Everything you ever wanted to know about

Dance at Pennsic 36

and then some.

The Pennsic 36 dance coordinator is Judith of Northumbria


Unto the fair lords and ladies of the kingdoms, noble cousins all, I recommend me, Judith de Northumbria, subject of the schwarzdrachen throne of Drachenwald. May this missive find you hail and may it find your feet willing, for I write to you to speak of that most enjoyable of pastimes, the art of Terpsichore herself - dance. This year, I have the honour and joy to lead western dance at the annual gathering of the kingdoms at the town of Pennsic, and I hope that all will join me in teaching, learning, and revelling! As in previous years, our Dance Pavillion with its beautiful floor stands at the ready to welcome all comers in the ancient pleasure of dance; we will be offering a full slate of classes for all levels of skill and experience; and, of course, we will have the Grand Ball, among other smaller, themed revels. I warmly invite you all to join us, especially those who have never danced before, for in dance, more is always merrier!

If you're new to dance at Pennsic, please see the Commonly Asked Questions.



Evening Schedule

All classes will be in the tent. Floor set-up and take-down will be August 1 and August 10. Beginner classes will be taught each day at 3pm and 4pm.

Mailing List

There's a mailing list for dance at Pennsic. To subscribe or look at the archive, check out this spiffy webpage.

Grand Ball Dance List (Tuesday, August 7)

May it be known that this year, at the grand assembly which shall occur Tuesday, August 7, in the town of Pennsic, there will be a magnificent Ball. It has been deemed that this fete will harken back to the days of our forefathers who founded the magnificence of Athens and Rome. Thus are all noble and gentle people invited to attend adorned in classical costume, whether that be mythical or historical, in order to enhance the atmosphere that we wish to create.

Need inspiration? Look at A Quick Primer on Classical Dress in the Renaissance. Come to a class on this topic on Sunday August 7 at 6pm in the Dance Tent. Don't have time to sew? Come as you are!

This is the tenative list for the Grand Ball. Please contact Judith to recommend changes.

1651 English:
New Boe Pepe, Sellenger's Round, Gathering Peascods, Hearts' Ease, Rufty Tufty, Parson's Farewell, Black Nag
15th c. English:
Lybens Dysonis
15th c. French:
Danse de Cleves & Pas de Brabant / Saltarello
15th c. Italian:
Amoroso, Gelosia, Anello, (improvised) Saltarello, Chirintana, Rostiboli Gioioso, Lauro, Petits Vriens, Piva
16th c. English:
Madame Cecilia's Almain, Black Almain, Lorraine Almain, Pavanne & Galliard
16th c. French:
Galliarde a la Lyonaise, Double Bransle Suite, Cassandra Bransle Suite, Haye Bransle, Official Bransle, Horse's Bransle, Montarde Bransle, Mystery Suite (i.e., dancers will have to attend the music), Coranto
16th c. Italian:
Gracca Amorosa, Villanella, La Castellana, Ballo del Fiore, Bizzaria D'Amore, Lo Spagnoletto

16th Century Revel (Monday, August 6)

Greetings to all dancers of the Known World! I, Vyncent atte Wodegate, am pleased to bring you this news: On the evening of the feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (the 6th of August) at the Pennsic War, a revel will be held celebrating all manner of dance, be they put down on paper by the Frenchman Thoinot Arbeau, our good friend Signor Fabritio Caroso, the esteemed Signor Cesare Negri, or the dances that they call in England The Old Measures.

From the hour of nine until midnight, the tent shall be full of wonderful music, delights to enjoy on the banqueting table, and gracious lords and ladies to dance with. I have also recently received word that, by special arrangement, the group of noted musicians, Istanpitta, will be playing the music for the revel. It will prove quite an evening!

As ever, I remain,

Vyncent atte Wodegate

Note: 16th Century dress admired, not required. Istanpitta will be performing all of the music for the evening, and you are welcome to make any requests of them that you might fancy, either in between sets or at the end of the revel.

15th Century Revel (Thursday, August 9)

May it be known that I will host a revel on the feast of St. Amour (August 9th), and that this revel will be rather wanton in nature, indulging in drink, food, music--- and that path into the bowels of Hell itself, dance! Festvities will commence after the setting of the sun, at the ninth hour of the clock; all are invited to come and make merry, no matter their pleasure! For those who follow the path of Terpsichore, I have contracted a fine ensemble of pipers who will obey any request provided that it be concurrent with contemporary tastes in these time of the Medici and the ascendancy of the great house of Burgundy.

I remain your servant,
Judith, etc.


The theme of the food, dancing and music will be 15th century, but that does not preclude people who have no 15th c. clothing from attending--- ALL are welcome, whether they dance, drink or do anything 15th century or not...Vikings, Romans, Arabs, Magyars, Franks, everyone! Please, pass this invitation on to all and sundry. It is a party, first and foremost!

Previous Years

Check out the archive of previous Pennsic dance info.

Webbed by Gregory Blount of Isenfir (Greg Lindahl) (lindahl@pbm.com)