Dance, dance, dance!

Cat 243 Dover by Mary Jo

Last weekend, we went down to visit my sister in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia.  Much fun was had doing a range of things from lunching at Chateau Morrisette , a lovely winery restaurant just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, to joining a trail feed on the Chateau Morrisette Appalachian Trail.  (Food figured prominently in the weekend. <g>)  

Serious hikers of the AT, as the trail is called, have a strong sense of community.  This is why people like my sister’s friends will go Dutch oven and cook a Dutch oven feast for northbound through hikers who started in North Georgia in very early spring and are reaching Virginia in May.  The fellowship was lovely, and the hikers, mostly robust young people in their 20s, were very appreciative of good food (Lasagne! Warm brownies!) and a comfortable camp chair.  Since two of the trail feed hostesses had hiked the whole trail themselves, there Blue Ridge 2 was instant rapport. 

But I digress.  What inspired this particular blog was the Friday Jamboree at the Floyd Country Store, which is a sophisticated store with hundred year old roots.  Every Friday, several music groups play for an hour each.  The front of the story has a variety of useful items while the back has a stage, a lot of folding chairs, and an area cleared for dancing. 

We got there just as a gospel group was winding up and The Jugbusters band was coming on.  I’m not sure where the jug was, but the group had fiddles and a bass and they played fine, toe tapping country dance music.  As soon as the first note sounded, onlookers leaped onto the dance floor—and the first ones there were men probably in their 70s.  And let me tell you, those guys could dance! 

In moments, the floor had filled up with people of all ages, and you didn’t need a partner.  All you had to do was go onto the floor and start moving to the music.  Some serious dancers had special clogger tap shoes that were very jingly, while other participants might never have set foot on a dance floor.  Experience didn’t matter. 

Riverdance-logo-short Clog dancing is a folk style, which means it takes many different forms, but a key is the foot work, traditionally done with hard-soled shoes (originally clogs) that are used to create a strong percussive rhythm.  Generally the arms are relaxed at the sides—clogging is an ancestor of tap dance and is related to Irish step dancing.  If you’ve attended a performance of Riverdance or watched a recording, you know the primal power of all those swift, noisy drumming feet.

The Appalachians were settled by Scotch Irish immigrants back in the 18th century, and they’ve been clogging for fun ever since.  Now a mixture of their descendants and immigrants to the mountains were out on the dance floor in all ages and combinations. 

Every second or third dance, a neon sign saying TWO STEP would come on above the stage, and that was the signal for dancing with a partner to a somewhat slower tempo.  All kinds of partners—couples young and old, a very large man with an elderly but spry woman who barely passed his elbow, married couples, a tall teenager with a little blond about 8 years old who was earnestly watching the others and getting better with every step.

I managed to get my sister onto the floor to clog with me, and the Mayhem Consultant and I did a two step.  Very badly, but it didn’t matter.  It was great fun.  The most serious dancers went virtually non-stop for a solid hour, pausing only between numbers.  The evening reminded me of occasional square dances I attended as a kid in rural Western New York.  “Swing your partner, dosi do…” 

Since I’m a writer, naturally the whole jolly event got me to thinking about dancing and history.  Dance has been with us for time beyond counting: dances for religious observance, to send pleas to the gods, to celebrate, to illustrate the ancient stories.  There are signs of dancing in Indian cave paintings 9000 years old, and it was surely not young then.

These days we have the best musicians in the world on tap with the flick of a dial or a few mouse clicks, but historically, music came from local folks, and if you were Regency dancing competent on a piano or a fiddle or a harmonica, you were a valuable social asset.  Get together a few people and if one or two can play an instrument, you had a party.  The clogging, line dances, square and circle dances that are folk dance today are blood kin of the dances our Regency characters did.

Though I knew this, the dancing at the Floyd Country Store reminded me on a visceral level just how valuable musical skill was.  No wonder our well bred heroines learned the pianoforte and the harp as girls, and a good voice was valued.  When there are not CDs or radio, you rejoice in the talents of your neighbors.  If you were a music lover, going to London to hear top level musical performances was joy beyond imagining, but the neighborhood girl with the lovely soprano voice was also a source of great pleasure.

Emma Grand balls are a staple of Regency historicals—so much so that it’s easy to forget what special occasions they were, especially for guests from the country.  The dazzle of lights, first class music, beautifully dressed guests—of course it was exciting.  And fun—a chance to work off one’s energy and have a good time. 

These days researchers have determined that physical activity is an antidote to depression that can equal or surpass anti-depressant drugs.  In other words, dancing is joy.  What better antidote to a gray, wet English season than dancing? 

Balls have another great advantage for writers, and that is as a plot device.  A ball lets the author bring characters together so they can interact.  I’ve written my share of dance scenes where heroes challenged villains, simmering tensions exploded, and occasionally couples sneaked away for a heated encounter. 

But most of all, a ball is a great opportunity for characters to interact romantically.  More Regency dancing Dancing has been called “the vertical expression of a horizontal desire,” and it’s so true!  In a world where the sexes lived fairly separate lives, even the touch of a gloved hand can be intoxicating.  Dancing was a form of intimacy that could be done in public, and a ball provided opportunities to meet new, exciting people. 

