Ansteorra European Dance

Who we are and what we do

Ansteorra holds balls at many events, with practice lessons earlier in the day.  This includes both period dances, and European Country Dance favorites.  The Ansteorra European Dance Guild also runs local practices in many areas of Ansteorra. For information on dance near you contact the Dance Deputy or join the unofficial Facebook group Ansteorra European Dancers Group.

Ansteorra is not responsible for the content in these links provided. The material remains the property of the copywrite holder.

Ansteorra and Known World Based Dance Groups

Known World Dance Symposium – This is the link to house information on the next Known World Dance Symposium and proceedings from previous symposiums.  For information on Hosting see The KWDMS Event Proposal Template and The Known World Dance and Music Symposium (KWDMS) Event Organization Guide

Ansteorra Guild of European Dancers (AGED) was formed in the summer of A.S. XXXIV (1999 CE) and the guild charter was signed by Their Royal Magisties Daffydd and Octavia at Ansteorra’s 20th year celebration in July. The Guild ratified the bylaws in September, A.S. XXXIV. As stated in the Charter, the primary purpose of the Guild is to promote the learning, teaching, and performance of medieval, renaissance, and original and commonly performed SCA dances.

Outlands Dance mailing list

Calontir Dance mailing list

Gleann Abhann Dance mailing list

Trimaris Dance mailing list

Caid Dance mailing list

Ealdormere dance mailing list (or the Ealdormere FB group)

An Tir dance mailing list

Atenveldt mailing list

SCA Dance Practices of the Known World (map, or spreadsheet)

Dancing at Pennsic

Middle Kingdom FB group

The Chicago Renaissance Dance Meetup (Middle)

Saltatoris (Northwoods, Middle)

Lochac’s Silver Rondel

Saltare (Meridies) (or the Meridies FB group)

L’Academie Atlantienne de la Danse

For Middle Eastern Dance go to the Middle Eastern Culture Studies page.

Academic Groups, Societies and Independent Study Groups

The RENDANCE homepage (includes info about the Rendance mailing list and its archive.) – Includes information on primary and secondary sources as well as music.  The RENDANCE annotated bibliography (or maybe here)

Renaissance Dance (Primary) Sources (from Joseph Casazza) – A list of dance resources by period and culture.

The Rendance homepage primary sources list – A list of primary dance resources by author.

Early Dance Circle  – Official UK Society of Early Dance.  Includes academic resources on dance.

Renaissance Historical Dance Society – An Academic dance society based in the UK

Knights at Court: Courtliness, Chivalry, and Courtesy from Ottonian Germany to the Italian Renaissance (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991)

The Institute of Historical Dance (Belgium) – Has information on various historical dances from around the world but mostly modern dance.

Society of Dance History Scholars – A society of dance historians but mostly post period resources.  Publishes journals through the University of Wisconsin.

Historical Dance Society – UK based dance society and journal of dance.

Period Sources

Domenico da Piacenza’s Of the Art of DancingDomenico’s  manuscript (c. 1425) is included as a downloadable resource.

Les Basses Danses de Marguerite d’Autriche  Also known as the Brussles MS. Download about copy of this period resource from the late 15th to early 16th century.

Toulouze L’art Et Instruction De Bien Dancer – Downloadable copy of the first printed dance manual from Toulouze in what is now Southern France.

The Cervera Manuscript –  Downloadable copy of c. 1496, 4 sheets, Spanish source similar to Burgundian basse dance book

The Nürnberg Manuscript – Downloadable copy of dance book from 1517, 15c Italian in style.

Jacques Moderne’s Basses Dances book – Downloadable copy of dance book from c. 1532/

A Fifteenth-century courtesy book – Translated copy of the original British Library. Manuscript. Additional 37969 and Chambers, R. W. (Raymond Wilson), 1874-1942 and Seton, Walter W. (Walter Warren), 1882-1927.  Includes articles on translation and context.  Can also be found at A Fifteenth-century courtesy book

Arena – Facimile copy of  Antonius Arena, Provincialis de bragardissima villa de Soleriis from1538: etiquette, bransles, basse dances) (facsimile only)

Lutio Compasso’s Ballo Della Gagliarda – from 1560 Transcription copy.  Downloadable in pieces or in whole copy.

Arbeau’s Orchesography (1589) – Original language facimilie.  Can also be found here, or view just the images from Arbeau’s Orchesography.  Can also be purchased as an inexpensive bound addition in translation from a book seller.   See below.

