The Slow Waltz grew out of the Austrian/German Viennese Waltz, which in England until 1914, was danced only in the English High Society. With the outbreak of the First World War, the predominantly Austrian waltz orchestras had to leave - and they virtually took "their" Viennese Waltz with them. This had fatal consequences for the Viennese Waltz and it literally disappeared from the scene in England and in Germany. The Waltz was almost dead until 1929. Only in its origin, Austria, did it continue to bloom as a folk dance and survived in this form for many decades until it was revived
In the meantime its younger relative, the Slow Waltz, established itself. This dance is supposed to have developed from the "Boston", a dance which by 1912 had almost completely edged out the Vinnese Waltz. It would be more correct to say that both dances have the same origin. By the time the Slow Waltz arrived in the USA and in Boston, it had already adapted a great deal from its older brother. A new basic step was developed, with the characteristic open and closed change forwards and backwards of the Boston, with turns and hesitating steps. It took a few years before this new variant of waltzing became widely accepted. In England, the Foxtrot with its passing steps had just become in vogue. This tep also greatly influenced the Slow Waltz. From the original character of the Viennese Waltz there was hardly anything left
The Englis reformed and regularized almost everything danceable in 1921. At the "Great Conference," made up of several smaller conferences, the Waltz was on the agenda. At the third conference in October 1921 it was unanimously agreed that the Waltz was to be danced in closed pose. From now on, the closed change, the right turn, and the left turn were firmly extablished as the basic figures. Open changes wouldonly be accepted in exceptional cases. To counteract any mix-up between the Foxtrot and Slow Waltz, the passing changes were banned.
In 1926, the Boxton, still exiting in Germany at that time, was succeeded by the Modern Waltz. The second Great Conference in 1929 standardized the Modern Waltz iun its final form. The classical Viennese Waltz was completely ignored at the conference. At that time the dance was still called "the valse", as there was only one waltz for a "true Englishman".
The Waltz is characterized by its very gentle movements and its rhythmical swings from one peak to the next. This demands maximum concentration and a highly developed sense for musical harmonies. It has been a competition dance since 1929 and part of the World Dance Program since 1963.
has a 3/4 time signature, 30 BPM, and recurring even beats. However, there is a pronounced accent that occurs on the first beat of each measure. The basic count for Waltz is 1,2,3.
Progressive in a counter-clockwise direction, this dance uses a strong rise and fall action as well as swing and shaping.
MAN - Stand in a
natural upright position with knees slightly flexed, body inclined forward
from the feet braced at the waist with shoulders relaxed at normal level,
and with no tension in the chest, body weight forward over the balls of feet
with the feet flat
LADY - The poise
as a lady will be the same as described for man, except that she would be
poised backwards from the waist. This backward poise must not be
exaggerated. Some dancers and teachers like to talk about the backward poise
being created from the upper back rather than the lower back but it is
definitely a point of contention.
MAN - Stand
facing the lady as described above, with the lady very slightly to the
man's right side. Hold the lady with the right hand, placing the hand
just below her left shoulder blade with the fingers neatly grouped.
The upper part of the r5ght arm should slope downwards from the
shoulder to the elbow, then downwards from the elbow to the hand in a
hand will hold the lady's right hand between the thumb and first
finger, the other fingers closed over the right side of her hand. The
left wrist must not bend, there should be a straight unbroken line
between the elbow and the hand. The palm of the hand facing diagonally
to the floor., the upper part of the left arm should slope downwards
slightly, the arm bent sharply at the elbow with the forearm slanting
upwards from the elbow to the hand. The hand being held just above the
height of the left ear, the forearm inclined very slightly
outwards from the body.
LADY - The
left warm will be placed lightly on the man's right arm, the fingers
of the left hand grouped neatly in the center of the arm just below
the right shoulder (depending on the height of the partner).
arm will slope very slightly downwards from the shoulder to the elbow,
then upwards from the elbow slanting forward towards man's left hand/
The fingers will fold lightly over the man's left hand between his
thumb and first finger.,
the distribution of weight of the body over the feet. When taking a
forward or backward walk there are three points of balance: forward,
backward, and when the weight is equally distributed (middle of foot).
When moving forward the center of gravity will start to travel from
the heel, to the middle of the foot, then to the ball, and finally
through the toes. When moving backwards the weight will start from the
toes, to the ball, then to the middle of the foot, and finally through
the heel. This is true if you are coming into a step and then going
out if it. In other words, at standstill your weight should be over
the middle of the foot.
This is the
inclination of the body to the right or left from the ankles upwards.
It is used to assist balance or turn, but mainly for effect.
Principle of sway is to lean towards the inside of a circle. There
will be no sway when using CBM, but the sway will be to the right
after a RF CBM, and to the left after a LF CBM and is normally held
for 2 steps following the CBM step (except step 3 of a Curved
is normal to sway for two steps at a time, some figures have sway on
one step only, such as, Telemarkds, Impetus and Open Imputeus Turn,
Change of Direction, etc. In these cases the sway should not be
several figures where way is not used, such as Spins, Natural or
Reverse Turn Pivots, Progressive Chasse to the Left or Right, Forward
and Backward Lock Steps, Chasse from Promenade Position etc.