And have I mentioned that it’s fun?  <G> 

Dancing with the Stars A drawback of our media culture is that when programs like “Dancing with the Stars” show beautiful, talented people in gorgeous, sexy costumes, it’s easy to settle deeper into the couch and feel inferior.  But dance isn’t just for the fit and fabulous.  It’s for everyone.  There’s a saying, “If you can walk, you can dance.”  And that's true.  It took the Floyd Country Store to remind me of that. 

Blue_Ridge_Mountains So what about you?  Do you love to dance?  Did you do it once, but it’s slipped out of your life?  What are your favorite dance related memories?  I’d love to hear!

Mary Jo

90 thoughts on “Dance, dance, dance!”

  1. I grew up in a church which didn’t allow such things like dancing, so while I am rhythmically challenged, I am known to kick up my heels and make a fool of myself for the sheer joy of it all. (especially around the house where no one but my kids can see…they just roll their eyes) What a wonderful pastime! I love a tension-filled ball scene, by the way.

    Reply
  2. I grew up in a church which didn’t allow such things like dancing, so while I am rhythmically challenged, I am known to kick up my heels and make a fool of myself for the sheer joy of it all. (especially around the house where no one but my kids can see…they just roll their eyes) What a wonderful pastime! I love a tension-filled ball scene, by the way.

    Reply
  3. I grew up in a church which didn’t allow such things like dancing, so while I am rhythmically challenged, I am known to kick up my heels and make a fool of myself for the sheer joy of it all. (especially around the house where no one but my kids can see…they just roll their eyes) What a wonderful pastime! I love a tension-filled ball scene, by the way.

    Reply
  4. I grew up in a church which didn’t allow such things like dancing, so while I am rhythmically challenged, I am known to kick up my heels and make a fool of myself for the sheer joy of it all. (especially around the house where no one but my kids can see…they just roll their eyes) What a wonderful pastime! I love a tension-filled ball scene, by the way.

    Reply
  5. I grew up in a church which didn’t allow such things like dancing, so while I am rhythmically challenged, I am known to kick up my heels and make a fool of myself for the sheer joy of it all. (especially around the house where no one but my kids can see…they just roll their eyes) What a wonderful pastime! I love a tension-filled ball scene, by the way.

    Reply
  6. Even though I’m not very good, I do love to dance. Unfortunately, my Mister is dance-challenged, but we have been known to Two-Step down here in Texas. And, of course, since we grew up in Buffalo (I’m originally from Olean), we did hear all the Polish polka music and Irish show band music that populated that area. I went to a Highland Games this weekend and the sound of “rock” bagpipes really had me itching to get out and do a jig.

    Reply
  7. Even though I’m not very good, I do love to dance. Unfortunately, my Mister is dance-challenged, but we have been known to Two-Step down here in Texas. And, of course, since we grew up in Buffalo (I’m originally from Olean), we did hear all the Polish polka music and Irish show band music that populated that area. I went to a Highland Games this weekend and the sound of “rock” bagpipes really had me itching to get out and do a jig.

    Reply
  8. Even though I’m not very good, I do love to dance. Unfortunately, my Mister is dance-challenged, but we have been known to Two-Step down here in Texas. And, of course, since we grew up in Buffalo (I’m originally from Olean), we did hear all the Polish polka music and Irish show band music that populated that area. I went to a Highland Games this weekend and the sound of “rock” bagpipes really had me itching to get out and do a jig.

    Reply
  9. Even though I’m not very good, I do love to dance. Unfortunately, my Mister is dance-challenged, but we have been known to Two-Step down here in Texas. And, of course, since we grew up in Buffalo (I’m originally from Olean), we did hear all the Polish polka music and Irish show band music that populated that area. I went to a Highland Games this weekend and the sound of “rock” bagpipes really had me itching to get out and do a jig.

    Reply
  10. Even though I’m not very good, I do love to dance. Unfortunately, my Mister is dance-challenged, but we have been known to Two-Step down here in Texas. And, of course, since we grew up in Buffalo (I’m originally from Olean), we did hear all the Polish polka music and Irish show band music that populated that area. I went to a Highland Games this weekend and the sound of “rock” bagpipes really had me itching to get out and do a jig.

    Reply
  11. I LOVE to dance! Unfortunately for me, the DH doesn’t, doesn’t have an interest in learning, and refuses to even shuffle side to side to a slow, romantic tune. 🙁 Now, all I do is dance for exercise. *sigh*

    Reply
  12. I LOVE to dance! Unfortunately for me, the DH doesn’t, doesn’t have an interest in learning, and refuses to even shuffle side to side to a slow, romantic tune. 🙁 Now, all I do is dance for exercise. *sigh*

    Reply
  13. I LOVE to dance! Unfortunately for me, the DH doesn’t, doesn’t have an interest in learning, and refuses to even shuffle side to side to a slow, romantic tune. 🙁 Now, all I do is dance for exercise. *sigh*

    Reply
  14. I LOVE to dance! Unfortunately for me, the DH doesn’t, doesn’t have an interest in learning, and refuses to even shuffle side to side to a slow, romantic tune. 🙁 Now, all I do is dance for exercise. *sigh*

    Reply
  15. I LOVE to dance! Unfortunately for me, the DH doesn’t, doesn’t have an interest in learning, and refuses to even shuffle side to side to a slow, romantic tune. 🙁 Now, all I do is dance for exercise. *sigh*

    Reply
  16. I absolutely love to dance. So does my BF! In fact he dances so well that my friends have to borrow him because their BF/husbands do not….

