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Feb 1st Lesson/John Dougan:


John at Christmas 2003 AWS Knights of Columbus dance:
From John:  "Waltzplay - playing and experimenting with the possibilities that unfold when side by side, face to face, back to back, one hand, two hand same hand, opposite hand, open, closed, whatever twirls your
skirt (or fancy), supported by a strong and flexible frame, moved by confident steps( or no steps), inspired by the music and the partner of the moment, while remembering to breathe and that we came here to enjoy ourselves."

ATLANTA WALTZ SOCIETY TIPS                Updated:  04/18/2007
 

View Jay Aland's notes on folk/country waltz moves below

View Nelson Bridwell's magical Viennese waltz pages below
 

SECTION 1- Introduction
Time and Place
Music
Partnering
Dance Hall
Foot Work --Hearing the "one"

SECTION 2 - Basic Waltzing
Straight Waltz
Twirls
Turning Waltz
Inside Spin

SECTION 3 - Parallels
Parallels
Reverse Parallels
Transition Parallels to Reverse
Transition from Reverse
Slingshot
Grapevine

SECTION 4 - Cross Step
Turning Cross Step
From Parallels to Cross Step
From Cross Step to Rotary Waltz

SECTION 5 - Waltz History
Richard Powers,
Stanford University Dance Historian and Instructor


Note: These steps are only suggestions. Make up your own, mix and match, and work out other transitions. Most important is grace and smoothness – these transitions are designed to let both dancers maintain their same body motion as they make the transition from one step to another.

 



Partners are to waltzers as the ocean is to dolphins.

by Jay Aland,
Vice President, AWS

Send comments to:
"Jay Aland" <jayaland [@] @mindspring.com>

Section I -- Introduction

TIME AND PLACE – 1st and 3rd Sunday 3 to 4 teaching and 4 to 7 dancing. Several Dancers Core studio in Decatur, GA, behind the square. See www.splittree.org for more info. Wear shoes that never walked outdoors.

MUSIC – Recorded music in ¾ time, with a great variety of tempos, genres, origins and eras. Tunes are in 8 measure segments, which usually repeat on measures 9 to 16. Then tune changes for measures 17 to 24 and that repeat for measures 25 to 32, and so on. Advanced dancers often do a step for 8 or 16 measures, then change in time with the music.

PARTNERING – Come alone or with a partner. Strong frame to communicate beat, direction and steps. Give weight both hands. Both active; share responsibility. Lead signal intention on previous measure. Follower don’t anticipate. Also communicate rhythm and steps with eyes and body motion. Follower can avoid dizziness by focusing on partner’s face.

DANCE HALL – Don’t block the flow, and don’t bump into others. Move counterclockwise (CCW) around perimeter, same speed as others, or move to center to do steps in place. Don’t block the flow. Be aware of Line of Direction (LOD) so that all steps travel LOD. Don’t block the flow.

FOOT WORK - Listen for the beat that distinguishes measure 1 from measure 2 – all measures are in pairs, so count beats as 1 2 3 4 5 6. Beat 1, man’s left foot (L) , woman’s right foot (R), take big step. Beat 2 and 3, step on each beat, small steps. Beat 4, man’s right foot, woman’s left, large step. Beat 5 and 6 small steps. Take a step on each beat to avoid mixup of feet

Section 2 -- Basic Waltzing

STRAIGHT WALTZ – Man face LOD, woman’s back to LOD, move in LOD 1 2 3 4 5 6.  This is similar to Cajun waltzing in counter-clockwise  line of direction.

TWIRLS – Man moves forward in LOD, but raises L hand on beat 3 or 6 as a signal. Woman drops L hand, and twirls CW, one revolution per measure (3 step turn), as long as joined hands are held high. Woman’s R hand spins in man’s L hand; man guides woman through this hand contact.

TURNING WALTZ – Beat 1, man moves in front of woman and steps backward on L in LOD (heat shield). Beat 1, woman turns to LOD and steps forward. Beat 2 and 3, turn CW as couple 180° so that man faces LOD, woman’s back to LOD. Beat 4, man step forward between woman’s feet on R, while woman steps back on L. Beat 5 and 6, turn CW as couple 180° so that man’s back is to LOD. Keep all feet close together; step between partner’s feet (slide foot to avoid stepping on toes); long step on beat 1 and 4. On faster turning, keep feet closer and steps smaller.

