Explained by

Whereby the
MANNER of Performing the STEPS

Being the
First Design'd in the YEAR 1724,
And now Published by


Tulit alter Honores.

Printed for the AUTHOR:

And are to be had of him, at the Red and Gold Flower Pot next Door to EDWARDS's Coffee-House, over against the Bull and Gate, in High-Holbourn.


The FIRST BOOK treats of the beautiful Attitudes or Postures of STANDING, the different Positions from whence the STEPS OF DANCING are to be taken and performed; and likewise of the Manner of WALKING gracefully. The several Sorts of BOWS and COURTESIES are also fully described, and all or most of the STEPS used in Genteel DANCING, as well as many of those properly belonging to the STAGE: Illustrated with sixteen Copper Plates containing twenty nine Figures.

The SECOND BOOK contains fourteen Plates, consisting of twenty eight Figures of GENTLEMEN and LADIES, one of each in a Plate, as dancing a MINUET; beginning from the REVERENCE or BOW, and proceeding regularly on 'till the whole is finish'd; shewing the beautiful Attitudes and graceful Deportments of the Performers, in the different Figures and Circles of that celebrated DANCE; together with the Instructions for understanding and keeping Time, and Directions for the Elevation, Movement, and graceful Fall of the Arms in DANCING. To which are added at the Request of some particular Persons of Quality, some Instructions concerning COUNTRY DANCES.

The whole WORK is adorned with thirty Copper Plates, consisting of fifty seven Figures; with five other additional Plates, marked A. E. I. O. U. containing all the Steps described in this Treatise, written in CHARACTERS; for the Amusement of the Curious, the farther Illustration of this Work, and the Instruction of such as are desirous to understand the CHARACTERS of DANCING.

THESE are to certify, That the following Work, entitled, THE ART OF DANCING EXPLAIN'D, was design'd and composed by Mr. Kellom Tomlinson in the Year 1726 in the same Manner in which it now appears, we having seen the said Work in the Year above mentioned, which he told us he intended for the Press as soon as his Subscription was full; in Witness whereof and in Justice to the Author we have hereunto set our Hands this twelfth Day of February 1728.

HENRY CAREY, Master of Music.

Viscountess FAUCONBERG.


THE Work I here presume to offer your Ladyship, treating of a Subject in which you are not only well versed, but even excel; it was natural and obvious for me to dedicate it to you, confiding that, under so honourable a Protection, it may at least be skreen'd from such unjust Censures as Malice or Envy ordinarily produce.

IT may perhaps be expected that I should say something of the Nobility and great Endowments of your Ancestors, as is usually done in Dedicatory Epistles; but the World is so well acquainted with your LADYSHIP'S illustrious Families, both that from which you came as well as that to which you are happily ally'd, that to mention any thing of them would rather be derogating from their Praise, seeing all I could relate would be inserior, both to their Merit and to the Opinion of all those who know them. All that I will venture to say is, that your Candour, Affability, Sweetness and Charity, join'd to all your other great Qualities, give as great a Lustre to your Family, as what you receive from it.

BUT of all your Perfections what touches me the most, is your great Talent in the ART of DANCING, which I can speak the more freely of, as I was not only a Spectator, but had the Honour to contribute to, for some Time: Not that I pretend to arrogate to myself the Glory of the great Proficiency you made (for that was wholly due to your natural Genius for that Science) but only think myself happy in having had the good Fortune to give Lessons to a LADY that perform'd in a Manner no less elegant than uncommon.

NOR do I so much wonder at the Progress your LADYSHIP made in this Science, when I consider your wonderful Genius and exquisite Taste for Music, which is one of the greatest Helps to a perfect Performance in DANCING. All these rare Talents give me a greater Title to your LADYSHIP'S gracious Acceptance of this Work; at least it gives me an Occasion of assuring you how much I am, with all Respect and Esteem,

most obliged,
most obedient, and
most humble Servant,


N. B. This Mark shews that the Subscriber, before whose Name it is placed, died while this Work has been carrying on.






















I Now at last have the Pleasure of presenting to the World a Work, which has been long promised; but which, through the Difficulty of the Undertaking itself, and the many Obstacles to the Execution of it, I was not able to finish before.

This Undertaking must needs have been attended with great Difficulty, because it was really the first of the Kind. For tho' Monsieur Beauchamp lay'd the first Foundation, upon which Monsieur Feuillet built, (as some more ingenious Person may perhaps improve upon mine); yet the Works of both relate only to the Characters of Dancing; which, like the Notes of Music, can be only useful to Masters, and cannot be understood by any other without their particular Instructions. But the Piece which I here offer to the World will be of general Use to all, who either have learned, or are learning to dance: the Words describing the Manner in which the Steps are to be taken; and the Figures representing Persons as actually taking them; both which together will make the Learning more pleasant to the one, and serve as a continual Remembrancer to the other.

