This interesting name derives from the Middle English "dance" from the Old French, itself a development of the German "tanzer" meaning "dancer". It was a metonymic occupational name for a professional dancer employed to perform at weddings, festivals, fairs and other such public functions. The name is first recorded in the mid 13th Century (see below). One Robert de la Daunce is recorded in the Subsidy Rolls for Yorkshire, 1301. One William Dance married Mawdline Adams on December 2nd 1610, in St.Dunstan's, Stepney, London. Elizabeth Dance was christened on December 15th 1615, in St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. George Dance, the younger (1741-1825) Architect, was son of George Dance, Surveyor of the city of London (1700-1708). He succeeded his father as city surveyor (1768-1815), rebuilt Newgate 1770, the front of Guildhall, and was professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy, London (1798-1805). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Daunce (witness), which was dated 1247, in the "Assize Rolls for Bedfordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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