INSIDE SPIN – Done during turning waltz – woman does an extra spin. The man signals and catches, but the woman does all the hard work. Beat 1 2 3 turning waltz except man signals woman, starting beat 1, by loosening left hand grip, and then, on beat 3, drops L hand and helps her into turn with R hand. Beat 4 5 6, woman twirls CW 1½ turns in place (or advancing slightly in LOD), while man steps around woman CW, to have back to LOD, and be in position to catch her. Beat 1, man catch woman in closed position and continue turning waltz. Practice positioning so that turning waltz continues smoothly.

--to next column>>

Section 3 -- Parallels

PARALLELS – Position left hips together. Travel is zigzag together 45° to LOD. Beat 1, man steps L across R, while woman steps R behind L. Beat 2 and 3, continue travel while swivel to L. Beat 4, R hips together, man steps R across L, while woman steps L behind R. Beat 5 and 6, continues travel while swivel to R. Get into position on step 2 and 3, and 5 and 6 for long step on beat 1 and 4. Hip position controls motion. Clear lead and advance signaling required.

REVERSE PARALLELS – Man’s back to LOD, beat 1, man step L behind R, while woman step R across L. Continue travel zigzag in LOD. Beat 4, man step R behind L, woman step L across R.

TRANSITION PARALLELS TO REVERSE PARALLELS – Beat 1 2 3 regular parallels, but man raises L hand on beat 3 to signal turn. Beat 4 5 6 1 2 3 woman twirls 2½ CW, holding man’s L hand, while man steps CW around her to have back to LOD. Man catch woman left hip to left hip, beat 4 5 6 in reverse parallels.

TRANSITION REVERSE PARALLELS TO PARALLELS – Beat 1 2 3 reverse parallels, but man raises L hand on beat 3 to signal turn. Beat 4 5 6 1 2 3 woman twirls 1½ CCW, holding man’s L hand, while man steps CCW around her to face LOD. Over-rotate so man can catch woman right hip to right hip. Beat 4 5 6 in regular parallels.

SLINGSHOT – Beat 1 in regular parallels, but man step back on beat 2 and 3 and pull woman toward him. Beat 4 5 6 couple turn CW, using woman’s momentum to propel them around. Man catch woman left hip to left hip ready for regular parallels.

GRAPEVINE – Beat 1 2 3 4 in regular parallels. Beat 5 man big step L in LOD, then R behind, side, front, side on beat 6 1 2 3 (6 long steps in LOD).
Beat 5 woman big step R in LOD, then L in front, side, back, side. Finish with woman CW twirl (man signal by raising L hand on previous beat), while man step CW around woman to back in LOD. Man catch woman in closed position and continue with turning waltz.

Section 4 -- Cross Step

TURNING CROSSTEP – Closed position, joined hands in LOD (man facing outward). Beat 4, man step R across L, while woman step L across R (inside feet step through between). Beat 5 and 6, man steps around woman like a gate around a post, and turns CW. Woman helps by stepping in place to anchor the man. End in closed position, joined hands in reverse LOD (man facing inward). Beat 1, man steps back on L (behind R), while woman steps forward on R between – both are moving LOD. Beat 2 and 3, woman crosses in front of man, like a gate around a post, while both turn CW to end up in initial position. This requires a clear lead.

TRANSITION REVERSE PARALLELS TO TURNING CROSSTEP – Beat 1 2 3 reverse parallel, except on beat 3 man turns slightly CCW. Beat 4 man steps R across L – and bingo – you’re in it.

TRANSITION TURNING CROSSTEP TO TURNING WALTZ – Beat 1 2 3 turning crosstep, except on beat 3 man raises L hand to signal. Beat 4 5 6, woman twirls CW, while man steps around her CW to have back in LOD. Beat 1 man catches woman in closed position and continues turning waltz.

Section 5 -- Waltz History

Do you ever wonder what might be included in a college course in the history of waltz?  It's a lot more than the box step most of us learned as kids. Here's what Stanford's Prof. Richard Powers covered the fall semester 2003:
History of the Waltz is a survey of two centuries of waltzing, from 1800 Vienna to today. Waltz forms include Regency Era French and German waltzing, 1820s-30s Viennese waltzing, mid-19th century waltz, redowa and mazurka waltz variations, Five-Step Waltz, late Victorian waltz, Yorke and Newport, turn of the century English sequence waltzes, Ragtime Era Hesitation Waltz, Half and Half, Parisian Valse Musette, Argentine Vals Cruzado, 1930s American and French Boston, 1950s Bandstand style waltz and Waltz Swing.  More:  http://www.dance. stanford.edu

