right (4 bars). The gentlemen make with their ladies a little rond on their place, and finish turning their backs to the centre of the quadrille (4 bars); they then make a little rond with the new lady on their left (4 bars), and a last rond with the fourth lady to finish in places (4 bars).

4. The nouvelle pastourale

En avant quatre (katr) by the first couple — 1 and 3 gentlemen give their ladies to 2 and 4 gentlemen (8 bars): the side gentlemen advance each with two ladies, retire and return the ladies to their partners (8 bars). This is repeated by the top and bottom couples. Half grand promenade and small rond to places of vis a vis. All half promenade to places, finishing with rond. Number 3 couple begins next, then 2, and then 4 last.

5. The polo

Grand promenade by the four couples, who turn to their left in dancing the galop (8 bars). Le corbeille, id est 4 ladies 4 hands round, while 4 gentlemen join hands over them at the same time: in this position they galop to the left (8 bars). Les ponts, id est, when arrived at their places, the gentlemen hold up their arms, the ladies pass under and place themselves back to back in the middle of the rond, the gentlemen go on turning (4 bars). Tours surplace, id est, when the gentlemen come each to his lady, they put their right arm round the lady, and galop to places (4 bars). Without leaving their ladies, the gentlemen with the left hand form a moulinet, and turn in dancing the galop with their lady (8 bars). Da capo. Finish with grand rond.

Number 1 twice through, and others 4 time, and first 8 bars.

19 Union44. In press and speedily will be published “The union quadrilles”, on national airs, by James Scott Skinner specially arranged for this favourite and unknown neglected set.

1. Scotch.

  1. First and fourth ladies change places
  2. second and third ladies same
  3. first and fourth gents change places
  4. second and third gentlemen same
  5. first and fourth couples, and second and third couples advance at corners, retire and promenade to places.
  6. Set to partners - and turn
  7. promenade
  8. Repeat

2. French

  1. Four ladies advance to centre and turn
  2. four gentlemen same
  3. repeat
  4. hands eight half round
  5. ladies turn
  6. gentlemen turn
  7. first and second couples return to places, first couple leading through the second
  8. third and fourth couples same, third couple leading through the fourth.
  9. Hands eight round.
  10. Repeat.

3. Irish

The top and third couples face each other, and the second and fourth couples face each other.

  1. Right and left all round figure, till in your places
  2. top and opposite couples advance
  3. retire
  4. advance
  5. and hands four all round
  6. ladies across and back
  7. chassez into partners places and back again.
  8. Repeat.

4. 20 Spanish

  1. Waltz chain half round (commencing at corners).
  2. Waltz to places
  3. top and opposite ladies change places
  4. side ladies same
  5. top and opposite gentlemen change places
  6. side gentlemen same.
  7. Waltz to places
  8. Repeat.

5. English.

  1. Top and opposite couples right and left
  2. ladies chain, grand square55. This part of the figure is performed by the four couples at the same time..

Top and bottom couples ab — cd advance to centre i — chassez to i — chassez to s, and regain places; the side couples efgh — chassez to o — chassez to p to i and again to places. O at corners means lady, ◇ means gentlemen.

21 Coulon's, or double quadrille

Being in London when this quadrille was introduced and having had lessons from a Mrs. Nicholas Henderson, the compilers insert her descriptions. William Scott.

This quadrille is danced by four couples. All quadrille music will suit it. It is very easily learned. It has the same figures as the common quadrille, only so arranged as to be danced by four, instead of two couples; and to occupy only half the time of the common quadrille. This arrangement gives great additional variety and cheerfulness to the movements of the dance.

  1. Top and bottom couples right and left, whilst the side couples dance chaine anglaise outside them. All four balance to partners. The four ladies form ladies' chain, or hands across and back to places. Half promenade, top and bottom couples chaine anglaise, whilst side couples grands chaine round them. This leaves all in their respective places.
  2. The lady at the top, and the lady on her right, with their opposite gentlemen, perform L'ete (each forming a semicircle to the left in crossing over to opposite places). The remaining four do likewise.
  3. 22 The lady at the top, and the lady on her right, with opposite gentlemen, dance La Poule (setting in two cross lines). The rest do likewise.
  4. Top and bottom couples dance La Pastorale with the two couples on their right. The latter do likewise with top and bottom couples.
  5. All galopade round. The top and bottom couples galopade forwards; and whilst they are retiring the side couples advance, and as they retire, top and bottom couples galopade to opposite places. Then the side couples do the same. Top and bottom couples readvance; and whilst they are retiring, the side couples readvance, and as they retire, top and bottom galopade back to places. Then the side couples do likewise. Double ladies' chain, and galopade round. Then the side couples begin the repetition of the figure, which finishes with a general galop.

