Dance Workshop: Introduction to Renaissance & English country dance


Coachhouse, People’s Museum of Limerick

Felicity Maxwell, dance instructor

2 hours – Limited to 16 participants (18 and over)

Come lords, ladies, and gentles all, for an introductory workshop in the noble art of English Renaissance and country dancing with instructor Dr Felicity Maxwell.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, social dancing was used by the upper classes not only for recreation and flirtation but also to show off their physical and social graces and to symbolise a well-ordered society. In this workshop, we will be on our feet, learning three dances and how to have serious fun at a court or country-house ball. (If you’re a fan of period drama, this is for you!)

We will begin with the ‘Earl of Essex’s Measure’, a stately processional dance from Elizabethan England which aptly embodies the earl’s relationship with the queen: two steps forward, one step back. We will then move on to two country dances published by John Playford in the following century: ‘Heart’s Ease’, whose tune is requested in Romeo and Juliet by a minor character in want of consolation, and ‘Siege of Limerick’, a more stirring dance celebrating the end of the Williamite War – a defining moment in Irish history.

Please wear loose, comfortable clothes and flat shoes. No prior dance experience necessary.

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