[SCA-Dance] How were dances taught?

Catriona Morganosa catriona_a_morganosa at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 14 09:09:39 EDT 2009

I think that's one of the biggest challenges we face in the SCA: How did
folks learn stuff? Things like farming was learned the same way most farming
is now, from Pop, and later in period, once the middle class was formed,
skills were passed on through direct supervision via students and
apprenticeships. Later, skills and things WERE written down (Renaissance
Tailor, for example) and we know the dance manuals existed.

Since many fighting academies, especially the rapier academies, had classes
in dance, I suspect, since everyone wanted folks to remember THEIR method of
instruction if the fencing manuals are any indication, that the Dance
Masters also did likewise, creating dances and variations on dances to put
their own particular spin on things and make it their own.

So, late period dance manuals and classes as part of other academies are how
I suspect they transferred knowledge of dances at least in later period. I
don't study early period (pre-1200) so I couldn't even guess before then.

Stapana Catriona Moriarity, OP
"Sacrificing minions: Is there any problem it can't solve?" -Xykon

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