In the 19th century, most social dances were either turning couple dances (waltz, polka, schottische, etc.) or set dances
(quadrilles, contradances, etc.). The set dances were memorized or prompted patterns, while the turning couple dances and their variations were usually improvised.|
Then toward the end of the 19th century some dance masters began to compose sequences of waltz steps to be memorized and executed by dance academy students. Most of these were composed by English dance masters, like William Lamb who choreographed his St. George's Waltz sequence in 1896. This led to the creation of a Sequence Dance movement in London at the turn of the century, where hundreds of dancers would memorize sequence waltzes like Arthur Morris' Veleta (1900) and then non-waltzes like S. W. Painter's Eva Three-Step (1904), eventually embracing one-steps, two-steps, tangos and foxtrots (which the English preferred to call saunters).