The Elizabethan Age Dance

The Elizabethan Age
General Facts
Dancing was an extremely popular past time during this time and was
considered “a wholesome recreation of the mind and also an exercise of
the body”.
New music and instruments led to the creation of new dances
The dances varied to the social classes
Court dances enjoyed by royalty, nobility and upper classes were often
imported from Italy, Spain, or France.
These dance forms varied form the energetic Galliard to the refined
 The lower classes enjoyed more traditional country dances such as
the Jig, Morris dancing, the Brand, or the Brawle which were usually
danced at festivals in Elizabethan, England
Upper Class
Upper class enjoyed new types of music at court
Dancing Masters were employed to teach the new dances
These dances were highly sophisticated and had intricate
steps, but the old country dances were still popular
Many of the court dances were couples
The Volt was the only dance which allowed the dancers to
embrace closely
The form of entertainment call the Masque was more popular
with the upper class
They were accompanied with music and dance at the
beginning, end, and during the interludes
The dances usually had names like the ‘Tinkernell’ and ‘Maske
of Queens’
Dancing Masters each printed and distributed dance manuals
It included different dance steps including walking steps,
sliding, stamping, leaping, jumping, and hopping.
Queen Elizabeth I
Encouraged music and dance
Patron of all the Arts and encouraged composers and musicians
Continued strenuous dancing into her late 50’s
Lower Class
They only heard the new music and saw the intricate
steps and fashion in theatre
Dances were danced by couples in round or square sets
Dances were repetitive
They were passed down through generations
Different types of country dances were popular with
Performed at fairs and festivals
Upper Class
Ballet – Italian dance
established at the French
court in the 16th Century
The Canary – Spanish
dance described as “strange
and fantastic with a strong
barbaric flavor”
Lower Class
The Jig – Traditionally
involved leaps
The Hornpipe – Lively
dance resembling a jig. The
dance became linked with

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