Thomas Wilson a leading dancing master of the late Georgian period describes country dancing in his book The Complete System of Country Dancing published in 1820 in the following terms:
A COUNTRY DANCE, As it is named, is almost universally known as the national Dance of the English and as correctly known, is constructed on mathematical and other scientific principles, clearly displayed in its operative effect, when properly and, well performed.
It is formed of two principal features, viz. Figures and Steps, which for, the execution, government, and. display of their several movements and evolutions, are united with their indispensable auxiliary, music: hut, independent of the, scientific structure of the Dance, there are secondary features, named Ornaments and Embellishments, and which are necessary to the performance of the Figures and Steps to the music, as they apply and are connected with each other in a graceful and easy manner.
The Figures, which form various evolutionary movements in circular, serpentine, angular, and straight lines. are formed into a variety of different lengths and require a variety of different steps or movements of the feet in their performance to music appropriately adapted thereto.