5. Progression

Modern "Regency Dance" and the actual dance of the Regency era differ in two primary areas: the lack of steps and the modified progression.

The progression of the Regency involved the top couple, and only the top couple, starting the dance and dancing with the couples below, and as they passed down the set, the couples they encountered became active and, through a snowball effect, the whole set would gradually become involved -- though even then, the progression would often leave multiple couples "out", not only at the top or bottom, but in the middle as well.

In this process, with the exception of the top couple, most couples would spend large parts of the dance, which might last twenty minutes, not dancing. This arrangement, which seems utterly unacceptable to a modern sensibility, was quite all right to the folks of the Regency, for whom dancing was an excellent opportunity for men and women to interact; and also provided a chance to those who were dancing to be watched and admired by those who were not dancing.

If they were dancing in the modern style, with as many people moving at any given moment as possible, who has time to talk and who has time to watch the other dancers?

In addition, nearly all dances used a triple progression, with three couples active in any one figure. Modern dancers tend to dumb it down to a double progression, or if it is a triple progression, the set is isolated and the couples only dance within a three couple set, without progressing down a long set.

My particular "system" will not, for the moment focus on reviving this particular historical aspect, since I want to allow those using steps to share a floor with those who don't -- and this won't work unless everyone has the same understanding of how they are progressing.

I do reserve the option with this, and with any other historical aspect that may have been deferred, to take it up again later.