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  6. History of Sequence

Although the Sequence Faculty, as it is now known, was not formed until 1947, sequence dancing can be traced back much further as these were the social dances being enjoyed around the time when the Society was formed in 1904.

Up to the end of the First World War the ballroom dances were based on the basic ballet positions of the feet and arms. Social dances at the time included the waltz and polka, and some arranged set sequence dances like the Lancers and the Quadrille. A combination of these two distinctive styles of dance – the set with turned out feet and the social dances such as waltz and tango danced with a partner, gave rise to the popular form of sequence dancing for a long time known as Old Time. Each `arranged` dance was named, consisted of a sequence of 16 bars which was repeated and often had music especially composed for it.


By 1920, young people were increasingly more interested in the newly imported dances such as the tango and foxtrot. After the Second World War there was a great revival in sequence dancing and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Council invited, in 1947, three Fellows of the Ballroom Branch who specialised in Old Time Dancing, to form a committee: Cecil Ruault, Netta Brooke and Margaret Cadman. Miss Ruault was appointed Chairman, a position she held until 1980.


Today our syllabus consists of some dances from the early 1900s, still used and admired for their timeless quality. The syllabus is under constant review to include the best dances in all three styles currently being performed at the highest level. The Faculty aims to promote sequence dancing to the membership; maintaining high standards and acting as advocate for this most elegant and versatile style of dancing to wide audiences both in the UK and internationally.