Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Dancing Master” as Want to Read:
The Dancing Master
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Dancing Master

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  4,811 ratings  ·  730 reviews
Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julia Midwinter's reckless f
Paperback, 422 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers (first published December 24th 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Dancing Master, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Dancing Master

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,811 ratings  ·  730 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
I always look forward to a new Julie Klassen novel. She’s one of those authors that are on my “Automatically Read” list. However, The Dancing Master didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

The story is a little Footloose meets Jane Austen. We know that there is an unofficial law that prohibits dancing, but don’t find out why until about 2/3 of the way through – and it’s wildly overdramatic and a little ridiculous. Then there’s still so much more to get through. The book was long. The book clocks
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This was on my wishlist years ago and I forgot all about it till recently... originally, I was going to wait until next month but I saw it and could not resist starting on it straightaway :).

My friend got me another of Julie Klassen's books for christmas in 2014 but at the time I wasn't in the mood for it and put it aside. Once I started it again in earnest, I did enjoy it but not "in love with it." It did light a fire in me for more Regency-themed books though.

I enjoyed this one more than h
Dancing is forbidden in Beaworthy. It has been twenty years since the last dance and, though there is not a written law, everybody obeys to Lady Amelia Midwinter’s orders, probably too scared to stand up against that threatening woman. But one day Alec Valcourt, a young dancing master, arrives in town and everything starts to slowly change...

It seems I cannot give less than a five to Julie Klassen’s books. And I am quite content with it! “The Dancing Master” was not as engrossing as my personal
Footloose in Regency England? Heck yes!
Michelle Griep
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I’ve long been a fan of Julie Klassen, so I may be a little biased when I say THE DANCING MASTER is a must read. Not that her previous titles are wimpy by any stretch of the imagination, but this one is my all-time favorite thus far (and no, I don’t say that for every book she releases).

What’s so great about this one? The intrigue. I didn’t figure out the twisty-turny plot until towards the end. Every time I was sure that I had, the story would take another turn and prove me wrong. I love that!
This book is a masterpiece, really. Klassen takes a spoiled, pettish miss Julia and shows how she turns into a true woman over the course of a single year. And Lady Amelia learning to face her fears and live again... Alec is the perfect hero, doing his best to be a gentleman and do the right thing toward Julia despite his desires and her flirting. And Desmond! I wanted more Desmond!

It's hard to classify what I liked about this book, other than that. The character growth is simply astounding, bui
I told a friend, once, that I will often give a book 5 stars if I would love to see it made into a movie; a good movie that followed the book perfectly. ( I know, that never happens, but, this was one of those books:) I loved it because it was unique. I mean, how many books have you read about dancing masters? I also enjoyed how it wasn't so much a romance story between the hero and heroine, it was about a mother and child finding grace and respect for one another and a town being redeemed, lear ...more

Generally I pay attention to the lowest reviews to see why a book is not well liked. Although there were mixed reviews on The Dancing Master, I had a good feeling about it primarily because I've enjoyed so many Julie Klassen books before.

Well, I loved it. I thought the theme was a good one and kept my interest all the way through. I looked forward to picking it up in the evenings.

Alec Valcourt had been a dancing and fencing master in London. After moving to a country village following the loss
Andrea Cox
A complex plot and an intriguing air of mystery kept me fairly hooked into this one. My interest did wane a few times, due to content issues as well as a significant theme. The writing was as lovely as the mind-pictures painted by the dancing characters upon the pages. I was quite surprised to see a bit of profanity in this one, as that has not been a trademark of Mrs. Klassen's in prior books, that I recall. Overall, an entertaining story was conveyed in (mostly) exquisite wording, but it was n ...more
This is the first book this year to which I give a full five stars.

I've had a lot of great reads so far in 2016, lots of 4 stars ratings and a few 4.5 stars that nearly made it to a full 5, but I hadn't yet found a new favourite like I've found with The Dancing Master. I LOVED this book. And it highly surprised me, because it was a very quiet, English-countryside-not-much-happens kind of book (for the most part). I was quite taken aback with the slow pace and the gentleness of the writing when
Laura A. Grace
Aug 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a very beautiful story of healing, forgiveness, and grace!

It was very different then what I originally expected because I didn't realize that a fairly good amount of the book is from Alec's point of view! I would say their was probably an equal amount of Alec and Julia's story combined, which surprised me initially! I don't mean to say this in a bad way because in the end I was very grateful that Mrs. Klassen included his story with such depth!

Alec's life as a trying dancing master was
First of all I LOVE this cover. I found myself at times just turning to the cover and staring at it, I love her dress!

