Waltz - Part 1

Fig 1  Balance Left/Right:

This figure can begin with either foot, facing in any direction.  It is an easy figure which establishes the basic rhythm and movement. Step Side, Cross behind onto the ball of the foot and take weight, Recover ;   

 

Balance is a one measure figure; we can repeat with the other foot.   

We will start by dancing this as solo dancers.  Face the wall with Left feet free. 

 

Solo Practice 1.1:

Side Left, Cross Right just behind Left, Recover Left  ;     

Side Right, Cross Left just behind Right, Recover Right ;     repeat 

Facing your partner in Butterfly position (both hands joined) with the Man facing the Wall, you will have opposite feet free.  Usually we will start with the Man’s Left foot and Lady’s Right foot, so that we move together in the same direction.  Remember the cues are given to the Man, so Balance LEFT will be to the Man’s Left and Lady’s Right. 

 

Practice 1.2:

Butterfly position Man facing the WallLead feet free  

Balance Left and Right ;;  repeat 

Fig 1 - Talk Thru'
Fig 1 - Practice

Fig 2  Box:

This is basis of many Waltz figures and establishes the Drive, Side & Rise, Close and lower technique.  Box is a 2 measure figure 

 

We will start by dancing this as solo dancers.  Face the wall with Left feet free. 

 

Solo Practice 2.1:  

Forward Left, Side Right, Close Left ;    Back Right, Side Left,  Close Right ;    

 

You can think of this as Half a Box forward and Half a Box back. 

 

Facing your partner in Butterfly position with the Man facing the Wall, with Lead feet free ie Man’s Left foot and Lady’s Right foot. 

Man:  Forward Left, Side Right,  Close Left ;    Back Right, Side Left,  Close Right ;    

Lady:  Back Right, Side Left,  Close Right ;   Forward Left, Side Right,  Close Left ;     

 

Practice 2.2:

Butterfly position with the Man facing the Wall, with Lead feet free 

Box ;;   Box ;;  Balance Left and Right ;;  Box ;;      repeat 

 

Most Waltz figures are danced in Closed position, so we introduce this position early.   

Closed Position in Waltz is closer than in other rhythms, with body contact at waist level, but separation above; the Lady stays well into the Man’s Right arm.  The Lead hands (Man’s Left & Lady’s Right) are joined and slightly extended to the side.  The Man’s Right wrist is under the Lady’s Left upper arm and his hand rests on the Lady’s Left shoulder blade with the fingers together and angled down.  The Lady’s Left hand rests on the Man’s Right upper arm, but she must support her own elbow and not trap his arm. Partners are facing but looking over partner’s Right shoulder, with feet offset so that viewed from above they appear thus:  Lady’s Left,  Man’s Right, Lady’s Right, Man’s Left. 

 

Practice  2.3:

Closed position  facing Wall  Lead feet free :   

Box ;;   Box ;;  Balance Left and Right ;;  Box ;;      repeat 

Fig 2 - Talk Thru'
Fig 2 - Practice

Fig 3   Progressive Box: 

This is another 2 measure figure, comprising Half Box Forward followed by another Half Box Forward.  The figure is usually executed with the Man facing Line of Dance, so you progress around the room. 

Closed position  facing LOD  Lead feet free 

Man:  Forward Left, Side Right,  Close Left ;    Forward  Right, Side Left,  Close Right ;    

Lady:  Back Right, Side Left,  Close Right ;   Back Left, Side Right,  Close Left ;     

 

Practice  3.1:

Closed position  facing LOD  Lead feet free :   

Box ;;  Progressive Box ;;  Balance Left and Right ;;  Progressive Box ;;      repeat 

Fig 3 - Talk Thru'
Fig 3 - Practice

Fig 4    Forward Waltz:

This is a one measure figure which progresses forward using the typical Drive, Side & Rise, Close & Lower, action.  It can begin with either foot, although is frequently used as 2 Forward Waltzes starting with lead feet.  If danced in Closed position, the Lady will move backwards, but in Open position or Semi-Closed position both partners move forwards. 

In Closed position facing the Line of Dance with Lead feet free.  

Man:     Forward Left, Side & Fwd Right,  Close Left ;     

Forward Right, Side & Fwd Left,  Close Right ; 

Lady:  Back Right, Side & Back Left,  Close Right ;   

Back Left, Side & Back Right,  Back Left ;     

 

In Open position or Semi-Closed position there is less of a sideways component on step 2, so for both dancers the footwork feels more like Forward, Forward, Close;   We can also Blend to a facing position at the end of Forward Waltzes. 

Blending occurs when we change dance position at the end of a figure, without taking any additional steps.  Good Blending leads to smooth dancing. 

 

Practice 4.1:

In Closed position facing Line of Dance with Lead feet free 

2 Forward Waltzes  ;;  Box ;;        

2 Forward Waltzes  ;;  Balance Left & Right ;; 

 

Practice 4.2:

In Open position facing Line of Dance with Lead feet free 

2 Forward Waltzes (Blend to Closed position) ;;  Box ;;        

Balance Left & Right (Blend to Open position) ;;  2 Forward Waltzes  ;;   

We use the same footsteps in a number of figures where the Man and Lady move in different directions to make different patterns on the floor. 

Fig 4 - Talk Thru'
Fig 4 - Practice

Fig 5a   Lace Across:

This is a variation on the Forward Waltz in which the Lady moves in front of the Man under the joined hands, causing the Partners to change sides.

 

From Open or Semi Closed position facing Line of Dance with Lead feet free, partners will drop joined Trail hands and join Lead hands.  This will slightly turn their bodies so the Man faces Diagonal Line and Wall, while the Lady faces Diagonal Line and Centre.  Moving along the diagonals the Lady will move ahead of the Man under the raised joined hands in one Forward Waltz, changing sides to end in Left Open Position facing Line of Dance

 

Fig 5b  Lace Back:

From Left Open position facing Line of Dance with Trail feet free, partners will drop joined Lead hands and join Trail hands.  This will slightly turn their bodies so the Man faces Diagonal Line and Centre, while the Lady faces Diagonal Line and Wall.  Moving along the diagonals the Lady will move ahead of the Man under the raised joined hands in one Forward Waltz, changing sides to end in Open Position facing Line of Dance.

 

These figures may be cued consecutively or separated by other figures. 

 

Practice 5.1:

In Open position facing Line of Dance with Lead feet free 

2 Forward Waltzes  ;;   Lace Across ;   

2 Forward Waltzes  ;;   change hands Lace Back ;  Repeat:

Fig 5 - Talk Thru'
Fig 5 - Practice

Fig 6  Lace Up:

This is a 4 measure figure comprising Lace Across;  Forward Waltz ;  Lace Back ;  Forward Waltz;   It is very commonly used as the body flow is more comfortable than Lace Across followed by Lace Back.  However, here both Lace Across and Lace Back are executed with Lead feet. 

 

Practice 6.1:

In Open position facing Line of Dance with Lead feet free 

2 Forward Waltzes  ;;   Lace Up (Blend to Butterfly) ;; ;; 

Box ;;  Balance Left & Right  (Blend to Open) ;; 

Fig 6 - Talk Thru'
Fig 6 - Practice
Waltz Part 1 Video
Waltz Part 1 Video

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