Uniformity of step and correct measurement of time are particularly indispensable in the execution of this dance.

This quadrille is now very generally taught by the profession, the leading members of which were invited by mister Coulon to his house to give their opinion of its merits, and all agreed to introduce it to their pupils.

23 Parisienne

This is simply the first set. Arrange partners by forming two lines (as in Scotch reel). There being neither top or bottom couples. The music is only played half the usual length of time. This set only requires to be introduced to become a great favourite.

Dances specially suited for juveniles.

“True grace in motion comes from art, not chance,

As those move easiest who have learnt to dance;

Dancing is to the body as learning to the mind,

Just as the twig is bent so is the tree inclined.

La corillion or clap-hand Dance. Tune — The Prince of Orange.

The couples stand in a circle round the room. Lady on right of gentleman.

  1. All the ladies chasse in before the gentlemen on their right. Set and turn them round (Eight bars).
  2. Couples face each other, give three claps with the hands, then three beats with the right foot.
  3. Swing partner and pass her to gentleman on right side. The ladies do the same with every gentleman and moving round to the right till they come to places; then the gentlemen commence and do the same.

23½ Long live the queen quadrille country dance by mister Scott Skinner, as danced at Balmoral

Music — 16 bars of any 6/8 quadrille figure for promenade and

  1. Bonnie Wood o' Craigie Lea,
  2. God bless the Prince,
  3. Auld Lang syne &
  4. God save the Queen as chausses,

all in key of G major.

(S) Arrangement same as for a quadrille 8 couples.

All full promenade top & bottom couples full promenade - side couples do Then form four stars as under. Count eight each way crossing with right and left hand, and introduce chaines (1) then repeat from (S). Second time introducing chorus (2). Third time chorus (3) after which all the ladies join hands in centre & all gentlemen do. encircling them all sing while standing

God save our gracious queen

Long live our noble queen

God save the queen

All the ladies still join hands galop quickly to left to places. Gents do. to right to places to tune of “Flowers of Edinburgh” - places. All catch their partners & galop quickly to places.

23½ The flower dance

Tune “The dashing white sergeant”.

Arrangement same as for a reel.

  1. All join hands and advance and retire with quadrille step.
  2. All full promenade
  3. Ladies chain
  4. Gallop to centre and back
  5. Gallop to centre and stop all clapping hands three times
  6. All form two floral arches and let the two top couples gallop under the wreaths to the bottom

Every Lady should hold a wreath of flowers.

24 Come dance along with me

Gallopade or Singing Galop.

By William Scott66. The music for this dance and for the “Chimes of Dunkirk” may be had from mister Skinner..

Music: Fifth figure of “Le pacha quadrilles”.

All form two lines, each gentleman having his partner at his side. Figure.

  1. All advance and retire with galop step (4 bars)
  2. Readvance and retire and change Partners but always keeping their own sides (4 bars). This is repeated until each gentleman regain partner.
  3. All stand still except the two top couples. Ladies chain and galop down the centre. Others repeat. During the chain and galop down the centre the following words are sung by all the dancers:

“Come dance along with me

I will fill your hearts with glee”.

77. In our professional experience we have, on many occasions, been requested to give a dance in which all may join. The re-arranging of the “Chimes of Dunkirk”, the beauty of the music, and the simplicity of the figure has, we trust, reduced it to the capacity of the merest tyro. The dance has another advantage — videlicet — It gives gentlemen the pleasure of dancing and singing with every lady in the room. This is comme il faut. William Scott + James Scott Skinner. 25 The Chimes of Dunkirk with chorus.

