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Instructional Video

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Waltz Lesson 1: Basic Pattern.
(click here for more information about the video)

Practice CD


Waltz Introduction

Introduction to the Waltz

The introduction of the Waltz was the scandal of 19th century English society. Never before had a man and woman danced publicly in a virtual embrace. Fortunately the grace and beauty of the Waltz were noticed, and English society, so quick to denounce the dance, eventually “embraced” it. In fact, Queen Victoria was an exquisite ballroom dancer who developed a passion for the Waltz. Johann Strauss can be credited with the persistence of the Waltz in mainstream ballroom dancing with his fast paced Waltz compositions that paved the way for the quicker Viennese style. In America the Waltz tempo slowed to form a more smooth and graceful gliding dance with a gentle “rise and fall” motion. Today the Waltz persists as the oldest of ballroom dances and perhaps the best loved.

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The Waltz is unique in that it is the only ballroom dance written in 3/4 time. There are three beats to each measure, counted as “1-2-3” or “quick-quick-quick.” Typically, there are three steps of equal duration per measure, with the Hesitation being the exception. The lead foot alternates with each measure (ie, Left-2-3-Right-2-3). Because of this, Waltz combinations are usually written in a series of six steps. For example, the man will begin the first pattern as LRL (left-right-left) and the second as RLR (right-left-right), for a total of six steps.

Click here to proceed to Waltz Lesson 1.


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