About Classical (Old-time) and Sequence

The characteristics of these dances is that they involve a set sequence of steps over 16 bars of music, which is repeated during the routine.  The dances are titled and scripted (the scripts can be purchased).  Sequences based on Ballroom and Latin are available and this style of dancing has grown to appeal to all ages.

New routines are being invented by Professional dance teachers and entered in new dance competitions throughout the year, with on average around 50 new dances each year.

The main difference between Modern Sequence and Old Time is that Old Time routines can involve couples breaking hold. Old Time and Sequence both include many Ballroom steps but Old Time can have Ballet steps included, such as Pas de Basques; Pas de Valses, etc.  For example: The Engagement Waltz is modern sequence, because the couple are always in a ballroom hold, whether they are in open promenade, over sway, - whatever; - the couple do not break hold. The Mayfair Quickstep is old time, because it starts, and finishes, with the couple standing side by side. Though there is one dance which comes to mind that is an exception to the rule: The Square Tango. Although couples do not break hold at any time during this dance, it is still classified as an Old Time dance.

Sequence dancing is very popular socially, but in competition there are events for all age grades and all standards from beginners though to championship as for Ballroom and Latin.   Sequence dancing is performed around the perimeter of the dance floor, and judges can position themselves on the outside, or as in many cases, the centre of the dance floor. All couples will be doing the same steps of the sequence at the same time; usually each competition dance is danced over 3 sequences.

The technique of Sequence dancing is very precise.  Every move is done with precise angles along the dance floor, with all the moves involved adjusting to those angles and the direction a  dancer is supposed to be facing is very important. The footwork has to be exact and by-the-book.  As well as correct technique a good sequence dancer must have correct timing – it will be very easy for judges to see if someone makes a mistake in the sequence. 

Richard Gleave, Lindsey Tate, Steven Powell, Anne-Marie Powell, and Jonathan Crossley all learnt Sequence before doing Ballroom.  If you would like to learn Sequence dancing with a view to competing, then there are plenty of dance schools around that teach sequence dancing. There are also videos made by Glyn and Anne Watkins which give instructions on several of the popular sequence dances.

With thanks to Dennis Eylott

Sequence Calendar & Latest news

Sequence competitions can now be found on our online calendar and it is possible to search for just sequence events using the drop down menu.  A sequence national ranking chart was introduced in 2010.  For our 2011 Sequence NRE calendar click here

EADA are pleased to announce that we held our first sequence training day in December 2009.


Contact Luke your sequence [at] eada [dot] org [dot] uk (EADA Sequence rep)