The traditional Waltz dance is graceful, romantic and flowing. The dancers gently dip and raise their bodies with each step, enhancing the flow of their movements.
The couple seems to glide across effortlessly the dance floor, turning to the music. The rhythm is generally slow, and always in a meter of ¾ time, counted 1-2-3, 1-2-3. Dancers hold each other in a poised position, looking like a frame with arms still but not stiff, bodies erect and heads held high. Spins, holds and turns are also a part of the beauty of the traditional Waltz.
A Little History
You might be surprised to know that the Waltz was scandalous when it began. After crossing from Austria to England in the early 19th century, it was the first dance in England to be danced with partners facing each other and holding each other. The religious rule called the Waltz "vulgar" and "immoral" because it differed from the dances of the time, which were danced holding one hand and facing the same direction. Since this dance was so intriguing, its popularity persisted, and the choreography for the Waltz grew in complexity. Waltz became an official style of ballroom dance later in the 19th century, when it was introduced to the United States.
Two styles of Waltz developed, the Viennese Waltz, which is characterized by a faster tempo and fewer dance variations, and the Slow Waltz, an American style of Waltz which has many different combinations and moves to a slower tempo. Both have dramatic, flowing and beautiful movements that make the Waltz distinctive from other dances as the most innocently romantic of ballroom dance styles.
The Waltz Today
Since it is such a romantic dance, many couples who are getting married learn Waltz so they can dance for their guests. It is an especially moving sight to watch a bride and groom in wedding attire glide together, spinning around the floor to beautiful Waltz music.
The Waltz is easy to learn and harder to master. In Waltz dancing, the dancers need to be aware of the steps and the posture.
Easy Waltz steps such as the basic Box Step and Underarm Turn can help a beginning ballroom dancer get a feel for rhythm and footwork. It is also important to receive instruction in the proper position and posture.
The Waltz dance steps everyone should know are the basic Box Step and the Underarm Turn. Once you know these steps, you can be ready for a wedding dance or a beginner's ballroom dance class.