The Waltz is an elegant and graceful dance that is designed for large dance floors. Because of the dance’s long, flowing movements, perpetual turns, and rise and fall technique, dancers appear to glide effortlessly through the space. Waltz can be done to any music with a slow tempo in ¾ time. Our favorite waltz songs include “Moon River” by Audrey Hepburn and “Come Away with Me” by Norah Jones. In this blog post, we will tell you the history, characteristics, music of Waltz and show you how to do the Waltz basics. Enjoy!
Although we think of Waltz as classy, the form was considered vulgar and immoral when first introduced to English ballrooms in the early 1800’s. It was the first time anyone had seen a man holding a lady so close! It started as a country folk dance in the suburbs of Austria and Bavaria. While the upper class danced the minuet, bored aristocrats snuck away to their servants’ balls where they discovered the Waltz. Shortly thereafter, the Waltz was introduced to the United States where the dance and music developed a slower tempo.
Waltz is a progressive dance style that travels and sways. It is characterized by large, fluid movements and turns with a rise and fall technique. Waltz resembles Foxtrot in that it has a similar frame. Foxtrot is done in an even time signature whereas waltz is done as a triplet.
Timing and Music
The time signature in Waltz is 3/4. The waltz basic can be counted as "1,2,3; 1,2,3". Waltz can only be done to music in this time signature. Check out our Waltz song list here! The waltz that is common in the west is danced at approximately 90 beats per minute with 3 beats in each measure. If a song is faster (around 180 beats a minute) then Viennese or a modified Waltz would be more appropriate.
In Waltz, dancers maintain a wide and extended dance hold that helps them travel across the floor and navigate more efficiently.
How to Waltz? Let's Start with the Basics!
The waltz box is the basic step in Waltz and it is a simple yet versatile step perfect for beginning dancers. Learn how to do the waltz box step in this tutorial video below.
Once you've mastered the basic box step, you can move on to learn a beautiful Under Arm Turn!
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The Duet Team is a group of friendly dancers who are passionate about helping people and sharing the joy of ballroom dance. And we love to make new friends and have fun at work! Duet Dance Studio is located in Chicago West Bucktown. We offer ballroom dance lessons, wedding dance instruction and private dance parties. Online Wedding Dance Lessons and Skype dance lessons are also available! Dances we teach include Salsa, Swing, Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Waltz and Foxtrot. Sign up for an introductory dance lesson now to get started!