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DANCE, WILLIAM (1755–1840), musician, born in 1755, studied the pianoforte under Aylward, and the violin under Baumgarten, and later under Giardini. He played the violin in an orchestra so early as 1767. He was for four years at Drury Lane under Garrick's management, and from 1775 to 1793 was a member of the King's Theatre orchestra. He led at the Haymarket in the summer seasons from 1784 to 1790, and at the Handel festival in Westminster Abbey in 1790. Dance was a member of the royal band before 1800. He subsequently gave up performing in public, and devoted himself to teaching. On 17 Jan. 1813 a circular proposing the foundation of the Philharmonic Society, signed by Cramer, Corri, and Dance, was issued from the latter's house, 17 Manchester Street, and on the establishment of the society he became a director and treasurer. He continued to hold both these offices down to his death, which took place at Brompton, 5 June 1840. Dance published a small quantity of unimportant pianoforte and vocal music.

[Dict. of Musicians (1827); Grove's Dict. of Music, i. 429; Gent. Mag. for 1840; Dance's publications; Brown's Dict. of Musicians.]

W. B. S.