Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Why Do You Love Colonial Dancing?

Answering the questions people have
asked (or I have asked myself) about
my past, present, or future.
In a word, it's beautiful. All right, that's two words. Let your servant go further than that.

Eighteenth-century attire and dancing are great equalizers. The gentlemen can adorn themselves with fancy flourishes, bright colours, buttons and bows and lace and prettiness, hoping to match the beautiful ladies in their gowns and nobody will accuse them of being sissified beyond all recognition. If it's foppy and floppy, it's period correct. I love having that freedom.

I remember the very first time I put on a Revolutionary War outfit: Halloween of 2001, barely a month and a half after the 9/11 attacks, when your servant and just about everybody else was re-connecting with their patriotism.

That first outfit was less than period-correct, but I loved wearing it. If clothes maketh the man, that uniform started to liberate my inner 18th Century Gentleman. I had never felt so much warmth inside of me from wearing a tricorn, knee breeches, and a long coat. I had no problem bowing to people. I felt a tremendous inner peace. Then came a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia in 2004. Then in 2006, I attended my first colonial ball. The rest -- pardon the cliche -- is history. That colonial gentleman inside me was free at last, free to influence my thoughts and attitudes and leave me dreaming of the next ball... and above all, bring me back to GOD.

Since that time, I've learned how to teach the steps as well as carry them out. You don't have to be fancy; you just have to know how to walk and follow figures.
You can start out simply and build from there. I compare it to learning how to program a computer as you build in loops, branching statements, if/then procedures and fun, of course. Others have called your servant a Colonial Dancing "Master." That sometimes can be a bit of a stretch, as I am still learning even as I try my best to be beautiful.

I think the Minuet is my favourite of all Colonial dances -- at least the way I perform it. The basic form is set, but I can add a few flourishes here and there and people won't mind at all. Below is one I performed with a young lady at the George Washington Ball in Williamsburg, Virginia. She wasn't sure she could do it right, and I wasn't sure either. So I told her just to follow me, not worry about her feet, and enjoy the beauty of the moment. I think it turned out all right.

Somebody once asked me if I thought I was born in the wrong time. Of course not. If I say that, then I say GOD made a mistake, and HE doesn't make mistakes. He uses us where we are right now to do HIS work in this world, sinful as we are. What kind of work did GOD intend for me as a colonial dancer?

Again, I say, it's beautiful.

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