Dancing Through Eighteenth-Century Literature | WEA Sydney

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The eighteenth century is ripe with controversy and scandal, particularly once the worlds of ballet and literature collided in Europe. Hester Santlow, a dancer famous for her masculine choreography, featured in the writing of famous authors from the period, including Daniel Defoe and John Gay. Casanova, outraged by the shortened skirts of Santlow’s contemporaries, penned his displeasure in his memoirs, while John Weaver enlisted the help of the prominent writer, Richard Steele, in an attempt to have the art treated with more respect in England. Has much changed in the twenty-first century or are our performers still a talking point and source of influence? 

This is a Discussion Group course, if you aren’t already part of a group please see ‘Getting Started’ below.


Course Author: Mia Tsikrikas

Course Code: D258

Supplied Material: Course Booklet

Units & Pricing: 6 units / $78 per person


Start your Group: Anyone can start a Discussion Group – seek out some like-minded friends or put up a notice in your local library, bookshop or workplace. Please note a minimum of 6 people is required to start a new discussion group.

Arrange the Meetings: New groups need to decide where and when to meet, and for how long – whatever best suits members' particular situations.

Run your Group: Choose a secretary to liaise with WEA and your tutor, a Discussion Leader to chair meetings, a reporter to take discussion notes to send to your tutor, and maybe a librarian to look after the books.

Start the Course: Contact WEA Sydney to enrol. Bookings can be made for one year, divided into two terms – Term 1 commences in February, Term 2 in July (Groups may make forward bookings for popular choices). Please indicate in what order your Group wishes to study the courses, if more than one course is booked.