    Reply
  17. I absolutely love to dance. So does my BF! In fact he dances so well that my friends have to borrow him because their BF/husbands do not….

    Reply
  18. I absolutely love to dance. So does my BF! In fact he dances so well that my friends have to borrow him because their BF/husbands do not….

    Reply
  19. I absolutely love to dance. So does my BF! In fact he dances so well that my friends have to borrow him because their BF/husbands do not….

    Reply
  20. I absolutely love to dance. So does my BF! In fact he dances so well that my friends have to borrow him because their BF/husbands do not….

    Reply
  21. I remember turning to my husband at some point and lamenting “the parties we go to don’t have dancing anymore.” When we were in our teens and 20s, one of the points of having a party was to turn on the record player (and yes, it was that long ago that the music came from records, not CDs) and dance. At a certain stage in our lives, however, the parties became about food and conversation. While these are excellent things, I do miss the dancing.

    Reply
  22. I remember turning to my husband at some point and lamenting “the parties we go to don’t have dancing anymore.” When we were in our teens and 20s, one of the points of having a party was to turn on the record player (and yes, it was that long ago that the music came from records, not CDs) and dance. At a certain stage in our lives, however, the parties became about food and conversation. While these are excellent things, I do miss the dancing.

    Reply
  23. I remember turning to my husband at some point and lamenting “the parties we go to don’t have dancing anymore.” When we were in our teens and 20s, one of the points of having a party was to turn on the record player (and yes, it was that long ago that the music came from records, not CDs) and dance. At a certain stage in our lives, however, the parties became about food and conversation. While these are excellent things, I do miss the dancing.

    Reply
  24. I remember turning to my husband at some point and lamenting “the parties we go to don’t have dancing anymore.” When we were in our teens and 20s, one of the points of having a party was to turn on the record player (and yes, it was that long ago that the music came from records, not CDs) and dance. At a certain stage in our lives, however, the parties became about food and conversation. While these are excellent things, I do miss the dancing.

    Reply
  25. I remember turning to my husband at some point and lamenting “the parties we go to don’t have dancing anymore.” When we were in our teens and 20s, one of the points of having a party was to turn on the record player (and yes, it was that long ago that the music came from records, not CDs) and dance. At a certain stage in our lives, however, the parties became about food and conversation. While these are excellent things, I do miss the dancing.

    Reply
  26. P.S. I do wonder how the barely there bodices (in the print of the Regency dancers) stayed up while doing what appears to be a vigorous dance.

    Reply
  27. P.S. I do wonder how the barely there bodices (in the print of the Regency dancers) stayed up while doing what appears to be a vigorous dance.

    Reply
  28. P.S. I do wonder how the barely there bodices (in the print of the Regency dancers) stayed up while doing what appears to be a vigorous dance.

    Reply
  29. P.S. I do wonder how the barely there bodices (in the print of the Regency dancers) stayed up while doing what appears to be a vigorous dance.

    Reply
  30. P.S. I do wonder how the barely there bodices (in the print of the Regency dancers) stayed up while doing what appears to be a vigorous dance.

    Reply
  31. I admit upfront I cannot dance and I love watching “Dancing with the Stars’. Finale tonight, anyone?
    I have a good sense of rhythm when singing/playing/listening to music. So why can I not dance? Self-consciousness. I did not dance as a kid, at all. The first time I danced was as an 18-year-old. Since then I’ve participated in learned group dancing and performed on community stage. But informal dancing? No way, no how.

    Reply
  32. I admit upfront I cannot dance and I love watching “Dancing with the Stars’. Finale tonight, anyone?
    I have a good sense of rhythm when singing/playing/listening to music. So why can I not dance? Self-consciousness. I did not dance as a kid, at all. The first time I danced was as an 18-year-old. Since then I’ve participated in learned group dancing and performed on community stage. But informal dancing? No way, no how.

    Reply
  33. I admit upfront I cannot dance and I love watching “Dancing with the Stars’. Finale tonight, anyone?
    I have a good sense of rhythm when singing/playing/listening to music. So why can I not dance? Self-consciousness. I did not dance as a kid, at all. The first time I danced was as an 18-year-old. Since then I’ve participated in learned group dancing and performed on community stage. But informal dancing? No way, no how.

    Reply
  34. I admit upfront I cannot dance and I love watching “Dancing with the Stars’. Finale tonight, anyone?
    I have a good sense of rhythm when singing/playing/listening to music. So why can I not dance? Self-consciousness. I did not dance as a kid, at all. The first time I danced was as an 18-year-old. Since then I’ve participated in learned group dancing and performed on community stage. But informal dancing? No way, no how.

