Celebrating Jane Austen’s birthday in style this year!
My darling Mr. Darcy and I were privileged to celebrate Jane Austen’s birthday in style this year. Our English Country Dance group was invited to do a dance demo for the Cinco Ranch Library at a tea in honor of Jane Austen’s birthday.
You didn’t have to ask us twice! An excuse to pull out our regency garb–including the infamous ‘Belle’ gown–and dress up with some of our favorite people, and get in an extra dancing session for the month? You bet we were in!
John, our dance group organizer spoke to the audience between dances. He talked about the history of English Country Dance, how it largely died out shortly after Jane Austen’s day and how it enjoyed a revival in the mid 1900’s. Who’da thunk, right?
He had us do two dances, Softly good Tummas and Corelli’s Maggot, (click on the links if you’d like to see what they look like) and had the group guess which was written in the 1600’s and which was written in the 1900’s. What’s your guess? (Don’t cheat and look it up now!) The fun part of it all was that nearly everyone had them reversed, thinking the old dance was the modern one!
I’m so tickled to have gotten a little video of the event, so I can share some of what our dancing looks like. This is an old dance called Fandango.
If you think that looks like fun, you’re right and honestly it’s not nearly as difficult as it looks. Seriously I’ve NEVER been able to manage to dance before. English Country Dance is the only form I’ve been able to handle, largely because it only requires you to be able to count to eight. If you can do that, you can dance.
At the end of the program we brought up a lot of the audience to join us in a dance and it was awesome. They caught on really fast and did a great job. Afterwards we shared tea and cake and raised a toast to Jane Austen herself.
A very fitting way to celebrate our favorite author, don’t you think?
Here’s our group all gussied up for the event. There are groups all over–there’s a good chance that a quick google search will turn up one near you! Take a chance and check one out. You may just find yourself hooked!