Richard Power's thoughts and musings on dance

     Going out Dancing   
     Ultimate Partnering   
     American Spirit of Creativity   
     Intelligent Dance   
     Transcendent Play   
     Freestyle vs. Sequence Dancing   


Powers' dance music discography, classes and more on the Stanford social dance Home Page

 

 


FOLK WALTZ -- by Jay Aland

Based on the dancing and teachings of Grant Austin – 5 times country waltz grand champion (see his video)

These steps are common to many types of waltz. They would be Country and Western Waltz, but you don’t need the big hats. They would be Ballroom Waltz, but you get to look at your partner. And flirt. The steps are large and slow, and perfect for slower music, such as 90 to 110 Beats Per Minute, which is too slow for a turning waltz step. These steps overlap and integrate well with the WaltzPlay, Parallels, and Crosstep that we have learned recently, and expand your vocabulary of steps to add variety to your dance.

We will cover about 15 steps, over a period of several sessions. Beginners will find these steps easy to learn – most of them. Advanced dancers may learn a few new steps, and also get a chance to review and tune up their technique.

We at AWS dance the waltz in many different styles and steps. We teach a variety of waltz styles also, and try to respond to the needs and interests of the dancers. Ask for what you want.

Beginners are always welcome, and we will take time to help anyone who asks – with any steps, or techniques, or leading and following. Just ask.

Notes:

  1. This is how Grant Austin does it, and he is good, but once you try this, you should develop your own dance. There is no “right” way.

  2. These are a few steps out of many; you can mix these with all the steps you know already, such as crosstep, parallels, and good old turning.

  3. I suggest that you make up your own 8-measure choreographies out of steps that you know. Later, as the steps become more familiar, you may be able to make up choreographies on the fly.

FRAME – Like holding a barrel. Man’s R hand on woman’s L shoulder blade, with fingers hooked. Woman’s L hand rest on man’s R shoulder. Free hands push, with woman’s fingers hooked over the man’s hand. Lead is with the man’s L hand. Bodies are offset enough that each looks over the other’s shoulder. Usually there is a space between but on some steps the bodies are in contact. Move smoothly and gracefully from one step to the next so that they seem to flow one into another. The man must be thinking a few steps ahead to lead confidently – which is what the women seem to prefer.

STEP – Drive forward on beat 1, dipping the whole body, with heel touching first, then pushing forward as the ball of the foot comes down. Rise up onto the ball of the foot on beat 2, and go over the top. Beat 3 starts high, then slides down, ready to dip on beat 1. Total body motion is about 2 to 3 inches up and down. Keep this same motion whether moving straight forward, or turning or doing steps. M steps L on beat 1; and W steps R. M steps R on beat 4; and W steps L.

MUSIC – The music Grant Austin uses is country sounding, with a very regular beat, at 107 Beats Per Minute. In my experience, music from 90 BPM to 125 BPM is suitable. Count beats as 1 2 3 4 5 6 and group steps into 8 or 16 measure sequences.

BASIC TWINKLE

In closed position, M facing LOD, W facing M

1 M F on L; W B on R

2 3 M continue F, W turn CW to face LOD on M’s R, both facing F

In all such cases, W faces 45 deg. Between F and L rather than full F

4 M F on R; W F on L

5 6 M F; W turn CCW back to original position, but beside M. On next measure, she will move in front of M.

ROLLING TWINKLE

1 2 3 Start same as Basic Twinkle

4 M F; W step across M to his L

5 6 M F; W turn CCW to face LOD 45 deg.

M changes lead hand to L on W back

1 M F; W step across M to his R

2 3 M F; W turn CW to face LOD 45 deg.

4 M F short; W F long

5 6 M F; W turn CCW to RLOD beside M

ROLLING TWINKLE – MAN CROSS

1 2 3 Start same as Basic Twinkle

4 M step across W to her R; W F short

5 6 M turn CW to face LOD 45 deg.; W F short

M changes lead hand to L on W back

1 M F; W step across M to his R

2 3 M F; W turn CW to face LOD 45 deg.

4 M F short; W F long

5 6 M F; W turn CCW to RLOD beside M

TRIPLE TWINKLE (aka TURNING CROSSTEP)

1 2 3 Start same as Basic Twinkle

4 M step across W to her R; W F short

5 6 M turn CW to face RLOD ; W face LOD F short

In normal closed position except facing opposite and side by side.

1 Couple move LOD while turning CW

2 3 W open just like BT

4 M F short; W F long

5 6 M F; W turn CCW to RLOD beside M

CONTINUOUS TRIPLE TWINKLES

Same as Triple Twinkle but M must lead W a bit further across to his right side, on beat 2 and 3, so that he can step across her on beat 4.


