and quite blessed to be so.
Lady Scott and The Princesses send their regards as well. :o)
Dear Lord and Lady Scott,
I was fortunate enough to attend the Pride &
Prejudice Ball for the first time last night and it was absolutely
thrilling. I was particularly struck with the amiable atmosphere, the
kindness of everyone there, and the jovial air that fluttered throughout
the evening. It was riveting to step back to the time of Shelley and
Austen. I was there with my family and we had such a wonderful time. I
honestly cannot recall many times when we've had so much fun together. I
loved learning the dances, getting to know our partners, and I really
felt comfortable and at home. This event was so well done and down to
earth and just all around spectacular! Thank you so very much for
letting us share in the festivities. I definitely look forward to
attending more events soon! I cannot wait for the Victorian Christmas
Ball! = )
Love and warm wishes,
Lord & Lady Scott,
I believe I can speak on behalf of my entire party in voicing our
enjoyment of the Pride & Prejudice Ball. We were all first timers to
the event, and it exceeded all of our expectations. For me personally,
I feel as if I achieved a life-long goal in attending. Thank you so
much for leading us all in learning these dances. It was truly a joy,
and we look forward to attending next year!
Miss Dainty Cyclone
I just wanted to express my thank you for a
wonderful evening. For myself and my friend Janet, we enjoyed the
dancing very much. We are cloggers up here in Prescott and love all
forms of dance. It was so nice to learn the beauty of dance from
another era and the beauty of society. This was our second visit to the
ball and certainly will not be the last. We will be looking forward to
it every year.
Thank you for a special evening and thank you also for the hard work
you put into it.
Marta of the Wells
Dearest Lord & Lady Scott,
Thank you once again for a most enjoyable evening. I much appreciated
your labouring to make it that way for our copious newcomers. Although
I am an experienced gentleman of grace in the ballroom -- and my Captain
expects it so -- I do understand the unease of unfamiliar steps. I am
sure many found elegance and joy in the greatly simplified steps. And
yet, I could have danced for several more hours after the final waltz.
I also found much pleasure in serving as dancing master, if only for a
moment, during "Come, Let's Be Merry!"
This was my 25th straight ball with We Make History in Arizona. Thank
you for 25 highly anticipated, uplifting and blessed evenings. Thank
you to all I have shared a dance with over the years. You are all a
part of it! I pray our newcomers are enriched by the same blessings and
resolve to carry those uplifting parts of the past into the present like
I have. Huzzah!
My crewmates are eager to hear more, and I indulged them in the ship's
May God Continue To Bless All Of The We Make History Family!
Your Friend And Humble Servant,
Aim And Amiability
I endeavour, Gentlemen, to always hit the mark
in everything, whether
it be sinking a French warship or leading a lady in the conventions of
the dance floor at
We Make History’s
Pride & Prejudice Ball.
Adapted from the Journal of Lt. Christopher Francis of the H.M.S.
Illustration by Lady Joy!
An odd lot, those Americans, our host observes.
They are enraptured with the upcoming election of ’08. Indeed, they have
much to occupy their thoughts. Many speak of the response, or lack of
such, to a great war an ocean away. Many grumble of the wounded and
faltering economy brought about by the policies of the congress and
The speculation is, then, who shall replace Jefferson?
We subjects of George III concern ourselves with greater dilemmas as
presented ungraciously to us by that knave Napoleon who, to our
amusement, still considers himself an emperor. Our duty is to drive him
from those lands in his grip. The Portuguese require our assistance as
of late, which leads to a moment of clarification.
“With that uniform, I would say you are close fit for a Portuguese.”
“I think myself British,” I correct with graciousness, wondering if the
red, white and blue cockade on my bicorn is not large enough.
* * *
When the call comes for the procession, I find myself in a curious
position. Usually one or more ladies are left isolated, odd, and without
accompaniment as couples line up for the grand march. This time,
however, I find myself the odd fellow, wandering about in search of a
lone lady. The gentlemen, to be sure, are doing their duties as
instructed and letting no lady walk alone. As I survey the hall, one
does not need intricate explanation to deduce the reason. The men are
dressed in a stylish black this evening, rejecting those flamboyant
colors of the aristocracy for something of pleasing simplicity.
