Talk about ballroom dancing and the first thing that strikes every mind is waltz. Originated as a 17th century Bavarian country folk dance, before it found its way into the European ballrooms in the early 1800s, waltz is a romantic, graceful and flowing dance form. It gave a new definition to the ballroom dancing and added style, sharpness and gracefulness to celebration of ballrooms. Much to the contrary belief, waltz dance steps are not as difficult as people think it to be. A little bit of hard work, coupled with dedicated practice sessions, is all that you need to master this dance form. The dance involves simple steps and movements with good body posture and positioning. This article will provide you with information on the waltz dance form.
Waltz Dance Moves
Before learning the dance form, you should be well-versed with the characteristics of the dance form. Waltz is a dance that requires a lot of attention and concentration because of long sweeping movements, turning figures and stylish poses. The dance form is characterized by two movements that of rise and fall. A nice step would be portrayed by a smooth, confident, reaching step. A perfect waltz dance is one that is soft, gentle and romantic to look at.
Movements Of Waltz
The Box Step
This is the basic step of this form of dance. In this step, the couples face each other, making body contact in dance position. The steps are a mirror for both the people, with the man stepping forward and the woman stepping backward. The dance goes by the man stepping forward with his left foot, and then stepping right with the right foot and then getting his left foot closer to his right foot. This makes a ¼ of the box, with the second half of the box step beginning with the opposite steps. The woman will mirror the steps of the man, but in the opposite direction of the man, by moving backward. This box step is the basis of all other box steps.
The Underarm Turn
The underarm turn is another simple and basic of all other waltz dance steps. In this, the lead signals his partner to begin the basic waltz underarm turn by raising his left hand in air, for her to turn underneath. The woman has to take six walking steps on the beat, moving forward in a small circle until she returns to her original position by the sixth step. This is a step that requires grace and confident posture.
- The partners should be facing each other with the shoulders parallel. The body should be offset by ½ body distance to your left, and the right foot should be pointed in between your partner’s feet.
- The right hand of man is the main support for the female partner. The man has to place his right hand just below the woman’s shoulder blade. Fingers should be kept together and hands slightly cupped. This hand position will help the man to lead his partner with the help of the fingers and heel of the hand. The right arm of men should be positioned away from the body with their elbow pointing sideways.
- A woman’s left arm should rest gently on the man’s upper arm. The thumb should be positioned, along the inside of the man’s arm with the fingers draped over his shoulder.
- The right hand of woman rests in the palm of man’s left hand in between his thumb and forefingers, forming a “Y” shape. The couple should, then, lift their hand to the eye level of the shorter partner.
- One should remember that the free hands are not used to push or pull each other. Leading is done primarily through the man’s right hand that is on the woman’s back, and not with the left hand.
- For the waltz to be perfect, the body of both man and woman should be firm. Resistance is very essential for a good dance team. If the body is limp, it won’t be able to sense which direction to move in, delaying the response time. Resistance can be achieved by keeping the shoulder, wrist and elbow firm. For the sideward, forward and backward movements, it is very important to maintain resistance in the body.
Tips To Follow
- Some do the dipping and falling on the first beat itself - the most common mistake committed by beginners. Remember, waltz needs to have a smooth, gradual rise and fall. The process of falling should happen mostly on the second part of the “third” beat.
- Waltz should never be danced continuously in a straight line like a two step. One should learn the basic routine of the dance, which includes a natural and smooth turn, change in steps etc. Waltz is a dance that involves traveling in certain angles and not in a straight line.