dance attendance on

(redirected from dance attendance upon them)

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

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

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

dance attendance on

To attend to or try to please (someone) with eagerness or obsequiousness.
See also: attendance, dance, on

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