dance attendance (up)on (someone)

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dance attendance (up)on (someone)

To perform assiduously and obsequiously any task required or requested by someone. After earning his fortune, he now has servants constantly dancing attendance on him. He's always dancing attendance upon us so that we'll let him hang out with us.
See also: attendance, dance
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

dance attendance on

Wait on attentively and obsequiously, obey someone's every wish or whim. For example, He expected his secretary to dance attendance on him so she quit her job. This expression alludes to the old custom of making a bride dance with every wedding guest. In the 1500s it was used first to mean "await" an audience with someone, but by about 1600 it had acquired its present meaning. Also see at someone's beck and call.
See also: attendance, dance, on
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

dance attendance on

do your utmost to please someone by attending to all their needs or requests.
The expression originally referred to someone waiting ‘kicking their heels’ until an important person summoned them or would see them.
1999 Shyama Perera I Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet Tammy and I sat on a vinyl bench seat and watched the visiting flow while Jan disappeared to dance attendance on her mother.
See also: attendance, dance, on
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌdance atˈtendance on somebody

(British English, formal) do a lot of small jobs in order to please somebody: She always has an assistant dancing attendance on her.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

dance attendance on

To attend to or try to please (someone) with eagerness or obsequiousness.
See also: attendance, dance, on
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

dance attendance on, to

To obey someone’s slightest whim or wish, to act as someone’s obsequious flunky. The term comes from the ancient custom of having the bride dance with every wedding guest, whether she wanted to or not. It has been used since the early sixteenth century, first in the sense of waiting for someone to grant an audience, as by John Skelton (Why Come Ye Not to Court? 1522), “And syr ye must daunce attendance . . . for my Lord’s Grace hath now no time nor space to speke with you as yet.” By Shakespeare’s time it had been extended to being at someone’s beck and call (“To dance attendance on their lordships’ pleasures,” HenryVIII, 5.2). It was a cliché by about 1700.
See also: attendance, dance, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
There was quite a bewildering succession of drives, dances, picnics and boating parties, all expressively lumped together by Phil under the head of "jamborees"; Alec and Alonzo were so constantly on hand that Anne wondered if they ever did anything but dance attendance on that will-o'-the-wisp of a Phil.
But, above all things, I warn my master that if he is to take me with him it must be on the condition that he is to do all the fighting, and that I am not to be called upon to do anything except what concerns keeping him clean and comfortable; in this I will dance attendance on him readily; but to expect me to draw sword, even against rascally churls of the hatchet and hood, is idle.
Even before luncheon was half finished I had asked myself the old, eternal question: "WHY do I continue to dance attendance upon the General, instead of having left him and his family long ago?" Every now and then I would glance at Polina Alexandrovna, but she paid me no attention; until eventually I became so irritated that I decided to play the boor.
I desire an explanation: playing and trifling are completely banished out of my mind; and I can't dance attendance on your affectations now!'
My old acquaintances in Paris, or the she-coxcombs on whom I used to dance attendance, would be puzzled to recognize in me the man who had a certain vogue in his day, the sybarite accustomed to all the splendor, luxury, and finery of Paris.
He'll dance attendance upon her as long as she lets him, and won't bother me.
officials dance attendance on them, wine plants' representatives pour wine by trembling hands to them", Saakashvili stated at the briefing
Staff positively dance attendance, albeit in a friendly, non-slimy way.
These days one has to dance attendance on the mites, so we don't stunt their growth or malform their brain development.
TIM Laurence was a royal equerry when he wooed and won Princess Anne - and continued to dance attendance after they married.