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Social dancing
#1
Ave Civitas,

I am sure the peasantry danced at festivals and gatherings, but what about the aristocracy. I read about them having hired dancers at dinners and such, but did they also have social dancing.

Any sources and information is appreciated.

Tom
AKA Tom Chelmowski

Historiae Eruditere (if that is proper Latin)
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#2
"No sober man will dance," said Cicero, "unless he is insane." Generally this seems to have held throughout Roman history: dancing was no respectable activity, and to accuse a man of being a 'dancer' was to imply shameful practices - Cicero (again) imagines the followers of Catalina dancing naked after boozy parties.

Some women seem to have danced, in a solo performance way, but could not be seen to do it too well - Sempronia is accused by Sallust of being too good a dancer. 'Pantomime' dancers (in the theatres) were highly trained, but usually slaves or freedmen.

Religious dancing was different - the Salii priests and others performed ritual dances, and Elagabalus is accused of performing 'sacred dances' around the altars of his cult religion. But I think we can safely say that nothing like social dancing existed in polite Roman circles!
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