Waltz

Notes:

The followers need to know their part in the steps so that when the leader “cues” them, they do what’s appropriate. The follower’s steps should be taught along with the leader’s steps in any figure before they are put together. The lead cue needs to be taught to both the leader and the follower, because the leader “cues” what the follower is to do. This is done with the frame for forward, backward, and rotating motions. When the leader backs up, the follower feels the hip moving away and a slight pressure on the connection with the leader’s right arm and for beginners a slight forward pressure from the leader’s right hand. This is not "pulling". It’s her job to use this cue as an instruction to step forward staying in the frame and maintaining contact.

The purpose of “leading” is to communicate sufficiently in advance that the follower knows what is required of her. Both must be together as one in timing during execution of the step that has been cued. That is why the lead for so many steps comes on the preceding step.

The “frame” exists without the connection. It is the placement of the arms. It is a stable and safe place for the follower to be. The “connection” is the physical attachment. When the connection is made, the man forms his frame. He adjusts it for the woman’s height. She enters the frame and makes the connection.

Both keep their arms in a relative fixed position with respect to their shoulders. The leader positions his arms so that the follower’s upper arms are approximately parallel to the floor. Neither is “rigid”; they are comfortably relaxed but held in fixed relation to each other.

The man maintains his frame, keeping his arms in position so that the woman’s upper arms are approximately parallel to the floor. He holds his right elbow up so that her upper arm is parallel to the floor. At the same time she provides mild downward pressure so as to maintain the contact and feel what he is doing. She is NOT to “lean” on his arm for support.

NOT THIS WORD RIGID. You say rigid and they will tighten and lift, and have charley horses before the lesson is half over. The arms are lifted without lifting the shoulders. The shoulders are neither hunched forward nor pulled back. They are in the natural position. You are NOT explaining this requirement well at all. We need to communicate that the upper body and the arms move as a unit. The torso turns, and the arms go with it. They do not collapse or lose the frame.

We do NOT lean forward and fall onto our foot swinging forward. That is robotic toy movement. Our whole body moves forward as a non-tilting vertical unit. The heel leads the movement. The trailing leg undergoes a lowering action and propels the entire body and leg forward.  The basic steps are not included in the lead follow technique. Only the first preparatory step starts the woman off not totally synchronized. Then as the dance begins, both are completely synchronized in all the basic and advanced moves. As the leader introduces new moves, he cues her with a lead that starts on the last step of the preceding figure. The follow goes with the leader based on the timing of the music the frame, and the leaders timing, but she goes with him, not behind him.

First, there are forward and back twinkles, depending upon whether you step forward or back on the left foot first step.

The second step is NOT into “open” position; it is a step to the side. On the third step both rotate together with a contra body frame rotation bringing the lady into promenade position both facing the same direction - new line of dance to the man’s left of the original direction of travel. The resulting angle is less than 45 degrees. The frame rotates slightly to the right while the lower body rotates significantly more to the left thus producing the twin opposite direction “corkscrew” effects. The slight right rotation opens the lady into promenade position. On step four, the first beat of the second measure, they both step out in the new line-of-dance direction, man’s right, woman’s left, by stepping through between each other – slightly crab like. On step five, stepping man’s left, woman’s right down the new line of dance, both turn to face each other. On step six they close together and change weight preparing for the next step.

In the forward twinkle the first step of the man is forward. In the backward twinkle, the first step of the man is backward. Both moves end up moving the couple sideways to the leader’s left down the new line of dance, and both moves leave the couple facing the old line of dance at the end of the move.

There are NO 180 degree turns in any basic waltz moves. Even three eights turns are advanced bronze moves. In the simple waltz moves, only the Viennese Waltz has 180 degree turns.

  1. Basic (box)
    1. Left box turn
    2. Right box turn
    3. Overturn
  2. Progressive (Diagonal) Box Turns (2 F e @ 135E F e)
  3. Alternating Box Turns (4 F e @ 90E F e)
  4. Change step (travel)
  5. Underarm right turn (6)
  6. Underarm left turn (3)*
  7. Hesitation
    1. With underarm right turn
  8. Promenade with hesitation*
  9. Promenade pivot*
  10. Side by side changes.
  11. Left side by side changes
    1. With walk-around turn
  12. Windmills (Steve)
  13. Pinwheel (Steve)*
  14. Twinkles
    1. Forward
    2. Back
    3. With alternating reverse promenade and promenade steps, closing with a forward twinkle.
    4. Walk around.
    5. Single Open (silver)*
    6. with side-to-side
  15. Spirals
    1. Forward (into a half box turn)
    2. Reverse (Close with a half box turn)
    3. Ending with an underarm left turn
  16. Grapevines (Parallel break)*?
    1. Forward
    2. Back
  17. Reverse progressive (Alan Meyers)
    1. With underarm left turn (Turn on the 1-2-3)
  18. Zigzags
    1. Closed
    2. Parallel
  19. Double reverse

This page was updated by Ralph Kenyon on 2009-10-31 at 22:27 and has been accessed 1715 times at 29 hits per month.