from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A dance or a dancing-party of an easy and unceremonious character, the carpet not being lifted for the occasion, as for a ball.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Always cheerfully "full of company," as they said, it was the sort of house where a carpet-dance could be arranged in half an hour; a house with a sideboard like the widow's cruse; the young men always found more.
Before nightfall -- before the evening which was to have been enlivened by a dinner-party and a carpet-dance, and while bride and bridegroom should have been speeding southwards to that noble Kentish mansion which his uncle had lent George Fairfax -- before the rooks flew homeward across the woods beyond
Of course, in the evening, when some young people were present, there was frequently a carpet-dance improvised; and then sometimes Nan was dragged in to make up a set at some square dance.
On these occasions it was of course a carpet-dance.