WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Barnaby

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Barnaby

I’m no dancer.

I’m not “a full body dry heave set to music,” a la Elaine Benes, but I’ll certainly never be accused of having grace or style. I enjoy music and I move to it, but in the privacy of my own home (or in public when necessary to embarrass family members wishing me to “for heaven’s sake, stop.”)

Elaine Benes, as portrayed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, in “The Little Kicks” episode of Seinfeld.

Poor, or questionable dancing, is the gift that keeps on giving. For every talented hoofer, there are dozens of us born with the gift of varying levels of “nope.”

Mr. Darcy, “Every savage can dance” quote from 1995 Pride and Prejudice adaptation from BBC/A&E.


An old dance to a quick movement. See Cotton, in his Virgil Travesti; where, speaking of Eolus he has these lines,

  Bounce cry the port-holes, out they fly,
  And make the world dance Barnaby.

My favorite, cringe-inducing dance scene comes from the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. La, Mr. Collins!

From comedy duo Mitchell and Webb comes a reimagining of the Meryton Assembly (NSFW language warning at 1:38; Darcy getting jiggy with it warning at 2:08).

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Contra Dance

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Contra Dance

This past Friday was the final dance of my son’s high school career. We homeschool, so it’s not prom, it’s the (far loftier, I think) Teen Ball. This year’s theme was The Greatest Showman. Teens can dress in theme, formal, or their own mixture of dressy and casual that parents understand somehow just works.

The theme couldn’t have been better for a bunch of teenagers with bursting, bubbling, still-forming personalities, or for a year struggling to find it’s way out of a pandemic. We let our teens have selected times of mask-less picturing taking: at the end of the evening, we took a group photo and briefly shed our face coverings. Everyone’s motto (and song from the movie): This. Is. Me.

Contra Dance

A dance where the dancers of the different sexes stand opposite each other, instead of side by side, as in the minuet, rigadoon, louvre, &c. and now corruptly called a country dance.

Just like the Regency era, our homeschool Ball features some coordinated dances. Our teens let loose with the Cha Cha Slide and Cupid Shuffle, but they also learn the Waltz, Foxtrot and, when in Rome Texas, the two-step. We had a talented homeschool mama teaching our teens their fancy ballroom moves, but for a researching author like me – or any curious person – YouTube is a treasure trove of how to’s and look’s back into yesteryear.

Regency Dance Lesson

Cotillion and Reel

1810 Waltz

2019 Jane Austen Festival Masked Ball Dance

2019 Jane Austen Festival “Haste to the Wedding” Final Dance

One final shameless, family moment for our final Teen Ball. The hubs and I were the night’s DJs; four hours later and we were pooped from acting young-at-heart.