As most other Arts and Sciences, reduced to certain Rules, have been now long since taught in Books, I have often wondered no one should have hitherto paid the same Regard to the Art of Dancing. This is what I have endeavoured to do in the following Work: wherein I have not pretended to advance any new Laws for Dancing unknown before; but only to collect and submit to view those Principles and Rules, which I had seen taught with the greatest Success by the most eminent Masters in the genteel Way. As the Notes of the Music are placed on the Top of every Plate, the Characters of the Steps marked below, and the Figures represent two Persons in the very Action of Dancing; whoever has made any Progress in the Knowledge of musical Notes and of the Characters of Dancing, will be able by intently viewing one of these Plates, at one and at the same Time, to call to Mind the Tune, to know the Order of the Steps, and to put the Body into the proper Attitude to take them. And tho' this Book, like all others which treat of any Art or Science, cannot be perfectly understood without some Study and Application; yet by a little Assistance from the Author, or others of the Profession properly qualified, all the Difficulties will be soon surmounted. The Figures in each Plate are designed only to shew the Postures proper in Dancing, but not to bear the least Resemblance to any Person to whom the Plate is inscribed; which it had been ridiculous to have attempted: The sole Intent of the Inscription being to do Honour to my self, by this small Testimony of my Gratitude to some honourable Persons. The continual Change of the Fashion will afford, I presume, a sufficient Excuse for the Drapery of the Figures: and Gloves were designedly omitted, on Purpose to shew the beautiful Shape of the Hands. The Faults, which may have happened in the Execution, either of the Printing, or Ingraving, will, I hope, be the more easily excused, if the Nicety of the Subject be considered, together with the Difficulty of the Performance, and the many Hands through which it has passed: especially if it be remembered, that this is not only my first Attempt, but likewise the first that has been made of the Kind.

It may seem a little strange, that I should claim the Honour of having first treated of the Art of Dancing; when a Book upon the same Subject was published in France as long ago as in 1725. But the following Account will, I hope, clear up all Doubt in Relation to the Justice of my Pretensions.

In Mist's Journal Sat. Jan. 13 1728, appeared this Advertisement, "Next Week will be published The Dancing-Master or The Art of Dancing explain'd by Monsieur Rameau". This gave me no small Surprize, having never before heard of either any such Book, or Author. Had it been my Fortune to have known, either before, or after I undertook to write on this Art, that such a Book was extant, my Curiosity would certainly have led me to have consulted it; and had I approved it, 'tis highly probable I should have given the World a Translation of it, with some additional Observations of my own. This had been a much easier Task, than to compose a Work entirely new upon the same Subject: which I had actually finished in 1724 ready for the Press, as it is now published, without any material Alteration, a full Year before the Publication of Monsieur Rameau's Book, and near four Years before this Advertisement appeared; the Truth whereof several credible Witnesses have testified under their own Hands.

I advertised this Work of mine the first Time, as ready for the Press, and that it only waited for a sufficient Number of Subscribers to defray the Expence, in Berington's Evening Post, Oct. 15, 1726, and again in the same Paper Oct. 22. This Advertisement was repeated in The White-Hall Evening Post, Nov. 12. and in The London Journal, Dec. 3. In Mist's Journal of March 4. 1727, I gave Notice of the Publication of my Proposals, together with some Plates done by Way of Specimen; and renewed that Notice on 18th, in Berington's Evening Post, and again on Oct. 28. in the same Paper. From this particular Account it appears, that I had published seven Advertisements concerning my Work; the first of which was two Years and three Months, before ever the Translation of Monsieur Rameau's Book was advertised in Mist's Journal Jan. 13. 1728.

To secure my self in some Measure from the Damage I might receive by this Advertisement; I thought it necessary to publish one my self a few Days after, in Mist's Journal Jan. 27. To which I prefixed this Motto from VIRGIL, —Tulit alter Honores; intimating, that another Person had attempted to bear away the Honour of my Invention; and I may justly add, the Profit of it too. That this was his Intention is very plain from two Circumstances: the Addition to the Title; and the Alteration of the Form of Monsieur Rameau's Book. The Title of his in the original is onely The Dancing Master; to which the ingenious Translator, or perhaps Bookseller, thought proper to add that of mine, The Art of Dancing explain'd: The French Original was published in Octavo; but the Translation was magnified to a Quarto, almost the Size of mine, and yet proposed to be sold at half the Price. The assuming thus the very Title and Form of the Book proposed to the Publick by me, seems to have been done with no better View, than to raise an Advantage by anticipating my Design; and to obstruct the Success of it, by making it seem to be only a servile Imitation of the original Invention of Monsieur Rameau. This Contrivance was the more likely to have the desired Effect, from the unfavourable Situation in which the Proposals for the Subscription to my Book might at that Time appear. It was above two Years since it had been advertised as ready for the Press: and this delay in the Publication, the not fixing any certain Time for it, and the Difficulty in procuring Subscriptions, upon the Number of which the Publication must in depend, might probably induce many Persons to suspect that it would never be published at all. And this Difficulty would be much increased, by offering to the Public a Book on the same Subject, with the same Title, and of almost the same Size, which yet should cost no more than half the Price of mine. To make which Book appear still more perfect and complete, and mine less necessary, or useful, the Gentleman who published it was not satisfied to present it to the World merely as a Translation of Monsieur Rameau's Work, approved by Monsieur Pecour, the greatest Master in France; but was prompted by his Ingenuity and Generosity to make such surprizing Improvements in the Figures, as will be a lasting Monument of his great Abilities in the Art of Dancing.

