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Dance at the Tudor court

Fancy a twirl, Tudor-style? Follow in Victoria and Toby’s footsteps as they demonstrate how a pavan is danced.

Dance was not only a form of entertainment but also an essential part of courtly life and etiquette during the Tudor era. Courtiers were expected to be proficient in various dances, as it was a form of displaying one’s status at court. Dancing was considered such an important skill that the most accomplished courtiers enjoyed a huge advantage in the marriage market!

In this film, Public Historian Dr Charles Farris meets historical interpreters Victoria Maitland and Toby Lord to understand the role of dancing at court and the influence foreign dance styles had on the Elizabethans.

Fancy a twirl, Tudor-style? Follow in Victoria and Toby’s footsteps as they demonstrate how a pavan is danced.

Discussion:

  1. Why do you think Elizabeth I valued dancing so highly?
  2. Does it surprise you dance was so important at court? What were the benefits of dance for the Elizabethan courtier?
  3. Is dancing an important part of your life? What sort of music do you dance to?
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A History of Tudor Entertainment

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