    Reply
  35. I admit upfront I cannot dance and I love watching “Dancing with the Stars’. Finale tonight, anyone?
    I have a good sense of rhythm when singing/playing/listening to music. So why can I not dance? Self-consciousness. I did not dance as a kid, at all. The first time I danced was as an 18-year-old. Since then I’ve participated in learned group dancing and performed on community stage. But informal dancing? No way, no how.

    Reply
  36. I love dancing and throughout my life I have numerous times made a fool out of myself. I even tried checking out a video to learn the step dancing from Riverdance. What a hoot, I laughed so much I was crying. I consider myself a pretty good dancer, but that one defeated me. I have learned belly dancing, that was fun, my husband liked that one.

    Reply
  37. I love dancing and throughout my life I have numerous times made a fool out of myself. I even tried checking out a video to learn the step dancing from Riverdance. What a hoot, I laughed so much I was crying. I consider myself a pretty good dancer, but that one defeated me. I have learned belly dancing, that was fun, my husband liked that one.

    Reply
  38. I love dancing and throughout my life I have numerous times made a fool out of myself. I even tried checking out a video to learn the step dancing from Riverdance. What a hoot, I laughed so much I was crying. I consider myself a pretty good dancer, but that one defeated me. I have learned belly dancing, that was fun, my husband liked that one.

    Reply
  39. I love dancing and throughout my life I have numerous times made a fool out of myself. I even tried checking out a video to learn the step dancing from Riverdance. What a hoot, I laughed so much I was crying. I consider myself a pretty good dancer, but that one defeated me. I have learned belly dancing, that was fun, my husband liked that one.

    Reply
  40. I love dancing and throughout my life I have numerous times made a fool out of myself. I even tried checking out a video to learn the step dancing from Riverdance. What a hoot, I laughed so much I was crying. I consider myself a pretty good dancer, but that one defeated me. I have learned belly dancing, that was fun, my husband liked that one.

    Reply
  41. From MJP:
    MJ, you’re from Olean? I grew up outside of Batavia. Hi, neighbor!
    There seems to be several themes here: that dancing is something we do when young, but often it fades out of our lives. Perhaps when couples start to have babies and get too busy? Dancing becomes something we have to seek out rather than something that just happens in the places we usuall go.
    Also, men are less interested in dancing, alas. What amazed me in Floyd was that the crowd was half male, maybe more. They came in all ages, too.
    Sherrinda, I’m glad that you give yourself the gift of dancing even though you grew up in a community without dance.
    There’s a country song with the words, “Dance like nobody’s watching,” and that’s a powerful truth, I think. Too many of us our self-conscious about our imperfect bodies and dance skills–it’s easier to sit by the sidelines. That’s what I loved about Floyd–clearly people were dancing for the pleasure and you didn’t have to have any skill at all to have fun.
    Susan/DC, I think the gowns were too tight to fall off–they were pinned or sown into place, and there were stays underneath to keep body parts from bouncing much. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  42. From MJP:
    MJ, you’re from Olean? I grew up outside of Batavia. Hi, neighbor!
    There seems to be several themes here: that dancing is something we do when young, but often it fades out of our lives. Perhaps when couples start to have babies and get too busy? Dancing becomes something we have to seek out rather than something that just happens in the places we usuall go.
    Also, men are less interested in dancing, alas. What amazed me in Floyd was that the crowd was half male, maybe more. They came in all ages, too.
    Sherrinda, I’m glad that you give yourself the gift of dancing even though you grew up in a community without dance.
    There’s a country song with the words, “Dance like nobody’s watching,” and that’s a powerful truth, I think. Too many of us our self-conscious about our imperfect bodies and dance skills–it’s easier to sit by the sidelines. That’s what I loved about Floyd–clearly people were dancing for the pleasure and you didn’t have to have any skill at all to have fun.
    Susan/DC, I think the gowns were too tight to fall off–they were pinned or sown into place, and there were stays underneath to keep body parts from bouncing much. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  43. From MJP:
    MJ, you’re from Olean? I grew up outside of Batavia. Hi, neighbor!
    There seems to be several themes here: that dancing is something we do when young, but often it fades out of our lives. Perhaps when couples start to have babies and get too busy? Dancing becomes something we have to seek out rather than something that just happens in the places we usuall go.
    Also, men are less interested in dancing, alas. What amazed me in Floyd was that the crowd was half male, maybe more. They came in all ages, too.
    Sherrinda, I’m glad that you give yourself the gift of dancing even though you grew up in a community without dance.
    There’s a country song with the words, “Dance like nobody’s watching,” and that’s a powerful truth, I think. Too many of us our self-conscious about our imperfect bodies and dance skills–it’s easier to sit by the sidelines. That’s what I loved about Floyd–clearly people were dancing for the pleasure and you didn’t have to have any skill at all to have fun.
    Susan/DC, I think the gowns were too tight to fall off–they were pinned or sown into place, and there were stays underneath to keep body parts from bouncing much. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  44. From MJP:
    MJ, you’re from Olean? I grew up outside of Batavia. Hi, neighbor!
    There seems to be several themes here: that dancing is something we do when young, but often it fades out of our lives. Perhaps when couples start to have babies and get too busy? Dancing becomes something we have to seek out rather than something that just happens in the places we usuall go.
    Also, men are less interested in dancing, alas. What amazed me in Floyd was that the crowd was half male, maybe more. They came in all ages, too.
    Sherrinda, I’m glad that you give yourself the gift of dancing even though you grew up in a community without dance.
    There’s a country song with the words, “Dance like nobody’s watching,” and that’s a powerful truth, I think. Too many of us our self-conscious about our imperfect bodies and dance skills–it’s easier to sit by the sidelines. That’s what I loved about Floyd–clearly people were dancing for the pleasure and you didn’t have to have any skill at all to have fun.
    Susan/DC, I think the gowns were too tight to fall off–they were pinned or sown into place, and there were stays underneath to keep body parts from bouncing much. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  45. From MJP:
    MJ, you’re from Olean? I grew up outside of Batavia. Hi, neighbor!
    There seems to be several themes here: that dancing is something we do when young, but often it fades out of our lives. Perhaps when couples start to have babies and get too busy? Dancing becomes something we have to seek out rather than something that just happens in the places we usuall go.
    Also, men are less interested in dancing, alas. What amazed me in Floyd was that the crowd was half male, maybe more. They came in all ages, too.
    Sherrinda, I’m glad that you give yourself the gift of dancing even though you grew up in a community without dance.
    There’s a country song with the words, “Dance like nobody’s watching,” and that’s a powerful truth, I think. Too many of us our self-conscious about our imperfect bodies and dance skills–it’s easier to sit by the sidelines. That’s what I loved about Floyd–clearly people were dancing for the pleasure and you didn’t have to have any skill at all to have fun.
    Susan/DC, I think the gowns were too tight to fall off–they were pinned or sown into place, and there were stays underneath to keep body parts from bouncing much. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  46. I have never been a good dancer I grew up in the 70’s so disco was all the rage then and I never quite got the moves right LOL.
    But I do love watching people dance especially ballroom dancing I do love watching the waltzs
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  47. I have never been a good dancer I grew up in the 70’s so disco was all the rage then and I never quite got the moves right LOL.
    But I do love watching people dance especially ballroom dancing I do love watching the waltzs
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  48. I have never been a good dancer I grew up in the 70’s so disco was all the rage then and I never quite got the moves right LOL.
    But I do love watching people dance especially ballroom dancing I do love watching the waltzs
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  49. I have never been a good dancer I grew up in the 70’s so disco was all the rage then and I never quite got the moves right LOL.
    But I do love watching people dance especially ballroom dancing I do love watching the waltzs
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  50. I have never been a good dancer I grew up in the 70’s so disco was all the rage then and I never quite got the moves right LOL.
    But I do love watching people dance especially ballroom dancing I do love watching the waltzs
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  51. My cousins are very involved in square dancing, and certainly they are two of the cheeriest people I know. I enjoy dancing, but unless one “clubs” a lot (which I ceased doing in my twenties) there aren’t many opportunities.
    LauraR

