The History Behind the Waltz
Considered the mother of present-day dances, the Waltz began in southern Germany in the 17th century. The popularity of the Waltz grew with the music of Johan Strauss and eventually blossomed in the 20th century. It is the basis for many dances and is popular today over the world.
The waltzes written 3/4 time and has a slow to medium tempo with the musical accent occurring on the first beat of each measure. The basic count for Waltz is 1, 2, 3. Faster tempo Waltz is called Viennese Waltz.
Characteristics of The Waltz
The basic components of Waltz are walking steps and side steps. Rise and fall and Body Sway are some of the styling characteristics which make the simplest Waltz patterns elegant and beautiful. The elegant sweeping movement of the Waltz gives dancers a chance to practice balancing to move lightly with ease.
Teaching Elements & Basics of the Waltz
- Posture – Learn to relax shoulders for a more confident look
- Rise and fall – Explore the essence of waltz styling
- Balance combinations – Strengthen ankles and develop momentum control
- Drive & Drift – Develop flow and movement
- Alignments – Use room alignments to move line of dance
- Control – Use of movement and coordination
- Compare/contrast – Foxtrot, Rumba, Samba
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Waltz songs and artists include:
- Moon River – Andy Williams
- Open Arms – Mariah Carey
- Could I have this Dance – Anne Murray
- Are You Lonesome Tonight? – Elvis Presley