Dance Resources
Waltz Steps

Waltz steps

Waltz is a smooth dance, traveling around the line of dance. It is characterized primarily by its rise & fall action. The shoulders move smoothly, parallel with the floor, not up and down. The head should turn in the direction of the turn, otherwise the man's head is upright and looking over the right shoulder of the lady.

The American Waltz is similar to the International style except it has both open and closed dance positions. This allows the American style dancer a unique freedom of expression, including the ability to showcase character and theatrical presentation.

The slow waltz is danced to music written in 3/4 meter with 30 - 32 measures per minute.

Rise and Fall

The rise and fall is unique to the waltz.  If possible, all the the steps in the waltz should be long. On the first step forward, the weight is taken on the heel, then on to the ball of the foot. A gradual rise to the toes should be started at the end of the first beat, and continued to the second and third beat of each bar of music. Lower to the normal position at the end of the third beat by lowering to the heel of the foot which is carrying the weight.

Waltz step left foot change

Man's foot position

Waltz dance step - Left foot change
 Left foot change in Waltz

Start position (facing line of dance
Rhythm - One, two, three.

Waltz step right foot change

Man's foot position

Waltz step - Right foot change
 Right foot change in Waltz

Start position (facing line of dance)
Rhythm - One, two, three.

Waltz step left box

The basic waltz steps looks like a box on the floor. The basic step is called the Left Box. It is a combination of the Left Foot Change (forward) and the Right Foot change (backwards or against the line of dance)

The Box Step can also have a slight amount of turn, from 1/8 to 3/4 turn. The turn is used to turn corners or stay in a small area on a crowded nightclub dance floor.

Man's foot position

Waltz Box Step or Left Box Step
 Box step in Waltz

Man starts and finished facing Line of Dance
Rhythm - One, two, three. One, two, three.

The man is in closed dance position in front of the woman, facing line of dance. The woman is slightly to the right.

Man's Steps

1. Step forward with the LF.
2. Step forward with the RF so that right foot is parallel to left foot.
3. Bring the LF to the RF.
4. Step back with the RF.
5. Step back with the LF so that the left foot is parallel to right foot.
6. Bring the RF to the LF.

Woman's Steps

1. Step back with the RF.
2. Step back with the LF so that the left foot is parallel to right foot.
3. Bring the RF to the LF.
4. Step forward with the LF.
5. Step forward with the RF so that right foot is parallel to left foot.
6. Bring the LF to the RF.

Waltz step forward progressive

Man's foot position
(left foot change and right foot change)

Waltz step - forward progressive
 Forward progressive step in Waltz

Start position (face line of dance)
Rhythm - One, two, three.

Waltz step promenade

Man's foot position

Waltz step - promenade
 Promenade in Waltz

Start position (face diagonal to wall)
Rhythm - One, two, three.

See also: Waltz Steps 2, History of Waltz, Waltz Syllabus, International versus American Dancing

Instructional Waltz Dance Videos and DVDs in our online store.

 

 

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