The list is intended to include aa many on-line ECD videos as can be found with the exception of those in which
the images or music are substantially impaired, or dance is displayed for less than 60 seconds.
The quality of the dancing is generally not a factor as long as the dancers appear to be enjoying themselves.
Where a particular dance has been uploaded repeatedly in the same context - for example, repeat performances by
a dance troupe or favorite dances at successive annual balls, repetitive videos may be omitted.
The collection has been used largely by dancers as an aid to
learning dances, by callers planning dance programs and musicians to see
how a dance works at different tempos. Those videos that are likely to be the most useful for learning a
dance are marked with a ^ before the title but this notation system is not complete.
The original search for videos was seeded from three sources:
The results of an extensive
search of English country dances which may have been generated by
The major weakness of this otherwise wide-ranging list was that at some point
the results consisted primarily of repeated copies of videos embedded in
aggressively commercial sites.
From there, the search followeaany videos suggested as "related" by YouTube, and
explored the channels of the persons uploading those videos or commenting on ECD videos,
as well as independent Google, Bing and Yahoo searches for individual dances. We subscribe to channels
(currently about 110 ) that are deemed most productive, taking into account the
"dances-to-cats" ratios, etc.
Dance titles, venues, callers, and musicians are generally taken from
the video posting.
Title: When the video does not disclose the name of the dance, it can
often be teased out by analyzing the formation, figures and music using
the sources listed below and, when that is not productive not, we rely on videographers, callers, musicians, experienced dancers or the kindness of strangers for identification.
Collection: Unless otherwise noted, these are YouTube channel names. The Dance Video Archive website is noted above.
Venue: Some physical venues are recognizable because other videos have identified them. In some cases, dancers have supplied the detail.
Leader/caller and musicians: Information posted with the video is supplemented either when the performers are recognizable or, more often,
when some extrinsic info (e.g.,a dance flyer or facebook page) can be found.
In some cases the dance sponsors prefer the venue and/or
caller remain anonymous
Author. Limited research into primary sources was involved. Excellent
sources for choreographer, composer, and dates are:
Antony's Dance database:
Roughtg 15,000 dances with formation, figures (not complete
choreography), recordings, author and sources. The site can
be used to identify a set of dances with common figures or
sequences of figures.
Some dances have two or more recognized variations.
When the figures are different (e.g. longways duple vs. three
couple set,) the distinctions are noted. We are working on identifying varying
reconstructions and variants: see
To see the notation or hear the tune for a particular dance, try abcnotation
which has a large collection of folk and traditional music. The Playford collection, for example, can be found
These sites offer the ability to listen to the tunes on
line. The list of dance sources below, includes
entries for transcriptions of the content into abc format.
For those sources you will need an abc editor, such as the
free, open source
Most the abc transcriptions in the list of historic sources
below were the work of John
The Traditional Tune Archive was developed to "gather... as much information as possible about folk pieces to attempt to trace tune families, determine origins,
influences and patterns of aural/oral transmittal, and to study individual and regional styles of performance."; The Village Music Project: focuses on English dance tunes published between 1650 and 1890
; and. Folkopedia,
Historical Tune Books from EFDSS, lists historical English & Irish tunebooks.
Over the past few years access to historic documents was grown
markedly, The list which follows offers links to English Country Dance
sources from back to the 14th century. First, a few general
The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is "an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe".
While the first edition of the English Dancing Master
was in 1651, many of the dances were pre-17th century; SCA members and Kingdoms have provided scholarly
reconstructions of the early Playford dances. See:
SCA Renaissance Dance Homepage