From the mid-13th to the mid-18th century the ability to dance was an important social skill for both men and women. Dance performances were an integral part of court ceremonies and festivals and, in the 17th and 18th centuries, of commercial theatrical productions. Whether at court or in the public theater danced spectacles were multimedia events that required close collaboration among artists, musicians, designers, engineers, and architects as well as choreographers. In order to fully understand these practices, it is necessary to move beyond a consideration of dance alone, and to examine it in its social context. This original collection brings together the work of 12 scholars from the disciplines of dance and music history. Their work presents a picture of dance in society from the late medieval period to the middle of the 18th century and demonstrates how dance practices during this period participated in the intellectual, artistic, and political cultures of their day.