Last week I introduced my learning project where my husband and I are going to learn how to ballroom dance, but specifically how to waltz. Before we jump right into physically learning how to dance I thought it was important that we learn a few things first:
- The History of the Waltz
- The different types of Waltzes and which one we will be focussing on
- Music to create a playlist to practise to
There is a lot of information regarding the history of the waltz, however I am just going to point out some key information. You can learn more here.
- Derived from the German word “walzer” which means to turn, roll or to glide
- Commonly danced to the music of Strauss
- It was once considred a forbidden dance because the couples were permitted to make contact
- It started in the 17th Century in Vienna, Austria and by the 19th Century it was accepted in America.
There are 4 different types of waltzes (who knew?!) I won’t go into great deal describing them but if you’re interested in learning more about the different types I found this page to be very helpful!
Vienne Waltz- usually has a faster paced tempo (200 BPM), less rise and fall then American Waltz.
Country Western Waltz- It’s believed to be the same as American Waltz, however there is more free movement and moves that are not common in the American Waltz.
International Waltz- widely popular in Europe. but not so much in America, similar to American Waltz, however maintain a closed position throughout. It is the most common form used for competitive dance competitions.
American Waltz- Most popular style in America as well as other countries, there are many different positions (which we will learn more about in the following weeks) such as closed position, promenade, outside partner and shadow. This style is also very common in competitive dance competitions.
While all dances are different, they share some key important commonalities. They all consist of rise and fall, they are counted in 3/4 time, there is good connection in the frame and turn technique. ( Also things we will be learning about in the following weeks)
Finally, before we get started on actually learning how to waltz it is important that we have a playlist of appropriate music to dance to. I found this site which I really liked because even though it is his personal opinions, he has rated and commented on all of the individual songs on their difficulty level and tempo. I also found another site which I though wast neat in that it was written as a blog and even though I was specifically looking for song suggestions there are also some other really dance tips which I will be using during the next few weeks. I will be going through these songs to hopefully find a few that I feel will be great songs for learning! I will post my playlist once I have it finalized!
Stay tuned for next week! We will be learning how to count out the waltz, the basic pattern and how to put them together!