Updated 2008-09-28.

Capriol Society for Early Dance

The Society, founded in 1979, exists to encourage the revival and enjoyment of historical dancing. Classes are held weekly on Tuesday evenings from 19:30 - 21:45 in Cambridge, England. All classes include some dances suitable for beginners, who are always welcome. It is not necessary to bring a partner or to wear period dress. What you will need, if you join the class, is shoes that have a soft and flexible sole. Jazz shoes are suitable (but make sure the sole is chrome suede, not plastic or smooth leather), as are Greek sandals and Scottish dance shoes (ghillies).

Teaching is given mainly in Mediæval and Renaissance dancing, as practised at the courts of Europe in the 14th-17th centuries, but some attention is also paid to the dance styles of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Classes are arranged each year in three terms of about ten weeks each. The current and future term dates are as follows:

The venue is St Mark's Hall (behind St Mark's Church), Barton Road, Newnham, Cambridge.

The annual subscription to join the Society is £5.00, and the class fee per term is £25.00. It is possible to join a trial class (fee also £5.00.)

Who was Capriol?

Capriol is actually the name of a dance-step; but it is also the name of someone appearing in the French dance treatise Orchésographie, written by Thoinot Arbeau and published in 1589. This took the form of a dialogue between the teacher, Arbeau, and his pupil, called Capriol - who is thus the prototype dance student.