As my hope of finding a lady depletes, I find her. She too is wandering
about, headed perhaps to the other side of the hall. Perhaps we shared
the same thoughts before I bow to her, and we join hands.
I am a First Mate in the Royal Navy, I respond when she prompts me about
my uniform. “I serve my country and my king.”
“And who is king?” she asks.
I regret to inform you, dearest readers, that this is where the reach of
my mind overextends itself, as if it were sailing into a deep fog.
“I have been a long time at sea,” I volunteer. “I am not quite sure if
it is a king or a queen. But I shall serve him or her!”
We step lively to the pianoforte and strings, greeting each other as the
parade of couples separates and reforms into a long and weaving line of
joined hands. We are warmed up for a set dance, but our host ventures
A great number of newcomers fill out the ballroom, ladies and gentlemen
with a great desire for social grace and the joy of dance but unsure of
how to achieve it. The objective, therefore, is not to overwhelm but to
gently lead them in, just as the gracious gentleman takes a lady by the
hand and escorts her on to the floor.
The host introduces a tune named “I Care Not For These Ladies,” evoking
the story of a man who once stood stupidly about instead of partaking in
the revelry surrounding him.
We shall not make that mistake. Our host leads us through the basic
figures: slipping to the right and then the left, setting to our
partners and turning in place, turning by the right and left hands, and
siding left and right. Elegance and simplicity will go hand in hand this
evening in many ways.
I can comfortably gather my lady is unsure of some steps. The setting
confuses her at first, as it does for several. The host and his lady
demonstrate it beautifully, and the others quickly follow their lead.
Having danced this dance before, I know it is customary to change
partners as the tune progresses, but our host prefers us to spend more
time dancing with a familiar partner. We do indeed care for our ladies…
and gentlemen, too!
Such is evident during the first longways set dance. If our newcomers
have seen the style, they are not familiar with the concepts of
progression, or standing out one iteration of the dance when reaching
the end of the set.
Again, our host graciously simplifies some figures. “We’ll skip this
Still, some confusion arises as couples at the ends of the set attempt
to dance and find themselves isolated or isolating others.
“I’m sorry ladies,” he apologizes to our trio of musicians, “but I have
to stop you again.” He is determined, and so are we.
“We’ll get this right,” I say softly to the ladies and gentlemen around
me. “We cannot fail.”
After thrice a false start, we are off and dancing, leading our partners
between the other couples and casting off to the next position in the
set. Not one to let anybody forget, our host steadily calls the figures.
My lady, a different partner now, weave our way from the very top of the
set to the bottom, a job well done.
“Thank you for a wonderful dance,” I say to her, bowing low and removing
* * *
I later notice a young lady in a puffy, light blue gown that was the
height of fashion a few decades ago. Obviously the latest styles have
yet to extend to some parts of the world, but her innocent charm infects
“Are you seeking a partner for a dance?” I ask her with a bow.
Her eyebrows rise in shock. “Me?”
“Yes,” I answer with a smile, and we join in a joyous round of “The
Doubtful Shepherd,” that dance characterized by the ladies and gentlemen
in sets of six circling about each other, and on this occasion, other
sets. Our ladies would dash off to another set of gentlemen at the
caller’s command, and we would have to seek them out like lost sheep at
our host’s command. The young one is quite versed in lively dancing and
her smile never leaves her face.
* * *
The gentlemen stand at attention, lined up by the Sergeant of His
Majesty’s armed forces.
“About face!” our host commands.
Some turn in the proper direction to face the crowd of snickering
ladies. Many do not. It is a comically frustrating moment.
“Turn back around,” he mutters in exaggerated disappointment,
withholding his amusement. Just as with the first set dance, he will not
be satisfied until everyone gets it right.
After three or four attempts, he is relieved.
We feign the motion, showing our readiness for battle to the fair ones.
“Show them your game face!”
A pause. A few snickers.
