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Speaking of Dancing

[19 October 1787]

"I don't think I ever laugh't so much in my life as I did last night at Captain Grigg's minuet. I wish you could see him. It is really the most ludicrous thing I ever saw; and what makes it more so is, he thinks he dances a most delightful one...."

Lucy Lee Orr Journal of a Young Lady in Virginia, 1782. Pecatone, p 37.

"In assemblies or places of public resort, when we see a person of a genteel carriage or presence, he attract our regard and liking... and an air of ease will more distinguish a man from the crowd... [quoting from John Locke] Nothing... appears... to five children so much becoming confidence and behavior and so to raise them to the conversation of those above their age, as dancing. I think they should be taught to dance as soon as they are capable of learning it...."

Gallini, Giovanni-Andrea. A Treatise on the Art of Dancing. London, 1762;
reprint edition, New York: Broude Brothers, 1967, p. 145.

"At the Court-House in Williamsburg, on Thursday the 31st of October, I purpose to have a Ball for my Scholars: Such Gentlemen and Ladies who are pleased to favour me with their Company, may have Tickets at Half a Pistole each, at Mr. Finnie's, or from

Their most obedient humble Servant,
Richard Coventon

N.B. The Doors will be open at Six o'Clock."

Virginia Gazette, 24 October 1751.

29 May 1774
"...went to a Negro ball. Sundays being the holy days [they] have to themselves with Dancing to the Banjo... a Gourd... with only four strings..."

7 July 1774
"...(on the Potomac River, Between Nanjemoy, Maryland and Alexandria, Virginia.) Calm in the evening, the Captn. And I went ashore, to what they call a reaping frolic. this is a Harvest Feast. The people very merry, Dancing without either Shoes or Stockings and the Girls without stays, but I cannot partake of the diversion."

Macveagh, Lincoln. The Journal of Nicholas Cresswell 1774 - 1777.
Second edition. The Dial Press, New York: 1928, p.26.

"No Lady to be admitted in a nightgown and no gentleman in boots.
Dancing is to begin precisely at 5 o'clock afternoon in the winter.
Each set not to exceed ten couples to dance but one country dance.
Couples to dance their minuets in the order they stand in their individual sets.
No dance to begin after 11 at night.
No tea, coffee, negus or other liquor to be carried into the dancing room."

From the First Assembly minute book, December 16, 1746.



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