Talk:Glossary of country dance terms

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Initial comments[edit]

Not that it's that important at this point (because this really isn't worth my time), but outside of England this term is not always capitalized (except in titles, headings or as part of proper nouns). Here are some examples of this term being used without capitalization: SF Bay Area Contradances and English Country Dances, The Bay Area Country Dance Society webpage, North Bay Country Dance Society, Estienne's Country Dance Book, Sebastopol English Country Dance, Hudson-Mohawk Traditional Dances, Inc..... The rule is that only terms that are always capitalized in English should be capitalized in wikipedia (except in certain cases, this means only proper nouns, such as names of person or legal entities/concepts). But I have more important things to do other than refixing the capitalization of this article. A redirct exists and for the sake of getting back to work on the wiki, that should be enough (NOTE: a redirect for the uncapitalized name did not exist before and instead of simply making an uncapitalized redirect I moved the article so as not to encourage others to also capitalized pages that really needn't be capitalized). Once again please read wikipedia naming conventions on this issue. --maveric149

I'm glad you have better things to do than refix capitalization. Next, maybe you could work on being less condescending with your suggestions about reading the naming conventions and FDL, both of which I read quite a while ago, thanks. I really liked the bit where you were explaining why you had no interest in fixing things I complained about because you felt insulted, yet you were being extremely insulting at the time. With any luck, you can learn to be less of a jerk.

BTW, there are many phrases which act like proper nouns in English. ``English Country Dance`` is one such phrase. And no, just because it is mentioned by e.e. cummings in a poem does not mean that one instance of finding it uncapitalized means it is not always capitalized. Are you a member of a dance community that uses this phrase? Do you know anything about ECD at all? You sure sound authoritative when you discuss how it should be capitalized, but I've found that Wikipedia tends to attract folks who think they are authoritative about many things that they aren't.


I just came across this page and don't wanna involve in your arguments but Greg did have a point here: Some wikipedians (not all, maybe 30% I guess) think they are authoritative about many things that they aren't. An example: I wrote a page about Wu Hu's ravage of China and some guys in Huns just borrowed the term without really knowing what exactly it is. I'm confident I know the stuff because I am researching on it. By the way, is there anywhere to find out who that guy(s) is? The history only says automated convertion which means.... ?


The automated conversion destroyed previous history. GregLindahl

Are you a member of a dance community that uses this phrase? Do you know anything about ECD at all?

No, thank goodness. I deferred to the above dance schools and societies for capitalization examples. --maveric149

Ah, well, I'm glad that makes you enough of an authority to both (1) change the capitalization in the first place, and (2) get really upset when someone asked you about it. Now (1) wasn't so bad, but (2) wasn't very nice. GregLindahl

This talk thread is no longer relevant to the article. --maveric

English Country Dance / Playford / modern US revival.[edit]

I'm not quite sure how to get this sorted out, but I perceive a big modern North American influence upon this page which has skewed it somewhat.

English Country Dance != Playford

In England many have abandoned the term "English Country Dancing". For them it seems to have grown too many connotations in terms of what was taught for many years in schools and other seemingly twee associations. The same goes for "folk dancing" which was probably not a good term anyway since it was too wide ranging.

I suppose it's the modern age and wanting new terms that seem less "old fashioned". Starting in the 1980's at least, the English commandeered the term "Ceilidh". Note, this was *not* because of some sort of convergence between English, Irish and Scottish styles of music and dance, quite the opposite. In fact the term "ceilidh" was used by many who's stated aim was to reestablish English tunes and styles of playing in English Country Dance. To also reestablish more of the different types of stepping in English Country Dance that had often been forced out by inappropriate styles of music.

Anyhow. In England, country dancing went on for far, far longer than it's practise in high society would imply. Who wrote about what the workers and peasants were up to any way? Well, one or two did, notably Charles Dickens (scetches from Boz) and in many novels by Thomas Hardy. Hence, when Cecil Sharp and others came along, they were *not* merely working from dusty old collections from the 17th Century. There still existed country dance musicians and dancers who they collected from.

Therefore, "English Country Dance" in England was not and was never directly equated to "Playford". John Playford made a collection of dances in the 17th Century, but that does not and did not define the tradition as it existed in England.