    Reply
  52. My cousins are very involved in square dancing, and certainly they are two of the cheeriest people I know. I enjoy dancing, but unless one “clubs” a lot (which I ceased doing in my twenties) there aren’t many opportunities.
    LauraR

    Reply
  53. My cousins are very involved in square dancing, and certainly they are two of the cheeriest people I know. I enjoy dancing, but unless one “clubs” a lot (which I ceased doing in my twenties) there aren’t many opportunities.
    LauraR

    Reply
  54. My cousins are very involved in square dancing, and certainly they are two of the cheeriest people I know. I enjoy dancing, but unless one “clubs” a lot (which I ceased doing in my twenties) there aren’t many opportunities.
    LauraR

    Reply
  55. My cousins are very involved in square dancing, and certainly they are two of the cheeriest people I know. I enjoy dancing, but unless one “clubs” a lot (which I ceased doing in my twenties) there aren’t many opportunities.
    LauraR

    Reply
  56. Much as I love the Jeremy Northam/Gwyneth Paltrow Emma, that scene at the assembly has a few howlers in it.
    Northam (did ever a man look better in regency clothing?) was wearing boots to the dance (all the other men in the dance had on proper evening pumps).
    Not only that, although Paltrow wore evening gloves, Northam’s hands were ungloved. All the high sticklers present would have been outraged 🙂

    Reply
  57. Much as I love the Jeremy Northam/Gwyneth Paltrow Emma, that scene at the assembly has a few howlers in it.
    Northam (did ever a man look better in regency clothing?) was wearing boots to the dance (all the other men in the dance had on proper evening pumps).
    Not only that, although Paltrow wore evening gloves, Northam’s hands were ungloved. All the high sticklers present would have been outraged 🙂

    Reply
  58. Much as I love the Jeremy Northam/Gwyneth Paltrow Emma, that scene at the assembly has a few howlers in it.
    Northam (did ever a man look better in regency clothing?) was wearing boots to the dance (all the other men in the dance had on proper evening pumps).
    Not only that, although Paltrow wore evening gloves, Northam’s hands were ungloved. All the high sticklers present would have been outraged 🙂

