2014, The Fleming Family’s Dance School at Bath 1750-1800

For over fifty years two generations of the Fleming family were at the centre of dance activity in Georgian Bath. The musical skills of the Irishman Francis Fleming and the graceful steps of the Frenchwoman ‘Mlle Roland’ were brought together in the 1740s and were the basis of a partnership that produced Bath’s longest standing dance school, plus a new generation of dance teachers in their daughters Catherine (Kitty) and Anna Teresa, who continued the family partnership after the death of their mother in 1759 and father in 1778. Although the sister’s partnership was dissolved in the 1790s, Anna did not retire until 1805. Each year the Fleming’s advertised their Balls and Benefits, kept premises in town for their schools, and often travelled to France to learn the latest steps. This paper reviews the Fleming family’s activities in the second half of the eighteenth-century and that of the rival dance schools operating in Bath in this period.

Matthew Spring