Waltz With Me…
The Waltz is one of the smoothest ballroom dances. It is a progressive dance marked by long, flowing movements, continuous turns, and “rise and fall”. The dance is so graceful and elegant. Waltz dancers appear to glide around the floor with almost no effort.
“When first introduced into the English ballrooms in the early 1800’s, the Waltz was denounced by both church and state for its vulgarity and immorality… this was, after all, the first time society had seen this outrageous dance position, with the man holding the lady so close to his body. But the very thing that brought it such criticism also made it appealing, and the Waltz was here to stay.”
“Throughout its history, the Waltz has undergone many changes. Even before its introduction into society as a ballroom dance, it was a country folk dance born in the seventeenth century in the suburbs of Austria and Bavaria. By the middle of the eighteenth century, the dance had grown in popularity and spread throughout Europe.”
“The Waltz was introduced into the United States in the mid-1800’s. The standard Waltz tempo at this time was still very fast and quite demanding to the average dancer, and before long, composers were writing music which was much slower. From this music evolved a style of Waltz called the Boston, with slower turns, and more longer, gliding movements. While the Boston eventually faded away, it did stimulate the development of what we now know as Slow Waltz.”
“The twentieth century saw two distinct styles of the Slow Waltz evolve. The English refined the movements and codified the technique into the competitive International style, while the Americans developed a Waltz with a more theatrical flavor.”
Visualize the box. The basic waltz steps create the image of a box on the floor. This is why the basic step is called the Left Box. Your feet will stop at the corner points on the box and move along the edges and diagonally across the center. Envisioning this shape will help you as you learn the dance.
“Dance basic steps or add turns. You can dance the basic square movement, especially in the beginning when you are learning the dance. However, it is more common for the waltz to include turns. These are easily added once you are more accustomed to the dance.”
- Lead clasps follow’s right hand in their left. Hold at shoulder’s height.
- Lead places their right hand to cup follow’s shoulder blade.
- Follow places their left hand with fingertips at lead’s shoulder seam.
- Place elbows at shoulder’s height.
- Stand with backs straight, upright, and knees loose.