While visiting the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg recently, I had the chance to watch the Victorian Dance Ensemble do a great demonstration of Civil War era dancing.
Here is short video of them dancing. During the dance you can hear the dance master giving directions to the dancer. For example, in the beginning you hear him say honor your partner and honor your opposite which means that the men will bow to the ladies and the women curtsy to the men.
In this next video, you see the dancers performing a quatrain. This dance would have been one that Mrs. Lincoln would have danced during one of President Lincoln's inaugural balls. I aslo learned that Mrs. Lincoln did not dance with her husband, but instead danced with Steven Douglas who ran against President Lincoln.
I hope you enjoyed these dances. To learn more about Civil War era dancing, please be sure to check out the Victorian Dance Ensemble's website.