Performance Programs

Sara & Maynard Johnson

Dancing and Dance Masters
in the 1700s

  1. Dancing and Dance Masters in the 1700s

Importance of social dancing. 

    • Not many social occasions – church, government or court, and taverns
    • Some families danced every night, in winter
    • Dancing helped heat the house. (The cake was froze but the punch was still good)
    • Also a way for young people to meet.
    • Winter activity – Dirt roads were frozen and now passable.

Dances – Minuetts, Scotch reels and Country dances

  •  Event would start with minuett, a few reels, usually Scotch reels for 3 couples at a time, then country dances, card playing, drinking, singing.
  • No cardplaying until after the minuetts are closed
  • No punch until after the minuetts are closed

Dance masters – teach dancing, and organize balls. 

  • Pocket fiddle used by dance masters
    • Demonstration of kit or pocket fiddle - My Love, She's But a Lassie Yet, Jamaica
  • Also teach deportment, fencing, riding
  •  Posture and stays for children


  • Some minuetts, plus La Triumph, Young Widow, Gathering Peasecods, Jamaica, All In a Garden Green, Comical Fellow, York Fusilliers