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Lucy Worsley and Len Goodman take to the floor to reveal the untold story of British Dance. Over three episodes, they’ll show how Britain’s favourite popular dances from over the centuries offer a fascinating window into British society and our relationships with one another.
|S01E01||The Devil's Work?||17/11/2014||Len Goodman and Lucy Worsley explore how dancing went from being frowned upon as dangerous and debauched in the 17th century to being celebrated as an essential social skill in the 18th century. The pair begin by joining a group of performing arts students on Ickwell village green to learn the cushion dance, a 17th-century favourite with a rather raunchy reputation. Len uncovers the long history of English country dancing at Middle Temple Hall, where he meets a group of young barristers trying their hand at a dance that might have been performed there by their 17th-century equivalents. Lucy reveals how the dance-mad French King Louis XIV set the fashions followed on this side of the channel as she learns a Baroque court dance designed to express her deepest emotions. By the 18th century dancing had lost its dubious reputation and Lucy visits the York Assembly Rooms to find out how this new Georgian institution opened up the dance floor to more people than ever before. Business was now booming for dancing masters and Len studies a rare dance manual at the Bodleian Library in Oxford to discover what they taught their pupils. The minuet was the 18th century's answer to Strictly Come Dancing as couples performed before a crowd of critical onlookers and Len and Lucy learn this fiendishly difficult dance for a grand finale at their own Georgian ball at Syon Park. The pair dress to dance in full period costume as Lucy discovers that her 18th-century dress is ingeniously engineered to enforce the perfect posture demanded by the minuet and Len masters the art of dancing in heels and a wig.|
|S01E02||Revolution on the Dance Floor||24/11/2014||The industrial revolution changed the way ordinary people danced and at Queen Street Mill in Burnley, Len uncovers the fascinating story of how factory workers developed clog dancing to imitate the sounds and rhythms of the machinery they used. Lucy discovers how upper-class dancing tastes were transformed by the introduction of the waltz at the beginning of the 19th century, which allowed couples to dance scandalously close.|
|S01E03||The Shock of the New||01/12/2014||Len gets to grips with quirky animal dances before exploring how a young couple called the Castles found fame as the first dancing screen icons. Lucy discovers how, whilst many people lapped up the new American imports, one woman saved that most English tradition, morris dancing, from extinction.|