In this post:
- Dance instructions for “Lady Caroline Lee’s Waltz” for you to perform and enjoy
- Free music download: “Lady Caroline Lee’s Waltz” (mp3)
- Free music sheet for “Lady Caroline Lee’s Waltz”
Dear Regency Enthusiast
as promised, here is my post with dance instructions and a free mp3 soundfile for “Lady Caroline Lee’s Waltz”.
Lady Caroline Leigh was a distant relative of Jane Austen. Her son James Henry was a second cousin to Jane. It is easy to imagine that the “Lady Caroline Lee’s Waltz” was danced as part of the evening entertainment when Jane visited James Henry. The music sheet for the “Lady Caroline Lee’s Waltz” was part of Jane Austen’s library. It is, however, still the status quo of the Austen-research to have solely proven she danced the boulangère, and I don’t want to imply anything else.
Dance instructions for “Lady Caroline Lee’s Waltz” for you to perform and enjoy
The workshop I attend a couple of weeks ago was splendidly done by Nicolle Klinkeberg*, a European expert on historical dance. From her, we learned that in Jane Austen’s time, country dances were longways and danced as a triple minor (with 3 couples). She also taught us a dance in this style: The Lady Caroline Lee’s Waltz. I duly memorized it to share it with you.
Dance instruction: “Lady Caroline Lee’s Waltz”
(to be danced with “travelling waltzing steps”; figures are explained below)
(Abbreviations: C=Couple; G= Gentleman, L= Lady)
Take hands six from the top.
- L1: set (see (1)) to G2, then set to L2.
- L1 and G1 take hands and go once round to places.
- G1: set to L2, then set to G2.
- G1 and L1 take hands and go once round to places.
- C1 dances down the line, past couple 3, turns and dances up the line. While C1 comes back, C2 moves up one place. C1 takes place of C2.
- Each couple performs the allemande (see (2)).
- C1 performs figure swing corners (see (3)) with C2 and C3.
- C1 performs a poussette (see (4)) (counterclockwise) with C2 once round to places.
(1) How to do the set:
Step right and bring your left foot parallel to your right; then, step in place with your right foot Step left, bring your right foot parallel and then step in place with your right foot. When a dance is performed in the “travelling waltzing step”, you can also perform a sidelong waltzing step.
(2) How to do the allemande:
Facing in opposite directions, each partner puts the right hand behind their back, and with the left hand they take the partner’ right. In this position they go round once, and then turn to repeat with the left hand behind their back. (Melusine Wood: “Advanced historical dances”, page 94)
(3) How to do swing corners (also referred to as contra corners):
Additional information: In this figure, C1 stands between C2 and C3. L1 will pass from gentleman to gentleman of both adjacent couples. G1 will pass from lady to lady of both adjacent. Before L1 starts, she should have a good look at G2 and G3 (her “corners”). G1 should know how L3 and L2 look like. This will help to find the way.
- L1 and G1 dances towards each other, meet halfway and each of them turns off: L1 continues dancing towards G2. G1 continues dancing towards L3.
- G2 takes L1’s hand and turns with her while L1 dances once around him (counterclockwise). Meanwhile, G1 has made a clockwise-turn around L3. L1 and G2 dance towards the centre, meet halfway and return to their places.
- The figure is then repeated with G3 as partner for L1 and L2 as partner for G1.
- In the end, C1 should stand between C2 and C3.
(4) How to do a poussette:
Each of the two gentlemen of C1 and C2 join hands with his opposite lady. C1 dances towards the men’s side, C2 dances towards the ladies’ side. They pass around the other couple. Then C2 dances towards the men’s side, C1 dances towards the ladies’ side. They pass around the other couple and finish at their places.
Free music download: “Lady Caroline Lee’s Waltz” (mp3)
I can’t count playing the piano to my accomplishments. But thanks to modern technologies, all you need these days to create historical dance music is a computer and a music software such as MuseScore. Of course, you also need a music sheet of a historical dance tune. A good source for the latter is The National Library of Scotland. Now you can bring back to life any historical tune you like.
I immensly enjoyed dabbeling in music and was dazzled by its possiblities for couple of days. I have to admit, however, that the accompaniment to the “Lady Caroline Lee’s Waltz” was kindly created by a gentleman who doesn’t want his name to be mentioned in public.
This is the “Lady Caroline Lee’s Waltz” for you as a mp3-file. It’s for free and you can download it to your computer.
Music sheet for “Lady Caroline Lee’s Waltz”
For all being able to play the piano, here is the music sheet as a pdf-file:
Sources and references: