- Historical Dance
- Jazz Age Social Dancing ("The Modern Dances")
- Ragtime Dance - the One Step
- Regency Dance
- "Mr Nelson's System of Simplified Regency Dance"
- An Analysis of Country Dancing - 1808
- Cotillions and Country Dances 1792
- Elements of the Art of Dancing - 1822
- The Complete System of English Country Dancing - 1815
- The Scholar's Companion - Cotillions and Country Dances - 1796
- Thos Wilson's Quadrille Instructor - Ca 1816
- Thos. Wilson's Description of Regency Waltzing - 1816
- Treasures of Terpsichore - 1816
- Victorian Dance
c. The Figures
The figures in historical Regency dance, and that of modern English Country Dance are essentially the same, with the addition of the steps.
In this writing, I will presuppose a general familiarity with the essential figures of English Country Dance (casting, hays, grand-right-and-left etc.) and not delve deeply into them here. I will focus on how what you may already know may be back-dated to be correct for the Regency era.
Nearly every figure in a Country Dance will be executed with, as Wilson describes it, "Three Chasse steps and one AssemblĂ©" - with the exception of figures where one travels for more than four bars, when it will be something like "Seven Chasse and one AssemblĂ©".
The Pas Jette AssemblĂ© is the ending bit of most figures, and is also used, on a figure like the "Right Hands Across" (aka "Right Hand Star") to change directions.
It would be executed thus:
Dancers take right hands in the center, facing to the left. Do three Chasse steps (right-right, left-left, right-right) and then place your left hands into the center, changing directions with Pas Jette AssemblĂ©. Go back the other way with three more Chasse steps, ending with a Pas Jette AssemblĂ©, using the ending step to face in the appropriate direction for the next figure.
Most other figures can be adapted to the steps in the same manner, with the same essential Chasse - AssemblĂ© combinations.
Some figures might be executed with a slip step to the side. In some sources, this is "The casting step", where people cast off by stepping backward and then side slipping down the set, with partners continuing to face each other as they move. This is not universal though, and I don't plan to use it myself. A slipping step may also be called for in circles, but I would suggest that unless the original historical choreography specifically calls for it, then a Chasse - AssemblĂ© combination is the answer.
In other cases, a "March" step may be called for which is nothing more than walking (what almost everyone is currently doing anyway), but this is rare.
In nearly every case, you will find that the Chasse + Pas Jette AssemblĂ© will work perfectly for your historical choreography.