    Reply
  59. Much as I love the Jeremy Northam/Gwyneth Paltrow Emma, that scene at the assembly has a few howlers in it.
    Northam (did ever a man look better in regency clothing?) was wearing boots to the dance (all the other men in the dance had on proper evening pumps).
    Not only that, although Paltrow wore evening gloves, Northam’s hands were ungloved. All the high sticklers present would have been outraged 🙂

    Reply
  60. Much as I love the Jeremy Northam/Gwyneth Paltrow Emma, that scene at the assembly has a few howlers in it.
    Northam (did ever a man look better in regency clothing?) was wearing boots to the dance (all the other men in the dance had on proper evening pumps).
    Not only that, although Paltrow wore evening gloves, Northam’s hands were ungloved. All the high sticklers present would have been outraged 🙂

    Reply
  61. From MJP:
    Janice, of course you’re right about the historical errors in that scene, but–Jeremy Northram! That does make me more charitably inclined.
    Laura, you’re right that there just aren’t as many venues to dance with maturity, but most cities have all kinds of dancing groups. A friend of mine who started clogging here in Baltimore found a similar group in New Mexico when she moved there. Dancing is great exercise, so it might be worth finding a clogging or square dancing group in your area.
    Mary Jo, who should try that herself.

    Reply
  62. From MJP:
    Janice, of course you’re right about the historical errors in that scene, but–Jeremy Northram! That does make me more charitably inclined.
    Laura, you’re right that there just aren’t as many venues to dance with maturity, but most cities have all kinds of dancing groups. A friend of mine who started clogging here in Baltimore found a similar group in New Mexico when she moved there. Dancing is great exercise, so it might be worth finding a clogging or square dancing group in your area.
    Mary Jo, who should try that herself.

    Reply
  63. From MJP:
    Janice, of course you’re right about the historical errors in that scene, but–Jeremy Northram! That does make me more charitably inclined.
    Laura, you’re right that there just aren’t as many venues to dance with maturity, but most cities have all kinds of dancing groups. A friend of mine who started clogging here in Baltimore found a similar group in New Mexico when she moved there. Dancing is great exercise, so it might be worth finding a clogging or square dancing group in your area.
    Mary Jo, who should try that herself.

    Reply
  64. From MJP:
    Janice, of course you’re right about the historical errors in that scene, but–Jeremy Northram! That does make me more charitably inclined.
    Laura, you’re right that there just aren’t as many venues to dance with maturity, but most cities have all kinds of dancing groups. A friend of mine who started clogging here in Baltimore found a similar group in New Mexico when she moved there. Dancing is great exercise, so it might be worth finding a clogging or square dancing group in your area.
    Mary Jo, who should try that herself.

    Reply
  65. From MJP:
    Janice, of course you’re right about the historical errors in that scene, but–Jeremy Northram! That does make me more charitably inclined.
    Laura, you’re right that there just aren’t as many venues to dance with maturity, but most cities have all kinds of dancing groups. A friend of mine who started clogging here in Baltimore found a similar group in New Mexico when she moved there. Dancing is great exercise, so it might be worth finding a clogging or square dancing group in your area.
    Mary Jo, who should try that herself.

    Reply
  66. I grew up a Southern Baptist who wasn’t allowed to dance to popular music. If my parents had had the money, ballet lessons would have been acceptable because ballet is good for imparting graceful strength and looks more refined than “booty shaking.”
    The standard joke about Baptists and dancing goes like this: Q- Do you know why Baptists don’t have sex standing up? A- They don’t want anyone to think they are dancing!
    My DH has CRD (caucasian rhythm deficiency) and is terribly self-conscious about dancing. So I get my groove thang on by doing salsa dancing for aerobic exercise in my home.
    I LOVE DWTS! I’ve done enough dancing to realize just how difficult their routines are and am amazed at their beauty.
    I agree that dancing is an expression of joy. Further, studies have shown that vigorous exercise increases endorphin levels, which makes you feel really good. So don’t worry about how you look. Just dance!

    Reply
  67. I grew up a Southern Baptist who wasn’t allowed to dance to popular music. If my parents had had the money, ballet lessons would have been acceptable because ballet is good for imparting graceful strength and looks more refined than “booty shaking.”
    The standard joke about Baptists and dancing goes like this: Q- Do you know why Baptists don’t have sex standing up? A- They don’t want anyone to think they are dancing!
    My DH has CRD (caucasian rhythm deficiency) and is terribly self-conscious about dancing. So I get my groove thang on by doing salsa dancing for aerobic exercise in my home.
    I LOVE DWTS! I’ve done enough dancing to realize just how difficult their routines are and am amazed at their beauty.
    I agree that dancing is an expression of joy. Further, studies have shown that vigorous exercise increases endorphin levels, which makes you feel really good. So don’t worry about how you look. Just dance!

    Reply
  68. I grew up a Southern Baptist who wasn’t allowed to dance to popular music. If my parents had had the money, ballet lessons would have been acceptable because ballet is good for imparting graceful strength and looks more refined than “booty shaking.”
    The standard joke about Baptists and dancing goes like this: Q- Do you know why Baptists don’t have sex standing up? A- They don’t want anyone to think they are dancing!
    My DH has CRD (caucasian rhythm deficiency) and is terribly self-conscious about dancing. So I get my groove thang on by doing salsa dancing for aerobic exercise in my home.
    I LOVE DWTS! I’ve done enough dancing to realize just how difficult their routines are and am amazed at their beauty.
    I agree that dancing is an expression of joy. Further, studies have shown that vigorous exercise increases endorphin levels, which makes you feel really good. So don’t worry about how you look. Just dance!

