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Dancing with Jane Austen - well, almost!

Recently, P and P Tours celebrated the start of one of their fabulous holidays with an evening party in Bath to be held at the beautiful house that was used in the filming of Persuasion. I was invited to my great delight, but I must admit when I was told there would be dancing I felt a little nervous at the prospect!
However, I needn't have worried. I wasn't the only one who hadn't been initiated before, and the fact that most of us were beginners only made the evening more fun. Two beautiful and very patient young ladies from the Jane Austen Dancers of Bath came along to show us how to perform the steps. There was a lot to remember! We learnt individual steps, and then the patterns of the dances, not to mention interacting with our partners. Helen Wilkinson who runs the tour ended up with a very poor partner (yours truly) who would keep going in the wrong direction - talk about 'Wrong way, Mr Collins!' I expect the fact that I'd imbibed several glasses of wine at Helen's insistence (well, I have to blame someone) was the cause.
We had supper and then I read an extract about a ball scene from Willoughby's Return before we all danced again.
I don't think I've laughed so much for ages - 'I could have died laughing'. It's very difficult to laugh and dance at the same time, I can tell you. It was such fun, and if I'm ever invited to another, I should love to go. It made me think how much we've lost in this style of formal dancing, and what a pity it is that country dancing doesn't seem to be taught in schools any more, as it was when I was young. Click here to see the Jane Austen Dancers of Bath in this entertaining clip.
Bottom photo shows our lovely hosts Helen Wilkinson and her daughter Maddy of P and P tours.