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The Sherlockinette was a French dance created by Eugène Giraudet in march 1912. It is a slow waltz (2/4 time) patterned after the methods of Sherlock Holmes observing a victim in the search of the criminal.

First performed on 21 and 23 march 1912 at Théâtre Marigny (Champs-Elysées, Paris) by the students of the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures. One month later, on 11 april 1912, the Sherlockinette was presented at a dance contest organized by the Académie Internationale des Auteurs, Professors et Maîtres de Danse (A.I.A.P.M.D.) [1]. It won the 1st prize among 27 new dances proposed.

The dance was published the same year in a leaflet published by Henri Leissus (Paris) as "La Sherlockinette. Théories de E. Giraudet. Musique de R. Vellenot et Paul Marcus."


The Sherlockinette consists of four figures :

  • Figure 1 : the first figure of the Sherlockinette is intended to give the man in the case an opportunity to size up his partner's jewelry. To do this, he takes four steps of a two-step. (photo 1).
  • Figure 2 : the Sherlockinette proper. The partners stand facing each other, the man's feet at the right of the woman's. This gives Sherlock Holmes an opportunity to complete his inventory and formulate his plans, during which he turns round his victim. Then the two dancers separate, so as to find themselves standing side by side, after which the man turns round his partner, passing under her right arm; next she twines about and around and falls into her partner's arms in a final pirouette. (photos 2a-2b show the beginning and the end of this figure).
  • Figure 3 : Sherlock Holmes pursues his partner, jumping alternately on the toes of each foot (photo 4).
  • Figure 4 : the fourth figure comes along with four steps of a two-step and eight steps of a gallop, just like a regular dance.

Music & Dance

In 1912, Eugène Giraudet published the music sheet "La Sherlockinette" [2] (mispelled on the cover but not inside) :

In 1913, Eugène Giraudet published a book "Méthode Moderne de Danse et d'Éducation" [3] with many detailed dance courses including the Sherlockinette (theory, figures and explanation of the figures) :

Related articles


In this 1940s Dutch demonstration, only figures 1, 2a and 4 have been danced.

  1. International Academy of Authors, Dance Teachers and Masters.
  2. Published by Henri Leissus (1912, Paris).
  3. Published by Édition de la Société de la Gaieté Française (1913, Paris).