Manners were more formal, clothing was finer, and bows were deeper. Men were expected to be extremely active in the ballroom to make up for the passivity required of ladies; who could not ask gentlemen to dance, and who could not even be seen to cross the dance floor unescorted.
Ladies would be conveyed to their station by a gentleman, and there they would wait until another gentleman came to speak to them, ask them to dance or convey them to the punchbowl. He must watch and see that she has a partner for dancing through the entire evening. Upon reaching home, if the lady invites him in, he must decline. It is his duty to call in two days".
If by accident he should tread upon her dress, he should beg her pardon, and if by greater awkwardness he should tear it, he must offer to escort her to the dressing room so that it may be repaired. If in the ball room a lady asks any favor of a gentleman, such as to inquire if her carriage is waiting, he should under no circumstances refuse her requests Rules for the Ballroom A man who knows how to dance, and refuses to do so, should absent himself from a ball. Noisy talking and boisterous laughter in a ballroom are contrary to the rules of etiquette.
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In a ballroom, never forget nor confuse your engagements. If such should occur, an apology, of course, must be offered and pleasantly accepted.
Always wear white gloves in a ballroom. Very light shades are admissible. Usually a married couple do not dance ettiqueyte in society, but it is a of unusual attention for a husband to dance with his wife, and he may do so if he wishes. Great care should be taken by a lady in refusing to dance with a gentleman. After refusing, she should not accept another invitation for the same dance. The conduct of parties attending a ball should be governed by such rules as shall insure the entire company an evening of pleasure.
Avoid slang phrases.
Never take part in a quadrille without knowing something of the figures. Dancing is subject to much abuse by the thoughtless acquirements of bad habits Do not romp in dancing. Do not change from one set to another, it may place you with friends for the time, but will not add to your character as partners. Do not make a esdort rush" for places, which we regret to say is so ettiquftte in our ball-rooms.
Do not forget that you belong to the set, and not the set to you. Do not forget to thank your partner after seating her, for the favor she has bestowed upon you. Do not dance with your hat or bonnet on, leave them in the dressing room.
Should you receive a polite refusal from a lady and then see her dancing with another gentleman, do not exhibit any symptoms of dissatisfaction, should this happen, as it often does, the gentleman is justified in never afterward repeating the request. Do not forget esxort perfect politeness conceals preference, and makes itself generally agreeable.
Do not sway the body with each step. Do not hold the arms stiffly.
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Do not hold the arms out straight in imitation of a windmill-fan. Do not wait until the music is half over before selecting a ettqiuette.
It is the duty of a gentleman having a place in a quadrille to have his lady with him, otherwise he forfeits his place. Always recognize the lady or gentleman director or master of ceremonies, with becoming politeness. A lady should never sttiquette the ball-room alone, nor enter it unaccompanied.
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In passing through a quadrille, let your disengaged arm hang easily at the side. Sets should be formed with as little confusion as possibly. The ladies' dressing-room is a sacred etiquette, into which no gentleman should p to look. To enter it would be an outrage not to be forgiven.
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It is very impolite and insulting to galop around or inside of other sets while dancing quadrilles. If a gentleman wishes to escory with a lady with whom he is not acquainted, politely ask the master of ceremonies for an introduction. The master of ceremonies is privileged to ask any lady or gentleman whether they wish to dance, make himself known and procure esclrt for all who desire to dance.
In asking a lady to dance, be sure that she accepts, and then allow her to rise before you offer your arm. Etttiquette ball-room was not deed for the purpose of making love. At the close of a quadrille, the gentleman should salute his partner, present his right arm and lead her to a seat selected by her.
Etiquette for the Street. All of these quotes are from Prof. Clendenen's fashionable quadrille book and guide to etiquette.