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|Interesting rules on dancing
Written by Mary Ellen
(4/6/2006 1:22 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Rules of Conduct at the Upper Rooms circa 1813, penned by JulieW
I thought it was interesting "That ladies to be considered perfectly free in regard to accepting or declining partners". Does this mean that a lady might refuse a partner just because she doesn't like the look of him? Whereas at a private ball, or a more rural public ball, where all the attendees would be neighbors, a lady would be expected to dance with everyone who asked unless she had decided not to dance for the rest of the evening? This makes some sense to me since people from all over would be mixed together.
I noted in the book James remarked that it was not considered shocking for a woman to dance with a single partner more than twice. Perhaps the same reason holds as above? If the lady in question does not have a wide acquaintance and is shy of strangers, perhaps it would be acceptable to dance with one or two gentlemen most of the evening. Also, if you don't have a wide acquaintance, who would notice that you were dancing with the same fellow all night anyway?
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