The Spanish Dance

In spite of time and novelty, the Spanish dance has maintained its position as a favorite. It has outlived a score of younger rivals. It should not be danced more than twice during an evening.

Waltz music is adapted to this dance, though it should be played slower, and there are one or two tunes which have always been favorites as specially suited to it. The waltz step is also used.

The couples are arranged in long parallel lines, as if they were standing up for a country-dance. The lines may, if it is more convenient, take a circular form. But there is a peculiarity of arrangement which must be attended to at the outset. The first gentleman stands on the ladies' side, and the first lady on that of the gentlemen, and if every fourth lady and gentleman exchange places in like manner, the dance can commence simultaneously all down the line, instead of all the couples having to wait until the first couples have gone through their prescribed movements.

It commences in this way: the first gentleman and second lady of each set of four balancez or set to each other in the waltz step and change places; the first lady and second gentleman do the same and at the same time.

First gentleman and his partner set and change places, second gentleman and partner do the same.

First gentleman and second lady set and change as before, first lady and second gentleman ditto.

Then first gentleman and second lady set to their respective partners, as before, and change, each resuming their original position.

All four join hands in the center, advance, retire, and change places as before-ladies passing to the left. This is done, as in the preceding figure, four times.

Next, each gentleman takes his partner, and the two couples waltz round each other two or three times, ending by the second lady and gentleman taking their places at the top of the line, while the top couple go through the same figures with the third lady and gentleman, with the fourth, and so proceed to the end of the line, where they remain; and if the dance consists of from sixteen to twenty couples, they will not be sorry for the rest there accorded them.

The couples should be told off in fours-say four, eight, sixteen, twenty, and so on; and there should be no odd couples- e.g ., six, ten, fourteen, will not do-only causing confusion.


Beadle's dime ball-room companion and guide to dancing, 1868
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