Sunday, March 30, 2014


The Russians and the Americans dance the best.
They are the elegant dancers of the world.
French women dance beautifully.

Some of the critics have said
that only Germans, Russians and Americans
can dance the valse a deux temps,

the most beautiful of dances.
The Germans dance it very quickly
with a great deal of motion

but render it elegant 
by slacking the pace every now and then.
The Russians waltz so quietly

that they can go round the room
holding a brimming glass of champagne
without spilling a drop.

Young Americans achieve this step
to admiration.  The Pole is known 
by his violent dancing.  There is heartiness

in the dancing of the Swedes and Danes,
there is mettle in the heels,
but no people caper like the Poles.

~found in Manners and Social Usages,   
by Mrs. John Sherwood (author of “A Transplanted Rose”)

1884, revised in 1897