How to Learn a New Dance

Everyone learns differently, and you’ll learn each dance best for actually dancing if you stick it in as many corners of

1st Courtesan’s Ball

content All are here invited to join with the courtesans of the known world in fun and frolic! Break out your dancing shoes an

Step Vocabulary

The range of historical European dances recreated in the Society covers several centuries and countries of origin. While they share many things, they are distinct in just as many ways. Where possible I will make comparisons between steps from different sources, but if they aren’t done the same way, it’s not good to substitute even if they have similar (or the same) names.

Listed Alphabetically

Acknowledge: My name for a mini-reverence that is included in a dance but not given time for a full reverence. You usually have 1 count to execute something along the lines of a reverence.
Arm Left:
Grasp your partners L forearm at the elbow, holding your forearms together. Walk four steps counterclockwise around each other. Switch arms and walk four steps clockwise back to your place.
Arm Right:
Grasp your partners R forearm at the elbow, holding your forearms together. Walk four steps clockwise around each other. Switch arms and walk four steps counterclockwise back to your place.
Cast: A step to move around the set. Turn the OPPOSITE way that you’re casting out of the set, walk to your destination in the time allotted for the cast. Usually 4 or 8 counts. 6 counts in Hole in the Wall.
Circle: Take hands and move in a circle. Usually in a clockwise direction.
Double Left: Step L, bring feet together, repeat.
Double Right: Step R, bring feet together, repeat.
Double up: Step forward with your L foot, then your R foot, then your L foot again. Bring your R foot next to your L to finish the step.
Double back: Step back with your R foot, then your L foot, then your R foot again. Bring your L foot next to your R to finish the step.
Foot in the Air, Left: Instead of placing the foot on the ground to finish the step, raise the L foot in the air, not above knee height.
Foot in the Air, Right: Instead of placing the foot on the ground to finish the step, raise the R foot in the air, not above knee height.
Hop: A small hop on both feet.
Kick Left: Hop on your R foot, kick L foot forward.
Kick Right: Hop on your L foot, kick R foot forward.
No hands hay for three: The lord or lady from the first couple faces down the set while the other two lords or ladies face up the set. All walk forward on the beat making a figure eight pattern on the floor and returning to their original places.
Side/Siding: Facing your partner walk forward four steps, angling slightly so that your R shoulders are even with each other. Walk back four steps to your original place. Repeat on the L. Can be broken down into Side R and Side L, where only one side is done.
Single Left: Step L, bring feet together.
Single Right: Step R, bring feet together.
Slip step ‘up the hall’: Step sideways towards the top of the set (where the head couple is). With as quick of a hop as you desire, bring your feet together. Sometimes labeled ‘flip steps’ because of changes in how the letter ‘s’ looks.
Slip step ‘down the hall’: Step sideways towards the bottom of the set (where the third couple is). With as quick of a hop as you desire, bring your feet together. Sometimes labeled ‘flip steps’ because of changes in how the letter ‘s’ looks.
Turn single: Turn once, clockwise, in place.

Black Nag

This is a spritely little dance that practically dances itself once you get a feel for it. One of those that’s simple en

Hole in the Wall

This stately dance is well into the grey period of the 1600’s and doesn’t fit the SCA criteria of pre-1600 culture

Bransle des Lavandieres

Hands-down my favorite of all the Arbeau bransles. Just complex enough to be truly satisfying, and still simple enough to let

Bransle de Bourgogne

Also called the Burgundian Bransle (pronounced ‘brawl’). This simple dance makes a great addition to the SCA reper

Bransle Pinagay

An easy dance that can be surprisingly aerobic. As with many (most, all?) dances originating in 16th c France called a bransle