“I mean your game face, not your Lucky Charms face!” (a reference to
alleged leprechauns among us - shirt statured, wide-grinning fellows
with their suspicious chucklings)
Finally, the order.
The battle-hardened burst from the line and dive into the pair of
assorted ladies’ shoes, freshly removed from one foot. The emerge
holding their prizes in the air, seeking their Cinderella for the next
dance: “Well Hall.”
If I should ever happen to give advice as a dancing master, which I
freely admit I am not, I would tell each student of the joyous art to
never neglect the power of peering into your dancing companion’s eyes.
They are indeed the window into the soul, and the ladies or gentlemen
who do not labour to submit to the spirit of the dance deny the totality
of peace and happiness that await them.
So I fix my gaze upon my lady as we cross back and forth several times
in the set. I beg her in my heart to not avert her eyes from my
countenance, but she is attentive to the steps she is making. Perchance
she wants to avoid a humourous blush, and I will not fault her for that.
But oh, how I wish she would join eyes with me more often when we cross
each other’s paths in courtly fashion!
* * *
“What shall I give you now?” our host ponders, peering over the list of
possible dances and the allotted time. “Christ Church’s Bells?”
“Aye!” I shout.
“Come, Let’s Be Merry?”
“The Fields Of Frost And Snow?”
“Duke Of Kent’s Waltz?”
He smiles. “The gentleman wants it all.”
“I shall not be satisfied with less!” I cry.
I approach two ladies in beautiful gowns of the latest style, hoping to
take one as a partner. But they have already partnered up.
“Oh go ahead,” one says to the other.
“I do not want to interfere,” I add, hoping I would not be
inconveniencing anyone. So she graciously accepts my invitation to
dance, and we engage in “Christ Church’s Bells.”
“This is one of my favorites,” I tell her. I do not think she is
familiar with it, but we learn as we turn, clapping hands and then
clapping each others hands to the rhythm before casting off. She is a
quick study and fleet of foot. She also realizes the value of eye
“A fine dancer,” I say to her friend when I escort her back to the lady
that accompanied her earlier. “Thank you for indulging me,” I add with a
* * *
“You have three options,” I say to five ladies and gentlemen surrounding
me. “Like this…”
I walk up the center of the set, one hand in the air with an imaginary
lady, demonstrating a graceful, inwards-and-outwards waltzing step.
I demonstrate a hesitation chasse, joining both hands with the virtual
lady and slipping up the set.
“Or if you’re really adventurous…”
I show a spiraling waltz, twirling around with my lady of air to the top
of the set.
The dance is another favorite of mine, “Come Let’s Be Merry.”
Another veteran dancer accompanies me in the set, and with the help of
our gracious caller, we learn the dance nearly instantly: turning
gracefully, casting down and leading up in three-quarter time.
But something is quite odd. Only the first and third couples are
progressing to the top to be head couple. What about myself and my lady?
Will we ever get to go through the motions?
I quickly realize we have skipped a figure somewhere.
“Do not worry,” I tell the others. “We shall fix this.”
We soon find the missing element: a cast-off to the center of the set
necessary to complete the progression. All is proper and we dance on,
enjoying the time like nothing had ever gone wrong. Perfection is our
mission, but patience our tonic. Both are in abundance this evening.
* * *
I share one last waltz with another beautiful lady. As has been the rule
this evening, I venture only a simple two-step. No boxes or anything
fancier than she would be comfortable with, other than the occasional
twirl. I can tell she is a bit uncertain.
She is looking about. But my eyes remain fixed on her.
Could I be a burden to her? Is my dancing that monotonous?
Will I ever stop worrying about this?
* * *
I wait for my companions outside a local inn.
“The British are coming!” shouts a man from a modern-day carriage.
“They’re already here!” I reply.
For those who insist on more pictures to accompany the words, kindly
This was my 25th Ball with
We Make History in
Arizona! Thank you, everyone, for 25 unforgettable nights of happiness.
When I first stepped into the historic ballroom, I had no inkling of how
much my life was about to be transformed. All time now is measured as
time between balls, and all of you who have shared a dance with me have
helped to make that happen... especially the ladies. God Bless All Of
You! Never stop dancing!