The origins of sequence dancing can be found in the 18th century court dances.  Old time or “tyme” developed in the first part of the 20th century. In 1900 Arthur Morris choreographed a dance called the Veleta and entered it in a competition run by the British Association of Teachers of Dancing.  Although it was not selected it became one of the standard classical sequence waltz dances.  The Classical sequence dances such as, waltz, two-step, gavotte, glides and mazurka are based on the turned out foot position.  Whilst saunters, tangos, blues, etc. are on parallel foot positions.  Unlike ballroom, the dancers may release hold during the dance.  Later in the 20th century the dances in the ballroom rhythms, slow foxtrot, waltz, quickstep and tango and then Latin American rhythms, rumba, cha cha cha, jive, samba and paso doble etc., were invented to conform to the 16 bar structure (with a few exceptions) of sequence. Today there are even Argentine Tango and Mambo rhythms.  All dances have their own name or title. Numerous new sequence dances are released each year as a result of the many inventive dance competitions of which Terry has judged for the I.S.T.D..  We teach sequence to all ages from children to adults, for competition, medals and social dancing and organise the I.S.T.D. annual Classical and Sequence Festival in Bournemouth in December.

 

The origins of this dance is shrouded in mystery. Some say it was named after a Club called the Peabody others after a police chief from New York who frequented dance halls on the island of Manhattan. Being a rather portly gentleman, his lady partners needed to dance to his side and often held at a distance. Although an engaging scenario, there is no actual evidence that this Chief Peabody ever existed.

The Peabody began as a variation of the Foxtrot with the steps set to the faster tempo of Dixieland Jazz or Ragtime music. It is a fun, jaunty, even corny dance, celebrating an evening out. The steps are based on a open box pattern and as the dance moves round the room, needs a decent amount of uncrowded  floor space. Although based on the box pattern, the couples can improvise using many jazz type actions adding to its attraction. It is considered as part of the American smooth category in ballroom dancing and in the past often featured in large competitions. James Cagney and Loretta Young dance the Peabody to the music of Darktown Strutters Ball in the 1931 move, Taxi.