Dancing to Jane Austen’s Beat | Modern Society of USA

Dancing to Jane Austen’s Beat

Dancing to Jane Austen’s Beat

Fans of Jane Austen may be forgiven for collapsing in a heap in 2017 after all the worldwide celebrations paying homage to the 200th anniversary of her death.

But for many devotees of the author and the Regency period, the dancing — and the dressing up — never stops.

Last month, some 300 costumed revelers gathered at the Masonic Temple in Pasadena, Calif., for the annual Jane Austen Evening. It’s just one of the regular events around the country that unite both hard-core Janeites and period dance enthusiasts under the Austen brand.

“Austen wrote so many different kinds of heroines in very emotionally perceptive ways that it’s easy for readers to find one they see themselves as.” — Elizabeth Bursick

“Our most popular dances are Prince William, Irish Lamentation and Mr. Beveridge’s Maggot. A maggot just means a whim or a fancy. Most other balls won’t do these dances, saying they’re done to death.” — Tim Steinmeier

“I bought the eyeglasses in 2008, for our first Jane Austen Evening, and the prescription is now out-of-date, so the world may be blurry, but I look sharp.” — Michael R. Perry

“My favorite Austen character? Colin Firth. Wait, no — great movie!” — Laura Grass

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