Caroso’s Il Ballarino – Book from 1581, facsimile and transcription.

Nobilta di dame  – from 1600 also by Caroso, facsimile and transcription

Negri’s Nuove inventioni di balli  from 1602/4, facsimile and transcription

Il Papa – mid 16th century Italian source.  This link is hard to follow but gives other information on finding this work.

Prospero Lutii’s Opera bellissima… di gagliarda  – transcription in the original vernacular.

Lupi’s Libro di gagliarda, 1600 and 1607, downloadable facsimile

Kemps nine daies wonder – an Elizabethan morris-dance saga.  Project Gutenberg Copy

Baldassare Castiglione, The Perfect Courtier; his life and letters, 1478-1529 – Information on dances is included with other information on expected Courtier behavior.  Downloadable transcription.  Can also be found at The Book of the Courtier, by Baldassare Castiglione, ed. by Walter Alexander Raleigh, trans. by Thomas Hoby and The book of the courtier by Castiglione, Baldassarre, conte, 1478-1529 and Opdyke, Leonard Eckstein, 1888-

A Treatise of Daunses – Book against dancing 1581.  One of the anti-dance polemics

THE Schoole of Abuse, Conteining a plesaunt inuective against Poets, Pipers, Plaiers, Iesters and such like Caterpillers of a commonwealth; (1579) – Another anti-dance treatise.

Extracts from the accounts of the Revels at court: in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James I, from the original office books of the masters and yeomen – Downloadable text copy or google book copy from Extracts from the Accounts of the Revels at Court, in the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James I

Documents relating to the Office of the revels in the time of Queen Elizabeth – Transcription copy in book form.

Notes on the History of the Revels Office Under the Tudors  – Google Book Copy.

A renaissance courtesy-book, Galateo, Of manners and behaviours by Della Casa, Giovanni, 1503-1556 – In Transcription

English courtesy literature before 1557 – Book copy by Millett, Fred Benjamin, 1890

Reformation and Revelry: The Practices and Politics of Dancing in Early Modern England, c.1550-c.1640 – Downloadable copy from the University of Toronto

The Dance of Death – A series of engravings on wood from designs attributed to Hans Holbein with a treatise on the subject.  Downloadable Transcription copy.

MSEng1356  – Facimile copy.  Can also find transcription, analysis, and article on this new ECD source.

Many more sources can be found at The Library of Dance Manuals. Also included is books against dancing at Anti-Dance Treatises


Post Period but Relevant to Period Dance

Sloane ms. 3858 – Information and transcription of the playford dances.  Downloadable text.

Navarro’s Discursos Sobre el Arte Del Dançado (1642) – Post period resource that can contain period dances.  Facimile copy.

John Playford’s The English Dancing Master, first edition, 1651 transcription and facsimile; second edition, 1653 transcription; and a summary of all editions of Playford

Traitté contre les danses par Jean Boiseul (1606) – Downloadable facimile

The Discription of a Maske, Presented before the Kinges Maiestie at White-Hall, on Twelfth Night last, in Honour of the Lord Hayes, and his Bride (Thomas Campion, 1607) – Downloadable book on English dances.

Works of Ben Johnson The Masque of Blackness  transcription of the Ben Jonson work from 1605.  The Masque of Beauty transcription of Ben Jonson work from 1608. Mercury Vindicated from the Alchemists at Court (Ben Jonson, 1616)

Dances from the Gresley Manuscript – Circa 1500  – Independent transcriptions of the Greasley dance manuscript and More Gresley info

Fleur de toutes les plus belles chansons qui se chantent maintenant en France (1614)

Relation du Grand Ballé (1619)

Le grand balet de la reyne, dancé au Louvre le 5 mars de l’an 1623

Extracts from the accounts of the Revels at court: in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James I, from the original office books of the masters and yeomen

Extracts from the accounts of the Revels at court: in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James I, from the original office books of the masters and yeomen (vol 13) by Great Britain. Office of the Revels and Cunningham, Peter, 1816-1869

The seventeenth century accounts of the masters of the revels by Stopes, C. C. (Charlotte Carmichael), 1841-1929

The Black Death and The Dancing Mania , by J. F. C. Hecker, trans. by Benjamin Guy Babington (Gutenberg text)

Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance – Group that certifies dance teachers.  Has some teachers of Renaissance and Ancient dance. 


