country dance


country dance

Type of social dance for couples, popular in the 17th century. Derived from English folk dance, the country dance is performed in one of three forms: circular or round; “longways,” with rows of couples facing each other; and geometric, in squares or triangles. The main source of country-dance steps and songs is John Playford's The English Dancing Master (1650). The dance was the basis for the 19th-century quadrille. It was taken by colonists to North America as the Virginia reel and, in modified form, as the square dance. There was a modest revival in the 20th century.

Variants of COUNTRY DANCE

country dance or contredanse

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on country dance, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up country dance? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.