Kōrero: Dancing

Principles of true politeness

A ball was a formal affair. Instruction on appropriate behaviour could be found in books like the 1858 Etiquette for ladies and gentlemen; or, the principles of true politeness: to which is added, the ballroom manual. (The copy shown here belonged to Auckland’s Kerr Taylor family, part of the city’s elite.) There were rules about what to wear, how to approach and behave with other participants, the number of dances to have with a particular partner (no more than two), and whom to take to supper. For girls and young women there was also the issue of whom to go with (going alone was not an option, and a chaperone was necessary for those under the age of 30), and the importance of avoiding loud talking and boisterous laughter.   Young men also found ballroom etiquette constricting, and articles appeared in the colony’s newspapers mocking the stiff behaviour required. 

Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi

Heritage New Zealand – Pouhere Taonga, Alberton
Reference: XAH.C.306

Permission of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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Te tuhi tohutoro mō tēnei whārangi:

Megan Cook, 'Dancing - Dancing in 19th-century New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/interactive/40933/principles-of-true-politeness (accessed 26 October 2021)

He kōrero nā Megan Cook, i tāngia i te 5 Sep 2013