Here are some leads for learning some more about traditional dance. It is not always clear, if at all, where the demarcation between 'folk dance' and 'historic dance' lies, and the study of one perforce includes the other.
For a bibliography of the history of social dance have a look at this list on the Stanford University website.
A long list of historical dance instruction manuals have been digitised by the Library of Congress. Includes Arbeau, Weaver, Feuillet, Playford, Wilson et.al.
There is a further list of historical British dance material at this Russian site, The St.Petersburg Ball
Many later dances can be found together with the tunes for those dances, and you will find links to them if you look on the Tunebooks List
A treasure trove website with much of great interest to say about historic dance is the Society for Creative Anachronism
Much of interest can be found on Regency Dances website, including an interesting section of "Papers"
For potted histories of Social Dance go Here.
National Early Music Association, The Hornpipe (© 1993) Papers from a Conference held at Sutton House, Homerton, London E9 6JQ 
Beadle's Dime Ballroom Companion New York 1868  A single example of the many that can be found on the Library of Congress site mentioned above.
The Gresley MS The Gresley Manuscript was discovered in 1984. It contains very early descriptions of music and dance in England, and was made sometime between 1480 and 1520.
The Pattricke/Lovelace MS
A very interesting little-known English manuscript from the early 17th century containing the instructions for thirty two country dances has been discovered relatively recently. More information and an analysis of the dances can be found on Dafydd Cyhoeddwr's website
Playford's Dancing Master
Follow this link to John Playford
The Square Dance History Project A digital resource of videos and other items covering the history of square dance, cotillions, quadrilles. 
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