CONGRATULATIONS

Carrie Fancett Pagels' "The Substitute Bride" in O' Little Town of Christmas collection is a 2016 Published MAGGIE AWARD FINALIST in Romance Novellas!!!


Tea Party winners: Tamera Lynn Kraft's winner is Sherida Stewart, Debra E. Marvin's winner Deana Dick for Ebook of Starlight Serenade, Debora Wilder for Winner's Choice (movies or cookbook), Carrie Fancett Pagels’ winner of choice of ebook or paperback of Tea Shop Folly goes to Teri DiVincenzo and ebook of Love's Sporting Chance goes to Becky Dempsey. Carrie's special unannounced pink heart shaped cup and saucer goes to Melissa Henderson who attended both parties! CONGRATS and thanks for partying with us, colonial style!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Forbidden Dance

Roseanna White here to introduce a good friend and new member of Colonial American Christian Writers, Dina Sleiman. Dina's first American historical romance just released yesterday (huzzah!), and we are excited to introduce it and its early American setting. As one may be able to tell from the title, Love in Three-Quarter Time, a certain dance is featured in Dina's novel. And she's here to tell us a little bit about it. Take it away, Dina!

~*~

The Forbidden Dance


No, I’m not talking about the tango. In the late 1700s and early 1800s the waltz was considered quite a scandalous dance. It gained popularity on the European continent by around 1780, but was still scorned in respectable circles in England and the United States. It wasn’t until the Prince Regent introduced the waltz at a ball in 1816 that it was accepted in England. As for the newly formed US, all we can say for certain is that it was a standard dance by 1830. 
 
For my new novel, Love in Three-Quarter Time, I assumed that as in all things fashionable, Americans would have followed close on the heels of their British cousins. I showed the waltz being introduced to Charlottesville, Virginia, by a trend-setting plantation matron in 1817. But the waltz of the Regency (or in this case late Federalist) era was quite different than the waltz we know today. It was closely related to the cotillion, and it incorporated a variety of handholds that could, in fact, turn a bit risqué in the wrong company.

Here are just a few lines from a very lengthy poem called “The Waltz,” written by Lord Byron in 1813.
Endearing Waltz! -- to thy more melting tune
Bow Irish jig and ancient rigadoon.
Scotch reels, avaunt! and country-dance, forego
Your future claims to each fantastic toe!
Waltz -- Waltz alone -- both legs and arms demands,
Liberal of feet, and lavish of her hands;
Hands which may freely range in public sight
Where ne'er before --- but --- pray "put out the light."
Methinks the glare of yonder chandelier
Shines much too far --- or I am much too near;
And true, though strange --- Waltz whispers this remark,
"My slippery steps are safest in the dark!"
 

 The waltz of that time was not the gliding Viennese Waltz or the boxy American Waltz we might be familiar with from dance shows today. It began with a side-by-side promenade called “The March,” but then moved into “The Pirouette” section which involved a variety of holds, some of them quite intimate and hip to hip, with hands linked overhead. The dance then moved into the quicker, hopping "Sauteuse" and "Jetté" portions, but always returned to the sensuous pirouettes. Unlike other dances of its time such as cotillions, minuets, reels, gavottes, and country dances which allowed only fleeting contact, the waltz allowed for extended body and eye contact between the partners. These holds allowed ample time for gazing into the partner’s eyes and…shall we say, conversation?

As in Colonial days, dance in the Federalist Era was an essential part of high society life. One’s ability to dance played an essential role in one’s good standing in the community. Little wonder my Mrs. Beaumont was in such a tizzy that her twin daughters were about to be launched into society and she couldn’t secure the best dance instructor in Virginia. And once she did find a suitable teacher, enter my heroine Constance Cavendish, little wonder that Mrs. Beaumont desired to wow her peers by being the first to thpresent the waltz in her area.

Thomas Jefferson, who makes a cameo appearance in my novel as a retired president and resident of Albemarle County, once wrote that dance “is a healthy exercise, elegant and very attractive for young people.” And as Jefferson spent much time in France, I surmise he would have enjoyed a good waltz himself.

I had tons of fun playing with the idea of introducing this “scandalous” dance into the polite society of the planter elite class in Albemarle County, Virginia. I hope you have fun reading about it as well. If you’d like to get a peek at the Regency Era waltz, check out this video. The filming quality is poor, but it’s the only one I could find that shows one of the more questionable holds. 