Sway can be
used without actually making turn between the feet. For example a
Whisk as a man, or when using a slight curve to the right or left in
the body, as in a Feather Step and a Three Step.
used in a Change of Direction or a Hover preceding a Hover Feather in
Foxtrot and last part of a Natural Hesitation Change in Waltz, is not
normal sway but is felt from the waist upwards and is sometimes
referred to as broken sway.
Sway is most
obvious in the Waltz due to the more pronounced rise and fall and the
lilt of the dance.
Rise and Fall:
Rise is the
increased elevation created by the bracing of the muscles of the legs,
the straightening of the knees and the stretching upwards of the body,
usually accompanied by the raising of the heel or heels from the
Fall is the
lowering of the supporting foot from the toe to heel and subsequent
flexing of the knees , as the next step is taken.
No foot Rise
- happens when the rise is felt through the legs and body as described
above, but when stepping back no rise occurs in the supporting foot
(as with the lady's part of a Feather and Three Step).
When a side
step follows no foot rise, the supporting foot will be flat and when
full weight is taken onto step 2, the heel of step 1 will be released
from the floor (ex. 1-3 of a Natural Turn in Waltz or Quickstep as a
When a step
back is followed by another step back with no foot rise, the toe of
the supporting foot is released from the floor so that when step 2 is
taken pressure is felt in the heel of the front foot. A body rise will
be felt when the weight is distributed between the heel of the front
foot and the ball of the back foot, (ex. Feather Step or Hover Feather
as a lady in the Foxtrot).
When no foot
rise follows a step, the heel of the side step will lower (not the
body) as the next step is taken to end up no foot rise (ex. Feather
Finish as lady).
The body should be
braced at all times, whether or not employing rise and fall.
In the Foxtrot,
the normal rise and fall will be: Rise at the end of count 1, up on count 2
and 3, lower at the end of count 3 to denote a quicker type of rise.
Contra Body Movement (CBM)
and Contra Body Movement Position (CBMP):
Movement is a body action used to initiate turn. It is the moving of
the opposite side of the body towards the stepping foot, either
forward or backward. The action will be strongest on Natural and
Reverse Turn Pivots. When stepping forward using CBM the toe will turn
slightly out. When stepping back the toe will turn in.
Movement Position is the placing of the stepping foot, forward or back, onto
or across the line of the other foot, giving the appearance of CBM having
been used, but without turning the body.
CBMP is used on
all Outside Partner steps, except step 3 of a Fishtail, to ensure a good
line and contact. CBM is also used on some Outside Partner steps.
CBMP can be used
when in line with the partner (ex. step 3 of a Change of Direction and all
normal LF forward steps in Tango.
across" in CBMP means that the moving foot travels more across the line of
the other foot. This applies to steps in Promenade Position only.
man's right and the lady's left sides are in contact with the opposite
sides of the body turned out to form a slight V. The feet will
normally match the turning out of the body.
Waltz Closed Syllabus
1. Closed Changes
2. Natural Turn
3. Reverse Turn
4. Natural Spin Turn
6. Chasse from Promenade Position
1. Closed Impetus
2. Hesitation Change
3. Outside Change
4. Reverse Corte
5. Back Whisk
6. Basic Weave
7. Double Reverse Spin
8. Reverse Pivot
9. Back Lock
10. Progressive Chasse to R
1. Weave from Promenade Position
2. Closed Telemark
3. Open Telemark & Closed Hesitation
4. Open Telemark and Wing
5. Open Impetus and Cross Hesitation
3. Open Impetus and Wing
4. Outside Spin
5. Turning Lock
1. Left Whisk
2. Contra Check
3. Closed Wing
4. Turning Lock to R
4. Fallaway Reverse and Slip Pivot
5. Hover Corte
Silver Class Choreography
1. Natural Spin Turn (123, 456)
2. Turning Lock to PP (1&23)
3. Chasse from PP (1&23)
4. Hesitation Change (123, 456)
5. Open Telemark (123)
6. Wing (123)
7. Double Reverse Spin (12&3)
8. Progressive Chasse to the R (12&3)
9. Back Whisk (end of Long Side) (123)
10. Weave from PP to PP (123, 456)
11. Chasse from PP (12&3)
12. 1-3 Natural Turn (123)
13. Closed Impetus (End of Short Side) (123))
16. Reverse Pivot (&)
17. Double Reverse Spin (12&3)
18. Progressive Chasse to R (12&3)
19. Outside Change to PP (123)
20. Chasse from PP (12&3)
21. 1-3 Natural Turn (123)
22. Open Impetus (123)
23. Cross Hesitation (123)
24. Outside Spin (end of Long Side) (123)
25. 1-3 Natural Turn (123)
26. Open Impetus (123)
27. Chasse from PP (end of Short Side) (12&3)
CONTINUE WITH #1