Burlock, Hillary. "Party Politics: Dancing in London’s West End, 1780–9." The London Journal 47, no. 2 (July 2022): 181-197.
URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03058034.2021.1978764 (Open Access)
The politics of the 1780s, including the Westminster election of 1784 and Regency Crisis of 1789, has been extensively analysed but critical investigation into the role of balls and dancing has been overlooked in the theatre of electoral and parliamentary politics. Balls hosted by political hostesses of the Opposition, headed by the Prince of Wales, in the eighteenth century formed a substantial extra-Parliamentary space for political dialogue and party cohesion. This article demonstrates that the ballroom was a space in which social dance was used to win political adherents, building and signalling collective party identities, and indicating divisions within society.