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How to Organise your own Regency Party, Rout or Ball

A Regency Ball is fun for experienced dancers and beginners, adults and teenagers alike.

The dancing is romantic and can be quite flirtateous and it's fun to dress in the beautiful period costumes of the time. Teenagers are energetic and enjoy the more lively dances and often display remarkable creativity in making their costumes from vary simple materials based on films they have seen and illustrations in books.

I love organising a Regency Ball whether it is

So why not have a go!

 


Here is what you will need -

 


Demonstrating
at a private party
  • Four to six quadrille sets (32-48 dancers) is probably ideal for a private gathering but for a big splashy event you can ask 80 or 100 guests. Remember that most Regency dances are in sets of three or four couples. Not everyone will dance, but go for at least 16 dancing guests.
  • You will need to find a suitable ballroom to hold your party. The best guide is to reckon it up in quadrille sets! You will need about 10 x 10 feet per set of 8 dancers for a cotillion or quadrille, and a similar area for longways dances - which is much more space than modern dancing. Remember that halls often get booked up well in advance.
  • You will need a good experienced caller who knows the dances of the Regency period and has organised balls before. An experienced caller will also help you with most of the points below so he's worth booking early.
  • Decide if you wish to offer a meal or other refreshments, usually half way through the evening. Always offer plenty of water and soft drinks because energetic dancing makes the guests thirsty, but beware of too much wine! After a very little alcohol the dancing does become remarkably more difficult!
  • Ask your caller to select your list of dances. A mixture of cotillions, quadrilles and country dances is ideal, with a mixture of easier and harder dances depending how experienced your guests are. Feel free to ask him to add any special favourites you may have.
  • Decide whether you want to have a live band, which is more expensive, or dance to CDs which works fine. Your caller will be able to help you choose a suitable band.
  • Your guests may ask for help about costumes, but generally they enjoy being creative. Of course some may wish to come in modern dress, though in my experience. they won't enjoy the party as much. Part of the fun is being 'in period'.
  • Decide if you want to hire a display team - group of experienced Regency dancers in costume who will also help guests with their dances or act as partners throughout the evening.
  • You might also wish to to hold a small informal pre-party "workshop" for your closest friends to practice the dances before the ball proper.

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