Dancing was among the most important accomplishments for the women, and the men, of polite society. It encompassed not only the steps and figures of social dances but also deportment and etiquette. A Companion to the Ball Room was intended for would-be dancers across a wide social spectrum, from the aristocracy to country folk, although its principal audience was probably the gentry and middle classes. Wilson provided music and dance instructions for numerous English, Irish and Scottish country dances, alongside allemandes, cotillions, quadrilles, waltzes and even minuets, for dancers to learn and enjoy at public and private balls and assemblies throughout the British Isles. Thomas Wilson is among the many dancing masters who worked in the theatre and taught social dancing in his own academy. He was one of the very few who wrote about dancing and published collections of dances.