Before I conclude this Preface, it seems necessary to say something more particularly of my self, for the Satisfaction of those to whom I may not have the Honour to be known; who will naturally expect, before they encourage a Piece of such an extraordinary Nature, to receive some Evidence, that the Person who undertakes it is in some measure qualified for the Performance.

In April 1707. I was placed as an Apprentice with Mr. Thomas Caverley, now living in Queen's-Square, St. George the Martyr, with whom I continued till the Year 1714. During which Time, I had likewise the good Fortune to be further instructed in the Theatrical Way, by that great Performer Mr. Cherreir, once contemporary with the inimitable Mr. L'Abbe, with whom also I have had the Happiness of a personal Acquaintance. Mr. Cherreir's great Merit, after he quitted the Stage, was supported a long Time by the late Mr. John Shaw, who was justly esteemed not only one of the finest Theatrical Dancers, but one of the most beautiful Performers in the Gentleman-like Way: the Acquisition of both which Excellencies in Practice, must be chiefly owing to those admirable Instructions in the Theory, which he received from Mr. Caverley, when He and I were fellow Apprentices to that great Master.

I beg Leave to mention in the next Place two of my Scholars, who have appeared upon the Stage with no small Applause. The one was Mr. John Topham, who danced upon both Theatres under the Name of Mr. Kellom's Scholar, when he had been with me no longer than betwixt two and three Years. The other was Miss Frances, who, on the Theatre Royal in Little Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, performed the Passacaille de Scilla, consisting of above a thousand Measures or Steps, without making the least Mistake; but she left me in the midst of her Improvement.

To this I hope it will not be thought improper to subjoin a short Account of some of my Compositions, which have been well received by the World. The Passepied Round O in 1715 dedicated to Mr. Caverley; the Shepherdess in 1716; the Submission in 1717, which, by the Name of Mr. Kellom's New Dance, was performed by Monsieur and Mademoiselle Salle, the two French Children, on the Theatre in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, to very considerable Audiences, every Night, for a whole Week together. To which I beg Leave to add the Prince Eugene in 1728; the Address the next Year; the Gavot in 1720; and the Passacaille Diana the Year following, dedicated to Mr. L' Abbe. All which I composed, wrote in Characters, and published, for the Improvement of the Art of Dancing.

I might here add a long Account of the Honour done me by many of the Nobility and Gentry in employing me to teach their Children; and in permitting me to publish it to the World by the Dedication of my Plates. But I have perhaps dwelt too long upon this Subject already, which I hope the candid Reader will excuse; and not impute this Account of my self to Vanity or Conceit, but to an earnest Desire in me to give the utmost Satisfaction to my Subscribers, and to remove all Suspicion of my Want of Talents proper for the Execution of this new Undertaking. And this was the more necessary to be done, because of the Disadvantage to which I have been exposed by going accidentally under two different Names, Kellom and Tomlinson; being known formerly by the first, but of late only by the last; the Occasion of which it may not be thought improper to relate.

During the Time of my Apprenticeship I went generally by the Name of Kellom, a Corruption of Kenelm my true Christian Name; as it is very common for young Persons to be called Mr. John, Mr. William, and the like, without the Addition of their Sur-name. At the Expiration of my Apprenticeship, several of my Friends out of Respect called me by my Sur-name of Tomlinson; but, being unwilling to decline the Advantage I might probably receive from the Reputation of having learned the Art of Dancing under so great a Master as Mr. Caverley, I chose rather to retain the Name of Kellom, by which I had been so universally known to have been under his Instruction. This Duplicity of Appellation turned afterwards to my great Disadvantage: many of the Nobility and Gentry, who would have had their Children taught by Mr. Kellom, refusing to employ Mr. Tomlinson tho' recommended to them; and many, who would have employed Mr. Tomlinson, rejecting Mr. Kellom. To prevent which Confusion for the future, I shall acknowledge my self obliged to those, who, instead of either singly, shall be pleased to call me by both conjunctly, Kellom Tomlinson.