Thursday, April 18, 2013

Regency Weekend Part 1: Dancing

This weekend was the Regency Intensive, and it was more fun than I can possibly explain. It was nice to see friends and meet new ones, but it was also amazing how quickly the less experienced dancers in the class picked things up! By the end of the weekend, the collective party needed very little calling and no teaching, and we were also doing some flashy, super fun steps. I was so amazed at how well everyone did!

But really, the pictures are far more interesting than my descriptions. I didn't make very many new things for the weekend, although I have fabric for and stuff, you know. I decided that it was more important to me to get a couple of things done well and not be rushing to finish sewing at every event than to try and get everything I'd had planned done. It almost worked (I did end up sewing a little bit), but I felt much happier knowing all the sewing I did was optional--everything would have been perfectly wearable without it.

On to the pictures!

Saturday was full of class. We danced hard, and it made playing hard even better.

Dancing included technique (steps and patterns), country dances, figured waltzes, and Regency couple waltz. The last is what Antonia is teaching here.

some of the weekend attendees socializing at the Saturday night dance.

a waltz

more waltzing! I wore the tassel-trimmed white cotton dress I made this summer. Even though it has some issues, man I love that dress. The tassels are so much fun!

our gentlemen carry out the refreshments table. Bringing it in fully dressed is so dramatic! 

more dancing--they're so synchronized, I feel like this could be a shot from a movie.

One of our AMAZING musicians
Our Sunday Grand Ball was at Hamilton Hall, built in 1805. When Marquis de Lafayette came to Salem in 1824, he dined there. Hamilton Hall is gorgeous (the ballroom is known for its imported Russian mirrors), but my favorite thing was that the ballroom is located on the second floor with an adjoining supper room, and has sprung floors. This gave us a little extra cushion for dancing, and by Sunday night I needed it! 

filing champagne flutes for the reception toast--it was sparkling cider, though, so everyone could partake.
posing before the ceremony. Sabrage (the technique of opening champagne bottles with a sword) is said to have been popularized in the early 19th century by Napoleon's Hussars, who used to do it with their cavalry sabers.

Napoleon is said to have commented on champagne, "In victory one deserves it; in defeat one needs it." Our sparkling cider was certainly a victory drink for a weekend full of excellent dancing.

we met guests with trays of pre-poured flutes as they returned from watching the opening
socializing at the reception. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was getting to know so many people. Because we all socialized, by Sunday night the ball truly felt like attending an assembly in my town--I knew most of the people in the room by name, and we all knew the dances! It about as close to fully immersed in the period (or at least period novel) as I've ever gotten.

another special part of Hamilton Hall was having our musicians on a balcony! The acoustics were amazing, and they looked so fab!

Hamilton Hall also allows real flame--then candles looked so pretty!

Before the ball, taking a break. I was really proud of my Regency hair all weekend, but this felt especially glamorous with the pearls.

sitting by one of the Russian mirrors in the ballroom. This is the same pink dress I wore to the P&P ball in February, but I trimmed it! I was sort of intentionally going for a very temporary "Disney princess" look, but it's growing on me...
since we'd practiced in class, Quinn, the boys, and I led the Grand March
We laid out refreshments in the adjoining supper room, so that people could take a break from dancing for treats and a game of cards. It was a nice change from our typical mid-ball intermission. I was also quite pleased with our fabulously Regency spread, which included wine jellies and syllabub.
enjoying refreshments in the supper room

Sets for Sir Roger de Coverly. This is the only dance I have pictures of, because I was too busy dancing the rest of the night!
All in all, a truly magical final ball to cap off an incredible weekend of dancing.


  1. Life and stuff. That is such a great description! Sure was a fun weekend!


  2. Yes, it was! And thanks, it seemed like the easiest way to say it :)

    Hope you're doing ok today.