Friday, 13 May 2011

First Dance Lesson: How to do the Waltz


The waltz actually caused a bit of a scandal when it was first danced! Dancing for the nobility at the time (late 1700s) was done in an ‘open’ fashion ie the couples did not embrace. ‘Closed’ dances were danced at the time only by peasants and were considered lewd! The waltz even forbidden for a time in some countries until it was permitted under strict guidelines:-

1.    "Both men and women must be dressed decently for the waltz."

2.    "No man might dance in breeches and doublet without a coat."

3.    "Women and girls must not be thrown about."

The waltz is now one of the most popular ballroom dances today and is an excellent choice for a wedding first dance. It is danced to ¾ time with the emphasis on the first beat – 1 2 3, 1 2 3, etc.

So how do you do a waltz!?
The most basic of steps in a waltz is the box step. Just as the name suggests, the feet make a box or square pattern on the floor.
A box step can be divided into two parts - a forward half box and a backward half box. Each half box has three steps - a step forward or backward, a step to the side, and a step to close the feet together.

The man starts with the left foot and executes a forward half box, followed by a backward half box. The lady performs the opposite – she starts with the right foot and executes a backward half box, followed by a forward half box.

Man: Start with your feet in the 5 6 position on the diagram.
1.    Step forward with the left foot
2.    Right foot step sideways to the right
3.    Bring your left foot next to your right foot
4.    Step back with the right foot
5.    Step back sideways with the left foot
6.    Bring your right foot next to your left foot



Lady: Start with your feet in the 5 6 position on the diagram facing the man.
1.    Step back with the right foot
2.    Left foot step sideways to the left
3.    Bring your right foot next to your left foot
4.    Step forward with the left foot
5.    Step forward sideways with the right foot
6.    Bring your left foot next to your right foot


Some song suggestions for a waltz for a first wedding dance would be…

Valentine Moon – Sam Brown
Moon River – various
Come away with me – Norah Jones
If you don’t know me by now – Simply Red
Three Times a Lady - The Commodores
You Light Up My Life - Debbie Boone
Kiss from a Rose – Seal
Edelweiss – various
Hello Young Lovers – various
So This is Love – Disney
Can I have this dance – from High School Musical
The Blue Danube – instrumental
Que Sera sera
Piano man – Billy Joel
Gymnopedie – Eric Satie
Amazing Grace
Around the World
Cherie I Love You – Nat King Cole
Could I have this dance – Anne Murray
All Kinds Of Everything
Crown of Love -  Arcade  Fire

See here for more great first song ideas!

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