The Waltz we know today began its development at the beginning of WW1 when the Boston, an American dance brought over to England, began to evolve into both the classic English Waltz and the ‘more theatrical’ (Ballroom Dancers, 2014) American Waltz. Originally the English Waltz was a ‘step, step, close’ (Dance Universe, 2014) eventually changing to ‘step, side, shut’ (Dance Universe, 2014) in the late 1920s which is still used today.
The Waltz is danced in a slow 3/4 time signature with a basic step consisting of a forward step, side step and a close all on the beat. The first step on the strong beat is a fall, followed by two rises to the beat
2 3 2 3
1 1 and so on.
For our performance we are concentrating on the basic step, the Natural and Reverse turns and Whisk and Chasse. They may be fairly simple in their technique but when executed correctly they are very effective and beautiful to look at, especially the Whisk and Chasse.
The Waltz is now a classic ballroom dance synonymous with romance and reserved love as opposed to the passion of the Tango as characterised in films such as Moulin Rouge (2001). The strict rhythm and movement of the Waltz makes it an excellent beginner’s dance.
I love Waltzing, its strong steps make me feel graceful and elegant even with limited dance experience. It also feels like I am carrying on a family tradition as my Grandparents were Ballroom Dancing teachers in the 1950s.
Ballroom Dancers (2014) American Style Waltz. [online] Available from http://www.ballroomdancers.com/dances/dance_overview.asp?Dance=AWA [Accessed 14 April 2014].
Ballroom Dancers (2014) Slow Waltz. [online] Available from http://www.ballroomdancers.com/dances/dance_overview.asp?Dance=WAL [Accessed 14 April 2014].
BBC (2013) Abbey Clancy & Aljaz Skorjanec Waltz to ‘Kissing You’ – Strictly Come Dancing 2013 Week 1 – BBC One. [online video] Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN4dXenlxbI&noredirect=1 [Accessed 14 April 2014].
Brett Long (2011) Waltz Whisk Chasse’. [online video] Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Db4tzhx8BCY [Accessed 14 April 2014].
Dance Universe (2014) Dance Styles & Histories – Modern Ballroom and Latin American. [online] Available from http://danceuniverse.co.kr/style.htm [Accessed 14 April 2014].
John Downs (2008) Margot and John B. dancing american waltz. [online video] Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcIV-K7gpFg [Accessed 14 April 2014].
Luhrmann, B. (dir.) (2001) Moulin Rouge. [film] Twentieth Century Fox.