1860s Dance Weekend: Part I, Saturday

December is going to be a whirlwind of HSF posts and posts about events, so I need to hurry up and get started by sharing pictures of an event that actually happened in November but which I haven’t shared pictures of yet. The event was a 1860s Intensive Dance Weekend, hosted by the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers, featuring two days of dance classes, two evening balls, and a German (an after ball party of fun dance games). I’ve got lots of pictures, so I’m going to split this up into two posts. In today’s post, I’ll share pictures of the Saturday of the dance weekend and Part II will be pictures of the Sunday of the dance weekend.

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Taking some photos before the ball.

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I wore Evie. This is a nice photo of the bodice with recently added sleeve trim.

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Plaid dresses!

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Something exciting was being said, though I don’t remember what! This is good proof, though, that my Evie hair wreath does often take on a very green hue in contrast to the sometimes gold-ish brown that it looks in pictures.

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In lines, dancing Le Tourbillion.

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Dancing in a large circle. This is either Spanish Dance or Soldier’s Joy. I always get them confused since they start out similarly!

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Lines of ladies and gentlemen dancing Gothic Dance.

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Ladies passing under the “Gothic” arches!

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Wondering what this odd scene is? This is one of the dance games in the German. You’ll have to forgive me for not remembering the names of them. In this one, a lady sat in the chair with a mirror and cloth. She could see the gentleman standing behind her in the mirror. She would wipe the mirror to dismiss them until she found one she wanted to dance with.

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In this dance game, the lady presented one of the two gentlemen with a glass of “wine.” She then danced with the other gentleman.

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For this dance game, the gentlemen were blindfolded (I was dancing as a gentleman…). We all stood in a circle with ladies in between gentlemen and then would begin to give hands, right then left, around the circle. Because the gentlemen were blindfolded the ladies had to be sure to catch their hands to keep them from wandering out of the circle. At the sound of a whistle, you would dance with the person whose hand you were holding. Something must have been mixed up, because two of us blindfolded “gentlemen” wound up dancing together, to the great amusement of all onlookers. Lucky for us we’re both proficient waltzers, and being blindfolded isn’t much of a challenge. People were quite impressed and amused.

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Another dance game, with 5 each of ribbons, ladies, and gentlemen. Once the center of the ribbon was released each person found the person holding the other end of their ribbon and danced with them.

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This dance game involves two people trying to capture one of the dancing couples in the sash. When they’ve caught someone they switch around so different people are the ones holding the sash. The people dancing have to try to dance away from capture.

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It’s hard to see, but the couple with the plaid dress is holding a top hat. The object of this dance game is for the second couple to dance close enough to the couple with the top hat to drop a glove into it. When that happens then the couple with glove becomes the couple with the hat. Only dancing, not running, is allowed to elude the couple with the glove.

All in all a fun and energetic day and night of dancing, especially with the German that was directly after the ball. I hope you enjoyed these.

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About quinnmburgess

Quinn M. Burgess creates reproduction and costume historic clothing. Her inspiration has a strong foundation in history: historic dress, social history, and material history. With the addition of clothing construction knowledge, her passions converge in an imaginative world of creative history that she loves to share with others.
Gallery | This entry was posted in 1860s, 19th Century, Galleries, Hoops and Bustles, Victorian Clothing, Vintage Dancing: 19th Century, Wearing Reproduction Clothing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to 1860s Dance Weekend: Part I, Saturday

  1. Helen Fratena says:

    Sounds like such fun. And you are obviously the Belle of the ball! Evie looks marvelous, but my arthritic left hand cringes at the sight of all that hand gathered, hand sewn trim.

    • One person at the ball asked me how long it took to sew my dress… I don’t even have an answer to that question, really… 1 month, 2? I enjoy the final result, but I’m glad it’s done! Sewing machines sure do speed up the work and give your hands and forearm muscles a rest!

  2. Eva says:

    You look so beautiful!!!!! I love the trims and the colour of your dress! It suits you very well!! Thanks for sharing fotos of this event!
    best, eva

  3. Merja says:

    I LOVE your dress!!!

  4. Sabine says:

    Thanks for taking us to a ball again!!! Your dress is always a delight to the eyes! The evening looks like so much fun 🙂

  5. Gina White says:

    Oh how fun does that look? Very!!! I love all the action shots and so adore your lovely dress!!! Can’t wait to see more pics of more events!

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