Multiple Periods Through Post Period Popular Histories

The dance, ancient and modern / translated from the French by Arabella E. Moore, 1900. Really scary.

The Dance (by An Antiquary): Historic Illustrations of Dancing from 3300 B.C. to 1911 A.D.

A history of dancing from the earliest ages to our own times by Vuillier, Gaston, 1846- and Heinemann (Firm), publisher and Grego, Joseph, 1843-1908


Dance Images

Dance Images, and more dance images

Medieval Images of Dancing

The Dance of Death in Book Illustration

The Dance of Death Exhibited in elegant engravings on wood with a dissertation on the several representations of that subject but more particularly on those ascribed to Macaber and Hans Holbein

The Dance of Death by Holbein, Hans

The dance of death: the full series of wood engravings reproduced in phototype from the proofs and original editions by Holbein, Hans, 1497-1543 and Lippmann, Friedrich, 1839-1903

Hans Holbein the younger; his Old Testament illustrations, Dance of death, and other woodcuts by Hind, Arthur Mayger, 1880-1957

Les simulachres [et] historiees faces de la mort: commonly called “The dance of death” (vol 1) by Green, Henry, 1801-1873 and Holbein, Hans, 1497-1543

Traditional Source Material, Independent Study Groups and Current Middle Ages Dancers

The Letter of Dance – an amateur newsletter; includes text of back-issues

Joy and Jealousy – a book giving reconstructions of all 15c balli with steps and music

Del’s Dance Book – An online book of dance resources in its 6th edition that includes: Introduction, Bibliography, Other Articles, France and Burgundy, 15th C Italian Dance, 16th C Italian Dance, Allemandes, English Country Dances, Gresley, Il Papa, SCA Inventions, Music, Videos, Software

Renaissance dance cheat sheets – Who doesn’t need a cheat sheet from time to time.  Downloadable for your PC, smartphone or printing needs.

Eric’s Music and Dance page including…

Negri’s Dance Manuals – Differences Among Different Copies and Editions of the dance manuals

Copying between Negri and Caroso – An article on what is overlapping in these works.

A Masque Gown – Costuming ideas for your next period masque ball.

Starting Sources For Renaissance Dance Reconstruction and Study  – Good sources to star your dance research journey.

Trenchmore  – An amazingly long but inconclusive article about this dance piece

An Introduction to Labanotation – A system used to analyze and record human motion.

Letter of Dance – SCA newsletter for European Dancers

References to Dance in Sixteen Early Modern Dictionaries

Cesare Negri’s Salti del Fiocco

Dafydd’s Playford ECD Page

Download articles from Historical Dance

Mara’s Carman’s Whistle Canary

Mara’s Teaching Notes for Galliards and Mara’s Teaching Techniques for Dancemasters

A Caroso-style Ball – Article on

Music for the dances in Arbeau’s Orchesography (Joseph Casazza) and Music for the Old Measures (Joseph Casazza) –

Dances from the Inns of Court – articles; ad for a book/cd

Joy and Jealousy  – (contrary to what this says, it IS in print)

Origins of the ‘Playford Dances’

Additional independent researcher dance information can be found at Stefan’s Florilegium Dance message archive. 

Video Sources

US Library of Congress video clips – Video clips of dancers from the library of Congress Collections.

You may also use google to find particular period dances on their YouTube site

Commercial Sources and Vendors

Music & Dance Index – This is a juried list of dance and music vendors

fa-gisis  – Publisher of early music and dance sources.  Click on the letter “a” for English.

Celeste Giglio: Flowers of 16th-century Dance – CD ASIN: B0000005JI Also has a book

Orchesography Dance manual of the 16th Century by Thoinot Arbeau.  This link is for the google books page as there are several translations.

Dragonscale Consort – Links to CDs of dance music

Musica Subterranea – To order their CDs of SCA dance music. See also iTunes and Amazon music.

Gaita – Their CDs and modern transcriptions of period music and dance.

Istanpitta  (Sheet music and CDs from Master Avatar  from Ansteorra.  His book Early Period & Popular Dance Music is what we use for most of the ensemble dance music.  Medieval Songs and Dances 1 & 2 are used for court music on many occasions.

List of Additional Dance Music Arrangers – This is the list of websites of SCA dance arrangers.  The physical addresses are out of date. 



Many thanks to The SCA Minstral’s Greg Lindhal for most of these links.

For changes, broken links, updates and suggestions to the Kingdom Arts and Sciences website please contact the A&S Web Minister