Now come in the modern North American reenactor/dancer. I've lost count of the number of videos on Youtube where groups of Americans dress up and walk around nose in the air and a figurative crick in the little finger thinking that they are defining English Country Dancing and it's upper-class elegance (I hope they're having fun). Even stranger when they conflate Playford with with the Regency period and Jane Austen. The real historical context goes out of the window and we get an imagined history.

Then we (over in England) get lectured about what English Country Dance is ... well it's not that.

Some of the upper classes *may* possibly have danced like that (who knows), but there is no evidence even from, say, Jane Austen whos descriptions of dancing are nothing like the silly anemic wafting about you so often see labelled as "English Country Dancing".

That idea has been here as well of course, but it was always labelled as "Playford", though this is going through it's own revolution these days. This is alluded to in the introduction to the article, but incorrectly saying that this is what English Country Dancing is called here in England. It is not!

English Country Dancing is what it has always been here. A spectrum, these days from slower dances, faster dances, club dances with older people in them, "ceilidhs" with young people who jump around a lot more, mixed festival dances, "barn dances" for PTAs and weddings etc etc. They are all directly descended from English Country Dancing, though that is just a little misleading because in reality they all *are* English Country Dancing.

So, that's the modern North American influence here. The idea that English Country Dancing is some genteel form of dancing from the past, done slowly in frock coats and "olde worlde" dresses. (talk) 13:35, 18 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The previous commenter raised a couple of good points about the emphasis and content of this page. I think they deserve consideration and rectification, where possible. If I read the gentleman or lady correctly, here are the main issues:
1. The page as it stands reflects an antiquarian, North American perspective on the subject, ignoring or at least misrepresenting developments in Britain (and, it could be added, elsewhere) after ECD’s fall from society favour around 1830.
2. The page is downright wrong about certain terminology commonly used in Britain, the examples being “Playford” and “English Ceilidh”.
I am adding to this now because I (a North American, at that!) believe that the above are accurate criticisms requiring attention from those of us who care about this subject. I am perfectly aware that “English country dance” is not a page with heavy traffic, and that this Talk page sees even less, but I am hoping others may read this and assist an overhaul of this page, or at least offer constructive guidance. The subjects of 1) post-1830 survival outside of the ballroom and 2) modern practice, be it in Britain, North America, or elsewhere, are especially in need of someone who can either correct what is already here with proper sources, or write new sections entirely. I am not competent in either category, so I am making this appeal! Squire Allworthy (talk) 19:25, 23 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Explanation of changes I made[edit]

The following terms are (at least in our part of the UK) Scottish dance terms:

Three hands across - two dancers join right or left hands. Third dancer places right or left hand on top. Dancers move in the direction they face. Right & left - like the circular hey, but dancers give hands as they pass (handing hey).

We use the term Three hands Star for Three hands across and Changes (starting right or left) for Right & left. I've added them to the article as an alternative (new entry for changes and 'or three hand star') without deleting in case these terms are used elsewhere. Feel free to do as you see fit as its no big deal. -- John Douglas [at] interfolk [dot] co [dot] uk

Earliest sources and documentation[edit]

In the introductory sentence for this version as of Septeber 7, 2006, the claim is

English Country Dance, sometimes abbreviated ECD, is a form of folk dance. It is a social dance form, which dates from the late sixteenth century.

Now, it cannot be the case that the fully developed courtly dances that were documented in the 1500s are the origin of the English dance form. So, I say that the claim is too strong that this form "dates from the late sixteenth century." It's true enough that it was danced then. But implied with "dates from" is a meaning of "originated." Is there not even one iota of documentation for the existence of this dance form before then?Yellowdesk 17:33, 7 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ECD is perhaps a descendant of Italian set dances. The first references to "Country Dance" are in the late sixteenth century. The only earlier English documents describing dance are various bassa dance manuscripts (not at all like country dance) and the "Gresley Manuscript" (1500) which describes dances similar to 15th century Italian dances. So yes, the article is accurate as it stands. BTW, I don't buy your "originated" wording, when I see "dates" I think "the date we first find it mentioned..." Greg 07:07, 10 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


What's an Angloise? Any English Country Dance or a specific type of one? Does it deserve mention here? DavidRF (talk) 23:48, 13 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]