I sooo wanted to like this book more than I did. It just was a little too much story-line and not enough romance in it. - The one stolen kiss was just not enough for me. :o) The whole book you are trying to figure out why dancing is banned, and the story/mystery behind it. A lot of drama...

The main character Julia did a lot of growing up in this novel. Now that I think about it,
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

The Dancing Master is a gently-moving story about a young woman coming face-to-face with the secrets of her past and a young man who has to put his past behind him in order to move forward. Although categorised as “Christian” fiction, the religious message is not at all heavy-handed; indeed, the characters behave in a manner that feels very realistic for the time in which the novel is set.

Alec Valcourt, together with his mother and sister, had to leave their lives in London following
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
TYPE OF NOVEL: Historical Romance, Regency Romance

SETTING: 1815, Beaworthy, Devonshire, England

MAIN CHARACTERS: Julia Midwinter (wealthy and beautiful heiress), Alec Valcourt (a fencing and dancing master from London), Lady Amelia Midwinter (Julia's strict mother who dislikes dancing), John Desmond (a mysterious man who seems to have had quite a scandalous past in Beaworthy)

For the last twenty years the citizens of Beaworthy have not engaged in dancing, assemblies, or balls. Due to a
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was definitely in a slump when The Dancing Master showed up in my mail box. I was reading new authors (I should clarify, new to me), different genres, but everything was…bleh. I started thinking I was coming down with something. But you know, sometimes you just don’t connect with books. But Klassen’s novels never disappoint, so I was excited to see it in the mail! Her latest takes you back into the wonderful and intriguing Regency England.

A world without dancing? Yo no comprendo. I dance by m
Maureen Timerman
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
I have very mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the setting, and could understand the pain that came to quite a few, in this story, on being betrayed. There is a lot of lying and deceit.
Julia, one of the main characters, is a flirt, and very spoiled. She thinks mainly of her self, and doesn't seem to care about what happens to others. Another main male character, Alec, is the Dance Master Saber Instructor. I cringed when he was beaten up, I thought surely some of his fast on his feet trai
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
As someone who thoroughly enjoys "old time" dances, this book looked quite intriguing to me. Plus, the cover is SO pretty! <3

What I Liked: This book was a very interesting, fun read. The two main characters were completely opposite of each other, which made for some fun dynamics. I will be honest, Julia got on my last nerve. I get it, her mother is strict and controlling, but Julia lived a privileged life with her every want and desire was fulfilled. (Within reason.) And to read of Julia's di
Jun 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, review, blog-tour
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Generally speaking, regency fiction – or really, most novels that fall within the historical fiction genre, is something I prefer when the British give us a spectacular new cinematic production. For some crazy reason, I love it when seen through the lens of vivid film but reading about it…? I just haven’t been able to fall into the fan base. For this reason, this is only the second novel I’ve read by the talented Julie Klassen which follows a young dancing instructor Alec Val
When Alec Valcourt, famed dancing master of London, arrives in the little berg of Beaworthy after his father's death, he never anticipated that he would be moving to the only town in England that had an unspoken rule against dancing. This is the height of the Regency era, and Alec's sole expertise is as a dancing and fencing master. His mother and sister fall under his care and Alec needs his livelihood in order to provide for them. He cannot always rely upon his uncle to care for them. Enters t ...more
Reet Champion
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Julie Midwinter has lived a very difficult life. And it is not for want of money. Quite the contrary. She has had a life of relative ease. But what she lacks is love. With a cold father and an a mother who is nearly as forbidding Julie hopes to one day be free of the village she has grown up in, to see the world and experience another life entirely. But for now it looks like she is stuck in a dreary and dance-less place. Alec Valcourt is a dancing master so when he comes to live in a little town ...more
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Although there are quite a few characters who find their way to each other’s hearts by the end of The Dancing Master, this book is not so much a love story. Like the rest of Julie Klassen’s books, there is a lot going on, but instead of a majority of the focus being upon a love-relationship building between the hero and heroine, it is focused on the redemption of a town caught up in twenty years of mysteries, rumors and lies.

The Dancing Master is also written primarily from the hero’s perspecti
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Oh dear.

So far I have loved every Julie Klassen book I've read, but was a definite exception. I just couldn't get into it and it was work to get through it. The plot is slow moving and most of the 'unexpected twists and turns' were most definitely expectable, if that's a word.

