Old-Time Waltz

The music has 3 beats to the bar and about 42 bars per minute. Count 1, 2, 3 to a bar for most step groups or figures.

Close hold tends only to be used when the couple are actually waltzing in the conventional sense. Frequently a single handhold is taken as they dance side-by-side in either direction.

In general the first step (beat 1 of each bar) is forwards on the heel first or backwards on the toe first. The supporting knee is bent slightly to take the step before straightening to push off. The second and third steps are on the ball of the foot. This rise is subtle not extreme. Unlike Slow Waltz, the third step falls to the whole foot straightaway rather than on the next step out. However, the main difference is the use of ballet foot positions (toes pointed outwards). This leads inevitably to the use of French terminology!

Pas de Valse

This is straight line waltzing. Dance one step to each beat of the bar. The first two steps are forwards in 4th position and the last closes behind in 3rd position. The couple are side-by-side with a single handhold (travelling along or against LOD).

Pas de Valse (SRP, RLH) Pas de Valse (SRP, RLH)
Beat 1 2 3 1 2 3

Pas de Valse (SLP, LRH) Pas de Valse (SLP, LRH)
Beat 1 2 3 1 2 3

Natural and Reverse Turns

Natural and Reverse Turns are described as having a progressive part and a rotary part. Normally the man dances the progressive while the lady dances the rotary and vice versa. The couple must make 4 rotation (half way round) on each part. The first step contributes very little turn. It is forwards for progressive and backwards for rotary (4th position). The second progressive step is a long one that turns from forwards to sideways (4th to 2nd position). The last is a turned close in front (5th position). The second rotary step is so short that it is merely a turn to close behind (5th position). The last step is a turn and re-close by swivelling on the balls of the feet (other 5th position). One can swivel only 1/8 from 3rd to 3rd position, but 1/4 from 5th to 5th.

Man's Prog. Nat. Turn (FP, CH) Man's Rotary Nat. Turn (FP, CH)
Beat 1 2 3 1 2 3
Man RF LFS+2 RCf+2 LB RCb+2 LCb+2
Lady LB RCb+2 LCb+2 RF LFS+2 RCf+2

Man's Prog. Rev. Turn (FP, CH) Man's Rotary Rev. Turn (FP, CH)
Beat 1 2 3 1 2 3
Man LF RFS-2 LCf-2 RB LCb-2 RCb-2
Lady RB LCb-2 RCb-2 LF RFS-2 LCf-2

Solo Turns

Either progressive or rotary turns can be used by both partners to turn inwards or outwards (towards or away from partner). Both would be needed to complete a solo turn but there is also an open solo turn. Of course it is possible to use an open solo turn to make just half a turn (from facing along LOD to facing against LOD or back).

Open Solo Turn + Close (FP-BP-FP, NH) Open Solo Turn + Close (FP-BP-FP, NH)
Beat 1 2 3 1 - 3 1 2 3 1 - 3
Man LSF-2 RFSB-4 LBS-2 RCf br RSF+2 LFSB+4 RBS+2 LCf br
Lady RSF+2 LFSB+4 RBS+2 LCf br LSF-2 RFSB-4 LBS-2 RCf br

Pas Glissade, Pas Glissé and Balancés

Pas Glissade and Pas Glissé are side-closes with and without weight respectively (along or against LOD). The side step is 2nd position and the close is 3rd position in front.

Glissade (FP, DH) Glissé (FP, DH) Glissade (FP, DH) Glissé (FP, DH)
Beat 1 2, 3 1 2, 3 1 2, 3 1 2, 3
Man LS RCf LS RCf tap RS LCf RS LCf tap
Lady RS LCf RS LCf tap LS RCf LS RCf tap

Balancés are step-closes (4th to 3rd position) forwards or backwards without weight.

Balancé (FP, NH) Balancé (FP, NH)
Beat 1 2, 3 1 2, 3
Man LB RCf tap RF LCb tap
Lady RB LCf tap LF RCb tap

© Susan Foord (sf@pedag.org) 2010-06-28
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