Thomas Rowlandson, [A Children’s Ball] (1790), Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021. The image shows children dancing to the accompaniment of a dancing master playing a violin, observed on both sides by groups of adults.

Further Resources


Historical Social Dance and Dance Music Sources

The Collection of Richard Powers:

East Anglian Traditional Music Trust:

Folkopedia, List of Historical Tune Books:,_some_of_which_are_available_on_the_internet

Library of Congress, An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals, ca. 1490 to 1920:

Nick Enge, Vintage Dance Manuals:

Regency Dances, Sources for Research:

Ellis Rogers, Resources for the Study of 19th Century Social Dance:

Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Historic Dance and Tune Books:

The Village Music Project:

Some dance publications are available via Internet Archive, IMSLP and the British Library’s digital collections. Some items can also be downloaded via


Dance and Dance Tunes Databases

Country Dance & Song Society Online Library:

Folk Tune Finder:

Historical Music of Scotland:

Regency Dances, List of Dances:

The Scottish Music Index: (requires membership)

The Traditional Tune Archive:


Social Dance Terminology

Paul Cooper, “Regency Era Country Dances – Figures”:

Glossary of Country Dance Terms: (note some these refer to more modern usage)

Library of Congress, An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals, ca. 1490 to 1920, Nineteenth Century Social Dance:

Regency Dances, Regency Dancing Style:


General Resources for Historical Dance and Dancers

Cohen, Selma Jeanne, ed. International Encyclopedia of Dance. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Craine, Debra, and Judith Mackrell, eds. The Oxford Dictionary of Dance, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Highfill, Jr., Philip H., Kalman A. Burnim and Edward A. Langhans, eds. A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers & Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800. Carbondale & Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1973-1993.

Grove Music Online (The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians): (subscription required)

The Historical Dance Society:

Early Dance Circle:

The National Resource Centre for Historical Dance:


Select Bibliography for Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Social Dance

Aldrich, Elizabeth. From the Ballroom to Hell: Grace and Folly in Nineteenth-Century Dance. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1991.

————— “Social Dancing in Schubert’s World.” In Schubert’s Vienna, edited by Raymond Erickson, 119-140. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1997.

Ballantyne, Patricia H. Scottish Dance Beyond 1805: Reaction and Regulation. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2020.

Blasdale-Clarke, Heather. Australian Colonial Dance:

Bloomfield, Anne, and Ruth Watts. "Pedagogue of the Dance: The Dancing Master as Educator in the Long Eighteenth Century." History of Education 37, no. 4 (2008): 605-618.

Burlock, Hillary. “Dancing with the (Georgian) Royal Family”:

————— “Party Politics: Dancing in London’s West End, 1780-9.” The London Journal: A Review of Metropolitan Society Past and Present (October 2021): 1-17.

————— "Politics and Pirouettes: the Intersection of Politics and Social Dance in Late Georgian Britain." PhD diss., Queen Mary, University of London, 2022.

Buurman, Erica, and Oskar Cox Jensen. “Dancing the “Waterloo Waltz”: Commemorations of the Hundred Days – Parallels in British Social Dance and Song.” In Napoleon’s Hundred Days and the Politics of Legitimacy, edited by Katherine Astbury and Mark Philp, 209-232. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Clark, Maribeth. "The Quadrille as Embodied Musical Experience in 19th-Century Paris." The Journal of Musicology 19, no. 3 (2002): 503-526.

Cooper, Paul. Regency Dances, Research Papers:

Engelhardt, Molly. Dancing out of Line: Ballrooms, Ballets, and Mobility in Victorian Fiction and Culture. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2009.

Fawcett, Trevor. "Dance and Teachers of Dance in Eighteenth-Century Bath." Bath History 2 (1988): 27-48.

————— “Provincial Dancing Masters.” Norfolk Archaeology 35, no. 1 (1970): 135-141 and “Provincial Dancing Masters: A Postscript.” Norfolk Archaeology 35, no. 2 (1971): 193-198.

Keller, Kate Van Winkle. Dance and Its Music in America, 1528-1789. Hillsdale: Pendragon Press, 2007.

