This page was made available in case of any interest in what was being said at the time about deportment. For easier consumption, much of the source material has been summarised but the full document regarding deportment (featuring the full text from both Wilson and Strathy) is available here

Please note that dancers should refer to the club callers in order to ensure consistency within HRD.  

"To dance gracefully, every attitude, every movement, must seem rather the effect of accident than design; nothing should seem studied, for wahtever seems studied, seems laboured, and every such appearance is absolutely incompatible with any endeavour at a display of graceful ease."

"The Complete System of English Country Dancing", Wilson, 1820

Gentlemen should hold their arms near them in this manner

Carrying the body

Within regency dance, curved lines are essential for graceful movements. Gentle motions are made in curved lines, and violent motions in straight lines.

It is essential to keep your centre of gravity steady. Thrust forward the chest or sternum, draw back the tops of the shoulders and keep them down. At the same time hold the arms forward so that the hands are in line with the foreside of the thighs. 

Hold the head back in a becoming manner, but without stiffness. 


Walking or dancing

Looking at the feet when walking or dancing gives an air of superiority over others, but also means being insensible of surrounding objects which increases the risk for errors. 

When walking, if an individual were to shuffle or run then it destroys the appearance and deportment of the whole Figure.

Ladies should hold their robe lightly between the fore-finger and thumb, holding it at the length of their arms so as to not confine the arms

Holding the arms

Arms should be well rounded. Elbows turned forward in a small degree, and wrists held in contrast with them. Hands gently rounded and turned towards the sides. This way, the arms have a more delicate appearance.

Those who are tall and slender should hold the arms a little more forward and further apart, in order to give their bodies a just proportion.

Raising an arm

When the dance requires an arm to be raised, the arm should be kept near the body and without raising the shoulder, the arm should be raised to the height of the breast. Allow the elbow to fold a little, keeping the arm in a rounded form. When lowering the arm, let the arm descend gently to its place. 

When arms are to be raised alternately, when the first arm starts to descend the other arm must begin to rise, timing it well enough that the second reach its height as the other is in its place. 

If both arms are to be raised at the same time, make sure to keep arms rounded. When lowering, start with the hands and let the arms gently descend. 

Giving hands

The lady places her hand on the gentleman's hand. Perform this slowly and along with the music. Hold the head back and direct looks towards each other. If both hands are given, head and shoulders will directly face the person opposite. 

Feet positions in Regency dance

Regency feet positions

Essentially, positions 1, 3, and 5, are the same as in modern ballet. Positions 2 and 4 have the foot en pointe.

"It should always be remembered, that it is only by maintaining a proper deportment of the body, that we can exhibit that agreeable case which constitutes the principal charm in dancing"

"Elements of the Art of Dancing", Strathy, 1822


  • "The Complete System of English Country Dancing", Wilson, 1820
  • "Elements of the Art of Dancing", Strathy, 1822