University of Connecticut College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of Mathematics
Tom Roby's INTD 1820 Home Page (Fall 2010) Jane Austen Dances

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Class Information

COORDINATES: Classes meet Wednesdays 2-2:50 in the Parish Hall of Storrs Congregational Church. The registrar calls these INTD 1820 Sections 022, #37394 and Section 023, #8790.

The church itself is located on the NW corner of Rt. 195 and N. Eagleville RD. The Parish Hall is just west of the church on the second floor of a separate building (close to the intersection of N. Eagleville RD and Glenbrook RD. It's just north of the "A" (a campus bus stop) in this satellite view from Google Maps; here is a picture as you approach the hall from the street, showing the Parish Hall's windows (upstairs).

PREREQUISITES: An enthusiastic and cooperative attitude.

TEXT: There is no text for this course, but there will be several reading or viewing assignments.

CLOTHING: Wear comfortable clothing that you can easily move around in. Walking shoes work fine for this kind of dancing; avoid flipflops or high heels.

WEB RESOURCES: The homepage for this course is

GRADING: Your grade will be based largely on attendance, so plan to attend every class. The rest will be based on completing some short assignments outside of class, occasionally including (usually less than 1pp.) written reflections on various aspects of dance and culture.

CONTENT: The main focus of the course will be on English Country Dances from 1651 to the present day, with some excursions into traditional dances of other countries for comparison purposes. We will spend much of each class dancing and learning to dance better. Along with this we will learn more about:

  • Timing;
  • Musical structure;
  • Posture and Carriage:
  • Nonverbal cues;
  • Giving and receiving feedback;
  • Changes in dancing over time;
  • Changes in dancing by location;
  • and Social contexts.

If you'd like to get some idea beforehand of what we'll be doing you can read the following blurb by Linda Repasky and Alan Winston What is ECD?. Since a video is worth a million words, you can also check out many things on YouTube, e.g., Jack's Health, taught by Bruce Hamilton at an ECD weekend in North Carolina.

DISABILITIES If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, or if you would need assistance in the event of an emergency, please contact me as soon as possible.

LEARNING: The only way to learn dancing is by doing it! Come with a positive attitude and be prepared to learn from those around you as well as the instructor. Embrace the initial confusion that accompanies learning any new activity, and realize that it means there is an opportunity to learn something.

Most of the homework should be straightforward, but you are welcome to work to work with other people in person or electronically. It's OK to get significant help from any resource, but in the end, please write your own solution in your own words. Copying someone else's work without credit is plagiarism and will be dealt with according to university policy. It also is a poor learning strategy.

INTD 1820 (Jane Austen Dances) SCHEDULE
Date New Dances Homework
9/1 T La Bastringue, Southern Circle Mixer, Haste to the Wedding View this clip from the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, a somewhat rechoreographed version of the dance Mr. Beveridge's Maggot.
9/8 T La B. w/swing; Haste to Wedding; Broken Sixpence, Queen's Jig Take a look at the all the first six figures at Judy Rivkin's Animated ECD Terms and make sure you understand them.
9/15 T Take a Dance, The Black Nagg Take a look at the all the heys (last six figures) at Judy Rivkin's Animated ECD Terms and make sure you understand them.
9/22 T Read Allison Thompson's essay Felicity in the Ballroom and write a brief (1-2 page singlepaced summary of the article article. How was dancing in Jane Austen's time and place different from current mainstream social dancing? How is it different from what we do in class? (Due 10/13 )
10/6 T Discussion & Dairy Bar (Guest led by Lesa)
10/13 T Get Me Going, The Boatman
10/20 T Roll in the Hey, Grapevine Twist
10/27 T Fandango
11/3 T Waltz Basics, Duke of Kent's Waltz
11/10 T Schottis basics
11/17 T Indian Queen, Physical Snob
12/1 T Shepherd's Holiday Write 1-2pp (singlespaced) about your experience in the class, what you learned, how well it matched your expectations, etc.
12/8 T Final Review

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