Category Archives: Description of dances


Constancy is one of our favorite colonial dances. It combines a good tune with basic figures. For warming up at the beginning of an evening of dances, or sparing mental energy at the end of the evening, it flows naturally and comfortably.

Constancy appears in “The Gentleman & Lady’s COMPANION; containing, The Newest COTILLIONS and COUNTRY DANCES; To Which is Added, Instances of ILL MANNERS, to be carefully avoided by YOUTH of both sexes.”, published by J. Trumbull, Norwich, in 1798.  Continue reading

Come Haste to the Wedding

The tune Come Haste To The Wedding is also known as Haste to the Wedding, Come Haste, Haste To The West, Haste Ye Tae The Wedding, Hasten To The Wedding, Hasten To The Wedding Mary, Rural Felicity, The Rules of Felicity, Fast Trip To Reno, Quick Trip To Reno, Gigue Des Petits Moutons, Green Mountain Volunteers, The Long Eight, Perry’s Victory, Footprints, Granny Plays the Fiddle, Trip to the Dargle, A Trip to the Gargle, Let Brainspinning Swains, The Small Pin Cushion, Carrickfergus, Thurot, and (our favorite) Cut Your Toenails You’re Tearing All The Sheets.

This tune was introduced as the melody of a song in the stage show “The Elopement”, produced in London in 1767. The lyrics to the song are at the bottom of this post.  There are many country dances that have been written to this tune, and it is a common fiddle favorite.

There are three versions of this country dance that were written (and have survived) from the 18th century. Continue reading

Stony Point

The dance “Stony Point” has been published in at least two modern collections: Social Dances from the American Revolution, (The Hendrickson Group, 1992) and George Washington: A Biography in Social Dance, (The Hendrickson Group, 1998).  Both of these books were written by Charles Cyril Hendrickson and Kate Van Winkle Keller, and both have versions of the dance that come from unpublished personal dance collections.

The version in Social Dances from the American Revolution (SDAR) comes from the notebook of George Bush, who served in the Continental Army from 1776-1783 (and who is not an ancestor of the presidents).   Continue reading