The Civil War Dance Foundation is pleased to announce the release of its Introduction to Civil War Dancing DVD. 

The video is designed to provide basic instruction in mid-nineteenth century formation dances for reenactors, vintage dancers, educators, and organizations desiring to conduct a Civil War or Victorian era ball.  For a preview of the DVD, see

Ladies and gentlemen in period attire swirl around the beautiful rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building in Harrisburg, Pa., to the music of the Fort Delaware Cornet Band. Each dance is shot from floor level and above to better show the formations, moves, and synchronization of the dances.

Dances at the Ball: Grand March, Soldier’s Joy, Lancer's Quadrille 1st Figure, German Waltz, Money Musk Reel, Sicilian Circle, Lancer's Quadrille 3rd Figure, Virginia Reel, Tempest, Lancer's Quadrille 5th Figure, Gothic Dance, Spanish Waltz, Empire Quadrille, Swedish Dance, Waltz Quadrille, and La Boulangere.  

In the instructional part, filmed at the Cumberland County Historical Society in Carlisle, Pa., dancers in modern attire (so moves can easily be seen) demonstrate moves used in dances, including various turns, circles, stars, chains, promenades, and pass throughs.  The counts are shown on the screen as each move is described in detail.  The dancer couples are in the same color tops to better see who is interacting with whom.  Five complete dances are also demonstrated: First Figure of the Lancer’s Quadrille, Tempest, Money Musk Reel, Spanish Waltz, and German Waltz. 

Included on the DVD is a 38 page PDF dance manual with written descriptions of the dances and information about Civil War era dancing.

To order by mail (in United States only), make your check for $30.00 payable to:
“Civil War Dance Foundation.”

Send to: CWDF Video, 2 Westminster Blvd., Camp Hill, PA 17011.

Email if you have any questions.



The CWDF has a dance manual available in PDF format by email.  This booklet was originally produced for a seminar at the Civil War Trust’s Teacher Institute.  It has been revised and updated several times.  It is designed to give basic instruction in several mid nineteenth century formation dances.  If you would like a free copy, email us at  Please include your name, city, state, and name of your Civil War or other type of group (if any).


We have posted several helpful videos on YouTube that show most of the basic moves in 19th century dancing:

Lincoln Quadrille, performed as part of the "For the People" oratorio in honor of the of the Abraham Lincoln  Bicentennial

Civil War Dance, Part I – Soldier’s Joy, Money Musk Reel, Lancer’s Quadrille

Civil War Dance, Part II – Spanish Waltz, Tempest, German Waltz

Civil War Dance, Part III – Lincoln Quadrille (another performance)