The Colonial Dancing Master

Performance, consulting, teaching & publishing. Instruction in the Minuet.

   Who Are We And Why Are We Doing This?

 


     In 1988 Chip and I started The Hendrickson Group for the sole purpose of publishing dances and tunes from the second half of the 18th century, concentrating on the Revolutionary War years.

 


     In 1988 Chip and I started The Hendrickson Group for the sole purpose of publishing dances and tunes from the second half of the 18th century, concentrating on the Revolutionary War years.

 

     Why? Just after the American Bi-Centennial, and just when we thought it would be time to put away the clothes created for the event, we experienced a resurgence in interest.

 

     As if by magic, books and manuscripts, letters and diaries came to our attention, all containing, or referencing, the favorite pastime of the period – dancing. This material had lain un-noticed and unknown in libraries, attics, etc., and in some cases, was about to be thrown out, only to be rescued by one of our dancers who recognized the significance. Our library of original and facsimilies grew to the point that we realized we had to bring this back to public knowledge - we couldn't pass it by and let it remain "lost."

 

     Bringing this out to the public became a passion - a dedication to preserving our music and dance history. Working with friend and fellow researcher Kate Van Winkle Keller, Chip designed and developed his first book, “John Griffiths Dancing Master, 29 Country Dances, 1788” - published in 1988.  Griffiths was the first published dancing master in America after the Revolutionary War.  That was the beginning, and we've kept going since then.