PROGRESSIVE WAIST WRAPS

1 2 3 4 5 6 Start same as Triple Twinkle

1 M B; W F

2 3 M turn R ½; W pivot CW 1

To both face LOD; W on L; push hands wrapped around W waist; M R hand touch W R shoulder; W L hand in front

4 M F; W F

5 6 M F, then turn L ½; W pivot CCW 1

To closed postion in RLOD

OPEN TWINKLE

1 2 3 Start same as Basic Twinkle

4 M F; W step across M to his L

5 6 M F; W turn CCW, rolling out to face LOD 45 deg.

Open position, both face F holding hands, M leads with L like stirring

1 M F; W step across M to his R

2 3 M F; W turn CW to face LOD 45 deg.

4 M F short; W F long

5 6 M F; W turn CCW to RLOD beside M

Note that M faces F except turning slightly to face W

OPEN TWINKLE WITH WAIST WRAP

1 2 3 Start same as Basic Twinkle

4 M F; W step across M to his L

5 6 M F; W turn CCW, rolling out to face LOD 45 deg.

Open position, both face F holding hands, M leads with L like stirring

1 M F; W step across M to his R

2 3 M F; W turn CW to face LOD 45 deg., but her L hand comes F waving, while M R hand touches her back in normal lead position.

4 M F short; W F long

5 6 M F; W turn CCW to RLOD beside M

LEFT TURN

In closed position, M facing LOD, W facing M

1 M F on L turning to L; W B on R

2 3 M turn CCW to face RLOD; W turn CCW to face LOD on M’s R

4 M back on R; W F on L

5 6 M turn CCW back to original position, but beside W; W turn CCW so both are in original position.

LEFT TURN WITH TWIRL

In closed position, M facing LOD, W facing M

1 M F on L turning to L; W B on R

2 3 M turn CCW to face RLOD; W turn CCW to face LOD on M’s R

4 M back on R; W F on L turning CCW

5 6 M turn CCW back to original position, but beside W; W twirl CCW 1½ so both are in original position. W keep thighs together; twirl on ball of foot.

M R hand slips down to W waist and slides around until she arrives – then back to lead position.

SPIRALS (aka PARALLELS, ZIG ZAG, CROSSTEP, etc.)

In closed position, M facing LOD, W facing M

1 2 3 Straight

4 M step R across L to L; W step L behind R to R

5 6 In place, turn 90 deg. To face 45 deg. To R

1 M step L across R to R; W step R behind L to L

2 3 In place, turn 90 deg. To face 45 deg. To L

SPIRALS WITH DEVELOPE

In closed position, M facing LOD, W facing M

1 2 3 Straight

4 M step R across L to L; W step L behind R to R

5 6 In place, turn 90 deg. To face 45 deg. To R

1 M step L across R to R; W step R behind L to L

2 3 In place, W kick while M hold.

4 M step back on R; W step back on L

5 6 Straight in LOD

LOCK PATTERN

1 2 3 4 5 6 Like Open Twinkle – To W on L, open

1 M F; W F

2 3 Turn to face and step and close, in LOD, touching pull hands; M face in

4 5 6 drop hands and pivot: M CW 1 and W CCW 1

To both face F; hold inside hands

  1. Both F; M lead (stir) W across

  2. 3 M F; W cross to R and pivot CW ¾

To facing 45 deg. To LOD, M inside

4 5 6 back to closed position like Basic Twinkle

LOCK PATTERN WITH SHADOW TWINKLES

Same as Lock Pattern through both pivot

1 M F; W F

2 3 Turn to face and step and close, in LOD, touching pull hands; M face in

hold pull hands, and W duck under

4 5 6 M F small; W F to in front of M, to both facing F in LOD

1 M step L to R across; W step R to L across – both face F in LOD

2 3 both adjust and turn to face in

To W on L, slightly forward of M, both glance at each other

Switch to holding pull hands

4 M step R to L across; W step L to R across – both face F in LOD

5 6 both adjust and turn to face in

To W on R, slightly forward of M, both glance at each other

1 2 3 repeat mirror

4 5 6 W twirl CCW 1½

to closed Position in LOD


 

Return to Atlanta Waltz Society home page         Visitors:   Hit Counter         Updated:  04/18/2007    AWS web pages by Sid Hetzler



Nelson Bridwell's magical Viennese waltz pages:    The Magic and Romance of the Viennese Ball

 

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A brief history of the Waltz.

 

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