The La Boulangere (the baker) is a French dance of great antiquity; in the present day it usually forms the concluding dance of a ball, in the same way that Sir Roger de Coverley does in England. The gentlemen and their partners would place themselves in a circle, and join hands, with the gentlemen facing inwards, and the ladies outwards of the circle. They dance once round still keeping hands, and when they come back to their places, the leading couple begin the figure. When the party is very large, two couples may begin at the same time, one at the top and the other at the bottom of the room. After which the ladies dance the same figure.
The Basic Figure: by Elias Howe (1862)
The gentleman with his right hand takes his partner's right hand, turns once round with her, and then leaves her. After which, with his left hand he takes the left hand of the lady next in rotation, turns once round in like manner with her, and then returns to his original partner, to whom he gives his right hand as before, then his left to the lady standing next in the circle, and so on to the end, always alternately dancing with his partner, who in the meantime when he leaves her, is to continue to turn by herself inside the circle, and keeping as far as she can from him. When this couple arrive at their own place again, the whole number join hands as before, turn once round, and the next couple to the right dance the same figure.