Welcome to the

Williamsburg Heritage Dancers

at the

College of William & Mary


The Williamsburg Heritage Dancers at William & Mary were established in 1997. The purpose of the organization is to promote the understanding, enjoyment and dancing of historical and modern American and English Country Dance.

The origin of the term "Country Dance" is obscure. Some dance historians believe the term was an Anglicization of the French "Contredanse." Others say it stems from the dance's origins as a form of dance first enjoyed by the common folk and later embraced and promoted by the elite of society. Whatever its roots, the dances we call English Country Dances were without question extremely popular here in the Colonies. One traveler wrote in his diary that "Virginians are immoderately fond of dancing." The dances were enjoyed by all levels of society and were taught here at William & Mary to the "young Gentlemen of the College."

Instructions in these dances are provided free to all interested students, faculty and staff. Although the dances we do are primarily from publications of the 17th and 18th centuries, some more recently composed dances done in the style of the earlier period are included in our dance repertoire.

About the Instructor

The Dancing master for the Heritage Dancers at William & Mary is Louis Vosteen. Mr. Vosteen has more than twenty years experience performing and teaching the dances of America's colonial period.

Mr. Vosteen presently conducts dance weekly dance classes for the Williamsburg Heritage Dancers, the parent group of the W & M dancers. He is an active member of the Country Dance and Song Society and the Lloyd Shaw Foundation, national groups that promote traditional and historical dance throughout North America. He also directs the Williamsburg Heritage Dance Ensemble, a performing group that has presented dance programs in Georgia, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and throughout Virginia.

Spring 2000 Officers

Craig Goheen
Maggie Wunnenberg
Sarah Lewis
Sallie Nold
Sean Pearson
Lou Vosteen
Sarah Herkner
- President
- Vice President
- Secretary/Treasurer
- Member at Large
- Webmaster
- Dancing Master
- Advisor

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