Alert Janeite and Occasional AustenBlogger Allison T. pointed us to a fascinating post at Susan de Guardiola’s blog, Capering & Kickery: “Real Regency Dancers Don’t Turn Single: Ten Tips for Judging Authenticity.” You think you’ve seen authentic dancing in period films? Most likely not, according to Ms. de Guardiola.
6. Real Regency Dancers Really Reel
Regency-era dancing was not limited to longways country dances. The Scotch Reel was also in the repertoire, though perhaps not always considered perfectly genteel, especially if others in the room were doing country dances. Mr. Darcy was not being complimentary in Pride and Prejudice when he asked
“Do you not feel a great inclination, Miss Bennet, to seize such an opportunity of dancing a reel?”
In its simplest form, the reel consisted of three or four people alternating between the interweaving hey figure and dancing in place, with the men in particular showing off their fancy footwork.
We cannot convey how completely delighted we are with the idea of Cranky McJerkpants doing a Highland fling. Do check out the whole post, it is just loaded with information on period dancing.