A postscript inspired by Colin Rogers contribution on American Dancing

Having read the latest contributions on “Life After” in particular the item on American Dancing by Colin herewith an update of mine with the details of extracurricular activity:

My major hobby had always been acting in and directing plays and musicals for amateur dramatic and operatic societies and directing productions for the Chelmsford Ballet Company, both in conjunction with my wife, in Essex and other counties so when I moved to Ferranti in the North West I intended to continue.

However while we were settling in my wife became a member of a group recreating and performing historical court and theatre dance presentations which combined staging these, making and wearing period dress and learning the very complex routines, and I was induced to step in for a demonstration at a conference in Ghent when a male member had to step down at the last minute through an overseas work appointment. This got me hooked and I therefore continued and am still participating to the present day.

Our particular group is unusual in working on several periods so we now have wardrobes full of clothes for the early 15th century to the 19th century Regency period, with a repertoire of dances extending to many styles and types. I can thoroughly recommend this as a satisfying physical and social activity in which age is of little consequence, other than as it advances it is no longer seemly for a gentleman to engage in a vigorous galliard but to still excel in a stately pavanne!

There is a national organisation called the Early Dance Circle which lists local groups and mounts an annual Festival.

Our two presentations in the most recent can be seen here and here. There are also opportunities for demonstrations at English Heritage and National Trust properties in your area to show off and to bring in new members.