Quadrille in Europe

Originally, there were only three types of Quadrille: the Lancers, the Caledonian and the plainQuadrille. As the dance gained popularity, other forms of dance movements including waltzes and polkas were incorporated into the routine. The polka came into existence around the mid-1830s in the ballrooms of Prague and became popular throughout Europe.

‘This fashionable species of Dancing [the Quadrille] is entirely of French origin, and only differs from the well know dance the Cotillion, by leaving out the changes; being much shorter, and frequently composed of Figures that require but four Persons to their performance’

Thomas Wilson, a leading dance master, 1818, in his book called: Quadrille and Cotillion, which was published in London, Paris, New York and Philadelphia

In Chapter 10 of Alice in Wonderland, Alice meets a group of sea creatures performing the Lobster Quadrille:

‘”Will you walk a little faster?”
said a whiting to a snail,

“There’s a porpoise close behind us,
and he’s treading on my tail.

See how eagerly the lobsters and
the turtles all advance!

They are waiting on the shingle –
will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you,
will you join the dance?’

Lewis Carroll (1832 -1898), Alice in Wonderland