This week my husband and started our journey of learning how to Waltz.This is a new experience for the both of us. My husband is not a dancer, and while I have some experience it is very limited and I am going to have to learn how to dance with someone new and to follow his lead.
The first thing we learnt was how to properly count out the waltz. The Waltz is done in 3/4 time which means that there are 3 beats per measure. To simplify things we count it as 1-2-3 & 4-5-6.
The basic step for the Waltz is called a box step. I have created a diagram to help illustrate the steps. (This diagram represents the leads footwork)
To explain the diagram the man’s part goes as follows:
1- Left Foot Forward 2- Right Foot to the Side 3- Left Foot Close 4- Right Foot Back 5- Left Foot to the Side 6- Right Foot Close
The lady’s part is similar, except it is opposite to the man’s part. It goes as follows:
1- Right Foot Back 2- Left Foot to the Side 3- Right Foot Close 4- Left Foot Back 5- Right Foot to the Side 6- Left Foot Close
One of the most important things to remember technique wise, is to lower on the 6th count so that you can move easily into the first count without it looking sloppy.
We practiced our parts individually, then we practiced as a couple. This youtube video was incredibly helpful in showing us exactly how the steps were supposed to be done. The instructors explained the importance of lowering on the 6th count, so that you could move more freely into the first step.
The Waltz is danced primarily in a closed position, which means that we are facing one another, slightly offset to the left with our lower bodies together and our upper bodies apart and looking to the left. The man’s right hand should be just below the woman’s left shoulder blade and her left hand is on his upper right arm. The man’s left hand is out to his left and is about shoulder height and is holding her right hand. It is important to maintain a strong frame and not to let the shoulders drop down. There’s no slouching or being lazy allowed in ballroom dance!
I am looking forward to continuing on this journey with my husband. While it was slightly awkward at first, there was a lot of fun and laughter as we learnt the basic steps. We will be continuing to work on our frame and technique as we add more steps in.
Stay tuned for next week!