Alec was a difficult hero to get excited about. He's a shallow self centered gentleman dandy. I kept expecting this to change, but it never did to my liking. Julia is not much better, and quite frankly, I don't think I wo
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I finished this book last night and I have a lot of mixed feelings about it.
First of all, what I really liked. I like that the author does great research and takes me back to that time. I love the messages in this book, of love, forgiveness,and acceptance. Of others and ourselves. And I liked that it wasn't preachy, although the messages were so good and important.
What I didn't like was the main character, Julia, and her selfishness. Now, I understand that is the point of the book: to see her c
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have been reading a lot of Christian romance historical fiction lately. Those other authors make me think of dining at Applebees or Chilie's. The food is ok nothing horrible but not great either, you still will go back for more because the meal was decent. Julie Klassen as a writer, her books are a cut above the rest. She is a non-chain restaurant not yet fancy or spectacular but a little more satisfying, a little better quality. The chef wants to please you not just sell you a meal, the chef ...more
Kellyn Roth
I think, of all Julie Klassen's books, this was probably my second favorite next to "The Secret of Pembrooke Park." The mischievous, wild heroine was a lot of fun ... but the story is told from the point of view of our hero, Alec Valcourt, which was nice because Julia could be, in my opinion, a little bit annoying. Even if that was understandable.

Full of mystery, excitement, and romance, The Dancing Master is sure to catch your attention of page one and keep it until "The End."
Aug 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm a huge Julie Klassen fan and this, like all of her books, is extremely well written. I just never really connected with it. I never came to really love the two main characters...and for me that's a huge part of whether I enjoy a book or not. I thought it had a beautiful ending and a great "moral to the story". It just personally wasn't a favorite.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solidly good story! I gravitate to the more risqué romances, but this was a refreshing and sweetly entertaining change of pace for me. I truly enjoyed the repeating theme of the dancing master in both Alec and in Desmond; the complicated knot created by the chain of events brought on by Lady Amelia's sister and the rich array of characters.

"Not to go back, is somewhat to advance, And men must walk, at least, before they dance." ~Alexander Pope

This was a feel-good story that unfolded creepingly
Betsy Ann

I enjoyed the premise of this book, but have to admit that the main protagonists were not my favorites, as it was difficult for me to identity with them. It was beautifully written though, as always, and I found myself particularly engaged in the mysteries of Julia’s background and Lady Amelia’s prohibition of dancing.
The Dancing Master By: Julie Klassen

First off, I do admit that I'm not the biggest of Julie Klassen fans. I've read most of her books and while I absolutely love her writing style, I don't always like her plots, characters, or faith messages.

In “The Dancing Master” we meet Julia Midwinter and her mother Amelia. Julia has lived all her life in Beaworthy where dancing is looked down on. To amuse herself, Julia has spent many a year flirting with the local fellows and spending time with he
Jan 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-challenges
I enjoyed The Dancing Master. Though not my favorite of Julie Klassen's books, it was a good story. I really liked how she had a advertisement/saying ect. at the beginning of each chapter.

I liked Alec, John Desmond & the Allen family. Julia & Lady Amelia took some time to warm up to. I was glad to see growth in them as the book progressed though. It did help to know that Julia struggled partly due to her lack of relationship with Mr. Midwinter. The flashbacks to Lady Amelia's past helpe
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 20, 2014 08:52AM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 2 Oct 22, 2014 12:14PM  
Translation to Spanish, why not? 1 1 Jul 07, 2014 04:08PM  
Covers... 3 19 May 14, 2014 06:04PM  
Funny... 2 24 Feb 28, 2014 01:30PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Headmistress of Rosemere (Whispers on the Moors, #2)
  • A Noble Groom (Michigan Brides, #2)
  • A Beauty So Rare (Belmont Mansion, #2)
  • Elusive Hope (Escape to Paradise, #2)
  • Love Comes Calling
  • Beyond All Dreams
  • A Necessary Deception (The Daughters of Bainbridge House, #1)
  • Plots and Pans
  • Love's Awakening (The Ballantyne Legacy, #2)
  • Grave Consequences (Grand Tour, #2)
  • An Unlikely Suitor
  • A Talent for Trouble (Ladies of Distinction, #3)
  • Full Steam Ahead (Full Steam Ahead, #1)
  • A Heart's Rebellion (London Encounters, #2)
See similar books…
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also won the Midwest Book Award, the Minnesota Book Award, and ...more
“Don't allow any man to treat you as less than you are.” 18 likes
“But I don't think any parent can expect to escape this life without disappointing his child at some point. And the same could be said the other way around. We all of us fall short now and again, and disappoint someone dear to us, or ourselves. Thankfully, my parents have always been the forgiving sort.” 5 likes
More quotes…