content by

Alison Goodman

Regency Dancing: A Certain Step Towards Falling In Love

In this ongoing series, we ask SF/F authors to describe a specialty in their lives that has nothing (or very little) to do with writing. Join us as we discover what draws authors to their various hobbies, how they fit into their daily lives, and how and they inform the author’s literary identity!

About two years ago, I was standing in a community hall on a hot summer night learning how to curtsy to my Regency dance partner, a guy wearing a black Metallica t-shirt and with an excellent dragon tattoo on his neck. We were making the “honors” which start every Regency dance: a bow or curtsy to your partner and then to the other couples who make up the two lines of dancers. On the surface it was all genteel courtesy, but even then I felt there was something else beneath it: an acknowledgement of a strange and far less genteel alchemy that was about to happen.

Jane Austen called it “the felicities of rapid motion.” Something happens when you dance in concert with other people, when you touch hands and meet eyes for a fleeting moment. I wasn’t expecting it, but a wild joy was about to enter my life.

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