As you may remember, I am rather fond of dancing. I dreamed of becoming a ballerina when I was young, and I may have become one if the little studio my older sister took lessons from had not moved to the city. I have had to be content to dance in my awkward amateur way, in the rain or while laughing with friends.
All of that changed this past year, when I was introduced through some dear friends to the 'forgotten art' of English Country Dancing. I went to a ball for the first time in my life, and I learned to really dance. Precise steps, pretty music, complicated rhythms..I floundered my way through for a little while, but it was dance, and dance I loved. I went to another ball, and then another--I learned more dances, I floundered through more, I forgot them all, and I enjoyed everything. Truly, this 'forgotten art' was something worth pursuing!
Last month, I was contacted by Garret Stowe of Repairing the Breach media, who recently created a step-by-step instructional film which teaches viewers several pretty English Country dances in simple, pretty form. He asked whether I would be interested in reviewing a copy of the film, and of course--since I love this type of dancing yet am still such an amateur--I said "yes!" Here is what he has to say about the film:
As fans of Jane Austen and that period of history that gave rise to so many great minds, many of us also enjoy the beautiful dances from that era. With so much anti-family recreation out there, the old dances are a wonderful way to have good old fashioned fun! Recently, I completed an instructional documentary that combines the beauty of the Civil War/Victorian era dances with my love for history. This 30 minute film covers 6 period dances complete with step-by-step instructions, dance excerpts, and historical information on etiquette and customs of the day.
The package containing my product arrived quickly, and as soon as it arrived Olivia and I sat down to watch it. We were immediately impressed, and our feet were itching to dance. ;) There is a step-by-step instruction clip before each full dance (and everyone who does the "for show" dance is dressed in period costumes, which is neat!), the tunes are lively, the dances are pretty, and there are little history lessons mixed in, which was fun. :]
The instruction dance
The "show" dance
I haven't gotten the chance to try out the dances for myself yet, but we are planning a little "get-together" with some friends who also love this type of dance, but are amateurs like us...this movie will be the perfect thing to watch! I am so glad to have it; it's like having a dance instructor at your beck and call. But rewindable. ;)
If you love dance, would like to learn dance, or simply are up for something new (and very fun), I encourage you to purchase one of these amazing DVDs! You can email Garrett directly at firstname.lastname@example.org ,visit his blog and click the buy it now button on the left sidebar, or go to Ebay and search "English Country Dancing DVD."
The DVD is $13 with free s&h if you purchase through me directly or from my blog (if you purchase through Ebay, the price is higher to cover listing fees). Payment is accepted via check or Paypal.
Let me know if you get one of these films, and what dances you learn! ;)
p.s. (the winner of the 'pink and creme' pearl bracelet is....LIZ B.! congrats, girl! please e-mail me. :)