~*~


GIVEAWAY: A copy of this ebook will be given away to one of our commenters. Please leave your email address for notification.





In the style of Deeanne Gist, Dina Sleiman explores the world of 1817 Virginia in her novel Love in Three-Quarter Time. When the belle of the ball falls into genteel poverty, the fiery Constance Cavendish must teach the dances she once loved in order to help her family survive. The opportunity of a lifetime might await her in the frontier town of Charlottesville, but the position will require her to instruct the sisters of the plantation owner who jilted her when she needed him most. As Robert Montgomery and Constance make discoveries about one another, will their renewed faith in God help them to face their past and the guilt that threatens to destroy them in time to waltz to a fresh start? http://dinasleiman.com

25 comments:

  1. Good morning, ladies! I think my head has been hearing a one-two-three, one-two-three all week, as we've been celebrating with Dina. I hope you all get a chance to read this lovely story!

    I know a lady should never discuss money in good company but ... Zondervan First is providing great fiction like this, their debut, at a great E book price of 3.99!

    Your contemporary, C. J. Chase did an outstanding post on the waltz yesterday over at the Inkwell yesterday. My favorite example of this type of waltz is from the movie The Young Victoria. (Of course, we Federalists have yet to hear of her...)

    Thank you Roseanna and Dina. The hospitality is always so nice here and I am happy to sit and watch 'you young people' swirl around the room!


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  2. If anyone would like to check out CJ's incredible compilation of videos depicting the development of the waltz, the link is http://www.inkwellinspirations.com/2012/10/early-19th-century-dances.html

    Thanks for stopping by, Deb. And I think you'd better get your not so old behind out on that dance floor :)

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  3. man, I sure hate this is only for an ebook, for I'm not able to do that. Yes, the picture is much different than our waltz.

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  4. The original plan was for there to be a print book available also. There's been some snafu with getting it released in time, but since I've seen the print cover, I think it should still be coming.

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  5. sounds like a most interesting book thanks for chance to win a copy

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  6. a wonderful posting...thanks for sharing...and thanks for the chance to read dina's latest novel.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  7. DINA!!! It sounds absolutely WONDERFUL and I LOVE the cover, so sign me up, girl, and I hope it flies off the shelves!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  8. Thanks ladies. I'm glad you all like the idea :)

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  9. Oh, and the book is only $3.99. Always worth mentioning, I think.

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  10. Welcome to CACW, Dina, and congratulations on the new release. Huzzah! I love reading about the Federal era esp. and found your post on the waltz so interesting, because I haven't come across much info on dancing in America during this period. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Yes, I heard that's when you write. I need to check out your books too. I had to extrapolate a good bit of the dance info based on what was going on in Europe and knowing that similar balls took place in the high society of America. I learned a lot at the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg about the balls of that era and the importance of dance in the upper class. It was a huge status issue. And I also asked several questions about balls and dance while visiting Monticello. It certainly helps to live in Virginia.

    Thanks for the huzzah, I think it might be my first :)

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  12. Ah the dance, the waltz. Though not Federalist in era, my father was a ballroom dance teacher (on the side, of course) when he was young - probably in the very late 1920s and early 1930s. He was much in demand with the college crowd for "The Germans" balls held on campus. I would love to win a copy of this. Sounds delightful.

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    1. Oops - needs an email addy - godleyv at[yahoo]dot[com]

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    2. Missed that this was for an ebook. I don't "do" ebooks so I guess I should bow out :(

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  13. :( Sorry, Vera. Zondervan First is primarily a digital imprint. They should be releasing a print book also at some point, but I don't have a date for that.

    That's very special about your dad, though. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  14. This sounds great! I love historicals.
    shopgirl152nykiki@yahoo.com

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  15. Thanks for posting this! I love hearing about traditions that we take for granted today. Please enter me, I'd love to win this book.

    bookwurm70 at gmail dot com

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  16. Yes, I'm sure no one today has ever thought of the waltz as scandalous.

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  17. Hi, enter me please in the drawing. Kathleen
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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  18. I think the waltz is a very sexy dance : )

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  19. Well, it is certainly one of the most romantic.

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  20. I would love to read about this naughty dance!

    melodydurant@hotmail.com

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  21. Would love to read this bit of historical significance! :D I had never heard about this one. Blessings! Darlene

    spangldlady[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Darlene, this is a new release and the debut release for the new Zondervan First line.

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