    Reply
  69. I grew up a Southern Baptist who wasn’t allowed to dance to popular music. If my parents had had the money, ballet lessons would have been acceptable because ballet is good for imparting graceful strength and looks more refined than “booty shaking.”
    The standard joke about Baptists and dancing goes like this: Q- Do you know why Baptists don’t have sex standing up? A- They don’t want anyone to think they are dancing!
    My DH has CRD (caucasian rhythm deficiency) and is terribly self-conscious about dancing. So I get my groove thang on by doing salsa dancing for aerobic exercise in my home.
    I LOVE DWTS! I’ve done enough dancing to realize just how difficult their routines are and am amazed at their beauty.
    I agree that dancing is an expression of joy. Further, studies have shown that vigorous exercise increases endorphin levels, which makes you feel really good. So don’t worry about how you look. Just dance!

    Reply
  70. I grew up a Southern Baptist who wasn’t allowed to dance to popular music. If my parents had had the money, ballet lessons would have been acceptable because ballet is good for imparting graceful strength and looks more refined than “booty shaking.”
    The standard joke about Baptists and dancing goes like this: Q- Do you know why Baptists don’t have sex standing up? A- They don’t want anyone to think they are dancing!
    My DH has CRD (caucasian rhythm deficiency) and is terribly self-conscious about dancing. So I get my groove thang on by doing salsa dancing for aerobic exercise in my home.
    I LOVE DWTS! I’ve done enough dancing to realize just how difficult their routines are and am amazed at their beauty.
    I agree that dancing is an expression of joy. Further, studies have shown that vigorous exercise increases endorphin levels, which makes you feel really good. So don’t worry about how you look. Just dance!

    Reply
  71. Another thought: perhaps men are less interested in dancing because it is not seen as a masuline activity. Not sure how that happened, because any man who moves well — whether on an athletic field or a dance floor — is beyond sexy, and certainly in other times and other places dance was a major mechanism for heterosexual courtship.
    At the end of “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, when Julia Roberts doesn’t get the guy, Rupert Everett steps in and says that while there will be no sex in their relationship, there will be plenty of dancing. Perhaps as a gay man he is less worried about how it appears and so is less self-conscious.
    Ironically, while many male ballet dancers are gay, anyone who has watched them knows that, gay or straight, they are among the strongest athletes around.

    Reply
  72. Another thought: perhaps men are less interested in dancing because it is not seen as a masuline activity. Not sure how that happened, because any man who moves well — whether on an athletic field or a dance floor — is beyond sexy, and certainly in other times and other places dance was a major mechanism for heterosexual courtship.
    At the end of “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, when Julia Roberts doesn’t get the guy, Rupert Everett steps in and says that while there will be no sex in their relationship, there will be plenty of dancing. Perhaps as a gay man he is less worried about how it appears and so is less self-conscious.
    Ironically, while many male ballet dancers are gay, anyone who has watched them knows that, gay or straight, they are among the strongest athletes around.

    Reply
  73. Another thought: perhaps men are less interested in dancing because it is not seen as a masuline activity. Not sure how that happened, because any man who moves well — whether on an athletic field or a dance floor — is beyond sexy, and certainly in other times and other places dance was a major mechanism for heterosexual courtship.
    At the end of “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, when Julia Roberts doesn’t get the guy, Rupert Everett steps in and says that while there will be no sex in their relationship, there will be plenty of dancing. Perhaps as a gay man he is less worried about how it appears and so is less self-conscious.
    Ironically, while many male ballet dancers are gay, anyone who has watched them knows that, gay or straight, they are among the strongest athletes around.

    Reply
  74. Another thought: perhaps men are less interested in dancing because it is not seen as a masuline activity. Not sure how that happened, because any man who moves well — whether on an athletic field or a dance floor — is beyond sexy, and certainly in other times and other places dance was a major mechanism for heterosexual courtship.
    At the end of “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, when Julia Roberts doesn’t get the guy, Rupert Everett steps in and says that while there will be no sex in their relationship, there will be plenty of dancing. Perhaps as a gay man he is less worried about how it appears and so is less self-conscious.
    Ironically, while many male ballet dancers are gay, anyone who has watched them knows that, gay or straight, they are among the strongest athletes around.

    Reply
  75. Another thought: perhaps men are less interested in dancing because it is not seen as a masuline activity. Not sure how that happened, because any man who moves well — whether on an athletic field or a dance floor — is beyond sexy, and certainly in other times and other places dance was a major mechanism for heterosexual courtship.
    At the end of “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, when Julia Roberts doesn’t get the guy, Rupert Everett steps in and says that while there will be no sex in their relationship, there will be plenty of dancing. Perhaps as a gay man he is less worried about how it appears and so is less self-conscious.
    Ironically, while many male ballet dancers are gay, anyone who has watched them knows that, gay or straight, they are among the strongest athletes around.

