Dance Academy

The Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy is the only organisation in Australia (and one of only a few in the world) studying and enjoying the dances, dance music and dance dress of the ballroom from 1450 to 1900. It grew out of the ever extending range of dance teaching, leading, displaying and playing which John Gardiner-Garden, through his band 'Earthly Delights', dance troupe 'The Bordonian Heritage Dancers' and concurrent 'Dancing on the Lake', 'Historic Ballroom',  'Court Dance' and 'Costume Balls' series, was involved with between 1997 and 2007. From about 2006 onward all the teaching and self-organised events were brought under the banner of the Academy, and from about 2008 onward many more dance and musical performances were also brought under the Academy's banner. For photographic glimpses into all the above see the linked pages.


John has been and is the Academy's director of music and dance while his wife Aylwen has been and is the administrator and costume director.


Central to our purpose is to strengthen and deepen people's understanding of and competency in historic dance, and we like to approach dances, not as things belonging in this or that box, but as manifestations of constantly evolving and interweaving traditions. Having said this we always have a lot of fun and when urged once to capture in a few words the range of dance forms we do I came up with this poem:


From village and country to vintage ballroom, 

Renaissance court to regency swoon, 

From circle and sets to couples and contras, 

Galliards and pavans to galops and polkas. 

From branles and bourrées to reels and fandangos, 

Minuets and mazurkas to two steps and tangos, 

From redowas and waltzes to maggots and marches 

Quadrilles and schottisches to 

dance games with arches! 

The dance academy has both activities it organises itself and ones it organises in response to bookings. 

To learn more about the Academy's regular Saturday afternoon 'Dancing through the Ages' class, regular Wednesday evening extension class, regular 3rd-Saturday-of-the-month costume balls, special dance weekends, periodic public shows and other opportunities to enjoy dancing on themes from the Renaissance to late Victorian go to Upcoming page. To learn about the big 3 days of dance and costume we enjoy every April, go to our Jane Austen Festival page.To have us come to you to offer entertainment go to our page Book us to join you.        

On the left are some miscellaneous photos from events we've organised, on right are some past poster. For more recent information and flyers go to the pages linked above.