Waltz Defined

Waltz Defined

Date added to ADN: Tue, February 21, 2012
Originally Published: Sun, January 01, 2012
by The AccessDance Network (About the Author)

"Whosoever the dance did discover, had in mind each maid and love with all their burning ardor."-an old German verse.

If there's one dance that is described as smooth, graceful and full of vigor, it is the Waltz. Considered as 'the mother of present day dances', the waltz is a romantic dance performed by couples in circular figures with whirling motions, executed in moderately fast triple meter with marked accent on the first beat of the measure.

The term 'Waltz' was derived from 'volver', an Italian word meaning to turn or to revolve. It developed from the German dance Ländler, a country dance in three quarter-time, replacing the heavy jumping movements with more refined and stylish gliding. It was originally considered to be a dance that's lowbrow and provincial as it was rural lads and lasses who first found the whirling motions appealing. But despite of the many opposition it received, the waltz gained tremendous popularity and has remained until today.

Waltz is a suave dance that travels around the line of dance. It is primarily distinguished by its 'rise and fall' action. It includes a step, slide and step in three quarters time. On the first step forward, the weight is taken on the heel then on to the ball of the foot. At the end of each first beat, there should be a slow rise to the toes and continued to the second and third beats of the music. Then lower to the normal position by lowering the heel of the foot at the end of each third beat. The shoulders move parallel with the floor and in a smooth manner. And the head turns along with the direction of the turn, where the man looks over the lady's right shoulder.

Great waltz music can be found in most musical genre, including pop, country and classical. Its music is written in ¾ time, counted as "1,2,3 – 1,2,3". There were a lot of famous musicians who composed waltz music but the most prominent of them all was Johann Strauss Jr. who was named as 'The Waltz King' for the many waltzes he composed, and the most famous of which was the Blue Danube.

There is something about the Waltz that makes it irresistible. It is definitely a ballroom dance that will stand the test of time. Simply hearing a simple waltz tune will make you get on your feet, grab your partner and enjoy gliding and whirling around the dance floor. In 1919, essayist H.L. Menken wrote:

"The waltz never quite goes our of fashion; it is always just around the corner; every now and then it returns with a bang…It is sneaking, insidious, disarming, lovely…The waltz, in fact, is magnificently improper…the art of tone lubricious..."

Learning waltz by the book definitely won't suffice. There's nothing like experiencing the graceful glide of this type of dance yourself. So what are you waiting for, learn waltz now!

About the Author:
Providing information for Ballroom Dance Lessons, Activities, Dance Competitions and News of the Dance Industry.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the AccessDance Network. Be aware that imagery is copyrighted and often licensed for use on AccessDance only. Copying of images is strictly prohibited.

Bookmark and Share

 Related Topics

All About Ballroom

Salsa is ever evolving and open to improvisation. The now stately Waltz was considered scandalous. Influenced by people, culture, and time, dance is ever-changing. Be in the know and learn all about Ballroom.

Meet New People

Get out and be part of the fun. Meet new people through the universal language of dance. Dance lessons will get you out on the dance floor with your friends or maybe you'll catch the eye of that special someone.