    Reply
  76. I love to dance. My mother sent us to ballroom dance classes back in the 1950s; we did folk dancing in grade school, both square and round dances; in high school the boys were as happy as the girls to do the hokey-pokey and the bunny hop.
    My brother and sister-in-law, for a long time, belonged to a demo square dance group. They got free vacations at resorts at the Lake of the Ozarks in return for enticing other guests onto the floor and showing them how to do it.
    My experience is that most men are happy to square dance, two-step, and even line up for a re-enactor to teach them an 18th century line dance.
    I think what frightened many of them off trying the dance floor was the coming of dances like the modern waltz, the tango, fox trot, rhumba, etc. during which the man was expected both to lead and to look elegant.

    Reply
  77. I love to dance. My mother sent us to ballroom dance classes back in the 1950s; we did folk dancing in grade school, both square and round dances; in high school the boys were as happy as the girls to do the hokey-pokey and the bunny hop.
    My brother and sister-in-law, for a long time, belonged to a demo square dance group. They got free vacations at resorts at the Lake of the Ozarks in return for enticing other guests onto the floor and showing them how to do it.
    My experience is that most men are happy to square dance, two-step, and even line up for a re-enactor to teach them an 18th century line dance.
    I think what frightened many of them off trying the dance floor was the coming of dances like the modern waltz, the tango, fox trot, rhumba, etc. during which the man was expected both to lead and to look elegant.

    Reply
  78. I love to dance. My mother sent us to ballroom dance classes back in the 1950s; we did folk dancing in grade school, both square and round dances; in high school the boys were as happy as the girls to do the hokey-pokey and the bunny hop.
    My brother and sister-in-law, for a long time, belonged to a demo square dance group. They got free vacations at resorts at the Lake of the Ozarks in return for enticing other guests onto the floor and showing them how to do it.
    My experience is that most men are happy to square dance, two-step, and even line up for a re-enactor to teach them an 18th century line dance.
    I think what frightened many of them off trying the dance floor was the coming of dances like the modern waltz, the tango, fox trot, rhumba, etc. during which the man was expected both to lead and to look elegant.

    Reply
  79. I love to dance. My mother sent us to ballroom dance classes back in the 1950s; we did folk dancing in grade school, both square and round dances; in high school the boys were as happy as the girls to do the hokey-pokey and the bunny hop.
    My brother and sister-in-law, for a long time, belonged to a demo square dance group. They got free vacations at resorts at the Lake of the Ozarks in return for enticing other guests onto the floor and showing them how to do it.
    My experience is that most men are happy to square dance, two-step, and even line up for a re-enactor to teach them an 18th century line dance.
    I think what frightened many of them off trying the dance floor was the coming of dances like the modern waltz, the tango, fox trot, rhumba, etc. during which the man was expected both to lead and to look elegant.

    Reply
  80. I love to dance. My mother sent us to ballroom dance classes back in the 1950s; we did folk dancing in grade school, both square and round dances; in high school the boys were as happy as the girls to do the hokey-pokey and the bunny hop.
    My brother and sister-in-law, for a long time, belonged to a demo square dance group. They got free vacations at resorts at the Lake of the Ozarks in return for enticing other guests onto the floor and showing them how to do it.
    My experience is that most men are happy to square dance, two-step, and even line up for a re-enactor to teach them an 18th century line dance.
    I think what frightened many of them off trying the dance floor was the coming of dances like the modern waltz, the tango, fox trot, rhumba, etc. during which the man was expected both to lead and to look elegant.

    Reply
  81. I love watching people dance, so I got my family to attend a performance of Billy Elliot (15 Tony nominations!) on Broadway for my birthday. My husband has a better sense of more rhythm than I do and it’s one of the features that attracted me to him.

    Reply
  82. I love watching people dance, so I got my family to attend a performance of Billy Elliot (15 Tony nominations!) on Broadway for my birthday. My husband has a better sense of more rhythm than I do and it’s one of the features that attracted me to him.

    Reply
  83. I love watching people dance, so I got my family to attend a performance of Billy Elliot (15 Tony nominations!) on Broadway for my birthday. My husband has a better sense of more rhythm than I do and it’s one of the features that attracted me to him.

    Reply
  84. I love watching people dance, so I got my family to attend a performance of Billy Elliot (15 Tony nominations!) on Broadway for my birthday. My husband has a better sense of more rhythm than I do and it’s one of the features that attracted me to him.

    Reply
  85. I love watching people dance, so I got my family to attend a performance of Billy Elliot (15 Tony nominations!) on Broadway for my birthday. My husband has a better sense of more rhythm than I do and it’s one of the features that attracted me to him.

    Reply
  86. Last year I discovered Salsa Rueda. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve always loved to dance but had never found my “niche” before.

    Reply
  87. Last year I discovered Salsa Rueda. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve always loved to dance but had never found my “niche” before.

    Reply
  88. Last year I discovered Salsa Rueda. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve always loved to dance but had never found my “niche” before.

    Reply
  89. Last year I discovered Salsa Rueda. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve always loved to dance but had never found my “niche” before.

    Reply
  90. Last year I discovered Salsa Rueda. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve always loved to dance but had never found my “niche” before.

    Reply

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