Sunday, 11 January 2015

Of the Step called Assemblé

"THIS step is occasionally performed in all the positions, but at present I shall only describe it as performed in the fifth position.

Place your feet in the fifth position, the body erect, (as already directed for the deportment), and the knee:; well turned outward; rest the body entirely on the leg that is before, taking care to balance yourself well on the haunch; this will disengage the leg that is behind; bend on the leg that is before, and at the same time raise the foot that is behind to the point, keeping the knee well turned outward; extend the knee of the leg that is behind, by sliding the foot on the point just to the second position, where it should arrive, the knee and instep extended, at the same moment you cease to bend on the other leg; then raise yourself on the point of the foot you stand upon, and at same time slide the foot from the second position, into the fifth position before, when both knees should be alike extended; gradually place the heels, keeping them well forward, that you may form the fifth position more easily; finish the step with both, knees straight. This step should be performed with both feet alternately.

To perform the Assemblé in the fifth position behind, observe the same -rule, disengaging the foot that is before, and entering it behind.

This step, as an exercise, gives steadiness, and the habit of bending and extending the knees and insteps."

Alexander Strathy 1822

Strathy was an Edinburgh dancing master who announced in an advert in the Caledonian Mercury of 24th September that he had just returned from Paris where he had acquired an additional variety steps tastefully arranged for the Quadrille.

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