Any number of couples form a circle round the room. The gentleman having his lady on the right arm. At the first note of the music the gentleman makes a low formal bow in front of his partner. His partner makes a low formal curtsey (3 bars and 1 bar for the gentleman to return to his place).

Join hands and advance to centre of dance 1, 2, 3, 4 retire and readvance, upon retiring face the lady on your left. Your partner face the gentleman on his right. Strike the palm of the left hand with the fingers of the right (Keeping time to the music) and singing:

“Oh! Listen to the chimes. Oh! Listen to the chimes”.

Turn the lady you advised to “listen to the chimes” and during the movement sing:

“The merry, merry chimes of the Dunkirk bells”

Repeat until the ladies have regained partners.

26 The Cellarius valse, redova & la gorlitza are all valses and cannot be learnt from books besides they are not popular and the introduction of too many dances into society entails more (illegible) on learners &c.

Commence as for valse - the step of the polka for the first bar turning half round, and for the second the foot is slidden noiselessly to the side the toe pointed in second position and pause; repeat the same with the other foot, turning round into place. Eight times in all, each time turning half round. Second step occupies four bars. The gentleman slides the left foot into the second position, and steps behind with right, and hops upon it, then carries the left foot behind the right into fifth position: the above is repeated, the lady doing the same movements.

Both turn half round with one polka step and pause.

When this dance came out a third step was used. It is not now in vogue.

27 Country dances ### Circassian circle

The couples form a circle round the room, facing each other.

  1. Right and left
  2. Set and turn partners
  3. Advance & retire 4. Advance, four hands round and pass on to next couple.

Second Circassian circle

  1. Ladies chain
  2. Set and turn partners
  3. Right and left
  4. Hands four half round, and turn partners, changing places

Galopade circle

  1. Advance and retire, then advance and change partners (galop step)
  2. Same again;
  3. Ladies chain
  4. Half right and left, and turn partners.

Spanish dance

  1. To commence the figure, the lady and gentleman at the top change places, and face down the dance, the second couples facing up; the two couples set and change to 28 each other's places; face to partners, set and change places; set again and change on the sides; set again and change with partners, which brings all four to places.
  2. Join hands in a circle, balance, gentlemen turn ladies into each other's place, repeat this four times.
  3. The two couples valse round each other for four or eight bars.

The music for the Spanish dance is the same as that for the common valse.

29 La tempete.

Combination of quadrille and country dance. Arrange (across the room) double couples, facing each other — third backs to second, and face fourth so on for an unlimited number.

  1. Advance and retire holding hands and forming two lines of four.
  2. Gallop across, holding partner's hands, opposite couples pass outside.
  3. Repeat the same with the difference that the couples who passed inside are now outside.
  4. The four inside cross hands and back: the two on each side poussette or valse.
  5. Join four hands, turn round and back again side couples as above.
  6. All advance and retire, by four holding hands advance again, the top couple passing through below the second couple's arms.

It may be remarked that when the couples reach top and bottom of the dance they should change sides. The gentlemen having to make certain that their ladies are on the right.

Country88. The word country in this case, is no doubt a corruption of the French word contre, as contre danse signifies a dance performed by persons opposite to each other. dances

“This life is like a village dance,

Where hearts are beating time,

Where feet are tuned to lives romance

Till they have pass'd their prime;

We seek the hand we wish to gain,

And gaily we advance,

And dance amid a youthful train,

And court the glance of maid and swain,

Adown the Village dance”.

30 Common figure

  1. Down the back and up again
  2. Down the centre and up again
  3. Poussette

Simple figure (English)

  1. Cross hands and back
  2. Down the centre and up again
  3. Poussette

Simple figure (Scotch)

  1. Four hands round and back
  2. Down the centre and up again
  3. Poussette

Simple figure (Irish)

  1. Down the centre and up again
  2. Cross hands and back
  3. Foot out time to your partner in centre.

99. This is intended as a respite from the more violent dances - It also affords a chance for the promenaders using their conversional powers.Promenade dance

  1. Lady and gentleman walk down centre (gentleman giving arm) & up again
  2. Walk down backwards, while second lady and gentleman follow lady on gentleman's arm. Second couple walk backwards & first follow.
  3. Poussette.

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