By the 16th century, social dances were a regular feature in all towns of any size, with cities even having dance halls that could be rented for private parties. Some cities in Germany even still have their medieval "Danshueser" as they were called in some dialects. And sometimes, we are lucky enough to have records of the sort of dancing that happened at these gatherings. In the 1520s in France, for instance, the dancing master Arena tells us the tale of an eager law student who was attempting to impress a lady. He invited her to dance and escorted her to the floor in anticipation, no doubt, of getting to gaze longingly into her eyes and hold her hand for the duration of the dance. But, young men then were just as mischievous as young men now, and so his companions played a prank upon him: they instructed the musicians to play the wrong music, a piece that was far too short. And so, the young man was left in the middle of the dance floor, practically mid-stride, when the music terminated.
And he apparently sued his friends in civil court over the embarassment!
In any case, here is a lesson on exactly the sort of dance he may have been performing when he was caught so flat-footed. I hope you enjoy!
And if you would like to learn such dances, I will be offering a whole slate of classes and workshops in the coming months - keep an eye on this space!