Keller, Kate Van Winkle, and Charles Cyril Hendrickson, “Dances of Colonial America”:

Macdonald, Timothy S. “Strathspeys, Reels, and Strathspey Reels: Clarifying Dance Music in Lowland Scotland 1750-1833”:

McKee Stapleton, Anne. Pointed Encounters: Dance in Post-Culloden Scottish Literature. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2014.

Mullaney-Dignam, Karol. Music and Dancing at Castletown, County Kildare, 1759-1821, Maynooth Studies in Local History 98. Dublin and Portland: Four Courts Press, 2011.

————— “‘Spacious and splendid’: Music, Dancing and Social Life at Glin Castle, 1781-1854.” Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies 14 (2011): 16-37.

Richardson, Philip J.S. The Social Dances of the Nineteenth Century in England. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1960.

Rogers, Ellis A. The Quadrille. A Practical Guide to Its Origin, Development and Performance, 4th ed. Orpington: C & E Rogers, 2008.

Smigel, Libby. "Minds Mad for Dancing: Polkamania on the London Stage." The Journal of Popular Culture 30, no. 3 (1996): 197-207.

Tardif, Audrée-Isabelle. “A Cultural History of Social Dance among the Upper Ranks in Eighteenth-Century England." PhD diss., University of Cambridge, 2002.

Wagner, Ann. Adversaries of Dance: From the Puritans to the Present. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1997.

Wilson, Cheryl A. Literature and Dance in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

————— “Boundless Partnership: 19th-Century Literature and Dance.” Literature Compass 14, no. 1 (January 2017).

Yaraman, Sevin. Revolving Embrace: The Waltz as Sex, Steps, and Sound. Hillsdale, N.Y.: Pendragon Press, 2002.


Select Bibliography on Black Dance and Dance Music

Emery, Lynne Fauley. Black Dance in the United States from 1619 to 1970. Palo Alto: National Press Books, 1972.

Epstein, Dena. Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music to the Civil War. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1981.

Floyd, Jr., Samuel A., and Marsha J. Reisser. "Social Dance Music of Black Composers in the Nineteenth Century and the Emergence of Classic Ragtime." The Black Perspective in Music 8, no. 2 (Autumn 1980): 161-193.

Floyd Jr., Samuel A., with Melanie L. Zeck and Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr. The Transformation of Black Music: The Rhythms, the Songs, and the Ships of the African Diaspora. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.

Hazzard-Gordon, Katrina. Jookin’: The Rise of Social Dance Formations in African-American Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990.

Heckscher, Jurretta Jordan. “‘All the Mazes of the Dance’: Black Dancing, Culture, and Identity in the Greater Chesapeake World from the Early Eighteenth Century to the Civil War.” PhD diss., The George Washington University, 2000.

Jones, Charles K. Francis Johnson (1792-1844): Chronicle of a Black Musician in Early Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia. Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press, 2006.

King-Dorset, Rodreguez. Black Dance in London, 1730-1850: Innovation, Tradition and Resistance. Jefferson, North Carolina and London: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2008.

Southern, Eileen. The Music of Black Americans: A History, 3rd ed. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1997.

Thompson, Katrina Dyonne. Ring Shout, Wheel About: The Racial Politics of Music and Dance in North American Slavery. Urbana, Chicago and Springfield: University of Illinois Press, 2014.


Dance Video Resources

Library of Congress, An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals, ca. 1490 to 1920, Video Directory:

A List of Social Dances with Demo Videos, Descriptions, and Music:

Historical Dance Society YouTube channel:

Ellis Rogers & Quadrille Club, Videos:

BBC Pride and Prejudice - Having a Ball:

Dancing with General Washington:

Sue Dupre, “Gentler Conflict: Dance in 18th Century America”:


Historically Informed Dance Music Recordings

Tim Macdonald and Jeremy Ward:

Concerto Caledonia:


Reconstructing Historical Dance Music Performance

Aaron McGregor, “Reviving the 18th-Century Dance Night”:

————— “Nathaniel Gow’s Dance Band – TDFS blog”:


Page last updated: 19 August 2022