Dancing Through The Ages

The first weekend of July swung into action with two back-to-back days of costumed dancing. On Saturday I time traveled back to the mid -19th century at Pickering Museum Village to dance Schottische’s, Quadrille’s, and of course A Grand March. Not my usual English Country Dance fare, but an interesting change with an outstanding caller, David Smuckler,  and delightful musicians. I enjoyed viewing the wide variety of costumes worn by attendees, with fashions ranging from the early to mid-19th century.

Ladies in hoops.

Ladies in hoops.

My favorite outfit of the day.

My favorite outfit of the day.

Here is a image of me participating in one of the dances. Of course I am the lady in the Regency Gown.

Here is a image of me participating in one of the dances. Of course I am the lady in the Regency Gown.

The dancing continued on Sunday, travelling even further back in time to my beloved Regency period. The Jane Austen Dancers hosted a public demonstration at The Toronto Harborfront Centre. The day included some demonstration dances plus the opportunity for spectators to step up and learn a few simple dances. Lemonade was served, free hand fans were handed out, and the public seemed to have a great time learning a little about the type of dance that Jane Austen would have participated in.  Best thing overheard was a teenage girl walking past me holding hands with her boyfriend saying “How can you not be into this Jane Austen stuff?”  I wholeheartedly agree.

Regency dancing at Harbor Front Centre.

Regency dancing at Harbor Front Centre.

Jane Austen Dance

Jane Austen Dance

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Crysler’s Farm

So last weekend me and the family headed out to Crysler’s farm area to take in the sites and the battles. That’s right this GTRG packed up her parents and the Hubby for a weekend of history. So here you have it folks my write up on one of the biggest 1812 – 1813 events of the season.

To start with I would like to be honest with you all I don’t camp. That isn’t to say I have never tried it. I have and it just didn’t stick. So we all booked in at a hotel and made a family mini vacay out of it. I have to give big big BIGGGGGG props to Lady Jen who toughed it out in a wedge tent. I point this all out because my weekend will seem vastly different to her recap.

So on the Friday night after work me and the Hubby tossed the duffel bag of stuff into the car. I should note that this time I was not just packing a costume for myself but also for Hubby. He has a vest from when he deiced he wanted to dress like the guys in madmen, was opposed to the short pants, and I had found a jacket that would do at a Goodwill. The only thing missing was a cravat. With the left over linen from my shift. “Great” I thought “I will tidy it up with a hem will be wonderful”. Well I sew by hand and manged to get just enough done to need to do the whole thing. Alright…I can do this in the car….and it was going alright until it got dark. After the ump-tenth time jabbing my finger Hubby suggested I put it down and talk him though the dances.

Lap sewing on a night time car ride...don't do it

Lap sewing on a night time car ride…don’t do it

The next morning after breakfast we made the short drive to Upper Canada Village. The place was packed! There was a ton of families which is great as it means that a whole new generation of Canadians are getting an intro into history.

After pulling in I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to find Lady Jen. After all the place was packed. No sooner then I had said this then I spotted a bonnet I knew all to well. I called across and after the pleasantry’s were exchanged we made our way over to the battle field to get a shady spot. Lady Jen joined us and seemed very happy to be in a cool spot. My Mother was very excited to get a good look at her reticule and they chatted for a while about it. (Side note to Lady Jen you really should get a pic of it up as it is very cute) Then with a BAM of canon fire the battle started.

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It was a good one but I have to say as someone who has worked in costume in bad heat I was really feeling for those Redcoats.

After we walked back to camp with Lady Jen and chatted with friends both old and new. Then we tok a walk around the folks selling there wares. Again me and my Mother looking at all the reticule’s. Keep an eye out for a post soon about me and my Mother making them…I can feel this coming.

Then we cheated and we went back to the hotel for dinner and to change. Coming back we headed into the Village in time to see both the dueling demo, (this time Lady Jen got to play the part of wife!) and the evening battle. Then it was time for the ball.

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You can see the dress I had been working on and as for the Hubby? At some point he stopped just being that and started really being his “Lordship”. From that point on he did not want to take the jacket off even with the heat. Not sure when he came up with a persona but told me if he was asked he had deiced he was a well to do lawyer, have a feeling this has to do with our love of Downton Abby. I know it’s the wrong era but hey he was getting into being dressed up and going to a ball. We both also got a big kick in a tourist asking to take a picture of us and then saying “Pesky battles getting in the way of you towns folks having a night out”

As for the ball, it was wonderful. The dances seemed to flow one into the next and the band was great. Me and his Lordship did cause a bit of a scandal as we danced every dance together! I know shocking right? Well that is why I am a Good Time Regency Girl and not a well behaved one. Also not sure if anyone knows but what would be the ruling on that for folks who are married?

We came back and let my Mother take a few more pictures of us before going back to our room. Apparently she had spent the night on her iPhone looking up pictures of reticule’s. In the morning and with the last bars of the Duke of Kent’s waltz in my head we came back home.

I want to end this post with a thank you to all involved. The troops the camp followers everyone
who put on a good showing. To those who organized and worked behind the scenes, I hope this blog finds you and you know just how much my family enjoyed the weekend.

I wish I was a little bit taller…I wish I was a baller…I wish I had a dance and was a caller…

Ok so I hope that all of you sung the title of my post. I hope that you get the joke, if not I will post a link at the end of this post. So no I don’t want to be taller and since I do go to dances I guess I am a “baller”, but I honestly wish I was a caller.

What is a caller you might ask? Good question. For those who take part in English Country Dancing, the Caller is the person who calls out the dance steps. They work with the band and pick the dances, and they make sure that everyone knows what to do. In groups that know the moves they may talk it over before the music starts, as the dances get going they will call out reminding all of us where to go and what to do.

Now I love to dance, but as with many things I get to a point where I feel the need to take it all apart and fiddle with what I know about it. This has led to many 1/2 done bits of projects that lay like a bone yard, in the basement as a testament to stuff that is “hard”. Thankfully (as my Hubby would say) this sort of project needs no bits of fabric, foam or spray paint. So what do I need to be a Caller? I am not really sure.

The next step would be to ask a Caller and I have. The response while friendly has been cryptic.

“Oh you know you just…sort of do it”

This can mean only one of two things:

In some sort of lodge the Callers meet in secret and call masked balls and share the calling craft

OR
It’s one of those things that you just have to “start” doing.

As much as I like the idea of secret society I think I will have to just dive in. Lady Jen and Lady Kenzie have been batting around the idea of a dinner party. If you read my post from a while back you’ll know I am working on a dance based on a video game. Fate? A chance to call my own dance? Me over thinking it all? Most likely all of the above.

OH and if you missed out on the pun that is my title or now have the song in your head, I leave you with this:

Spencerville Heritage Fair – Recap!

So as Devon mentioned in our last post, we had an absolutely great time at the Spencerville Heritage Fair!

We spent Friday morning getting ready for the day, and also Devon and I had a chance to stroll through Kathy’s garden/yard and pretend we were in a BBC drama. The best part is that this picture was candid, I really was making that ridiculous face.

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Here are the Good Time Regency Girls’ Pictorial Top Ten from the Spencerville Heritage Fair:

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