William Dance was the grandson of the architect George Dance (c.1694–1768). His father was the actor James Dance (1721–1774) and his mother may have been James' wife Elizabeth or the actress Mrs Love.
He was lead violinist at the Haymarket Theatre during the summer seasons (1784–90) and at the Handel commemoration in Westminster Abbey in 1790. Dance was not regarded as a soloist on the violin, however William Thomas Parke praised his "great taste and execution" on the piano.
Around 1800 he gave up public performances and became a notable teacher of music in London.
Around 1812 he noticed Michael Faraday, then a bright but unknown young assistant at a Southwark bookshop who was interested in self-improvement and science. Dance mentored him by providing tickets for him to attend lectures at the Royal Institution.
- Six Lessons for the Harpsichord or Piano-Forte, dated about 1780
- Several later editions, songs, preludes, fantasias, variations, and numerous piano sonatas, including op. 4 (1805).
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry
- 1911 Britannica entry
- Correspondence of Michael Faraday
- William Dance Brief biography at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Accessed January 2009
- William Dance Oxford Biography Index Number 101007099. Accessed January 2009
- The Correspondence of Michael Faraday By Michael Faraday, Frank A. J. L. James, Published by IET, 1991 ISBN 0-86341-248-3 
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