Learn to dance a perfect waltz

Whether you're preparing for a wedding or simply want to feel more confident on the dance floor, this guide will break down all the steps you'll need to perform a winning waltz.

Learn to dance a perfect waltz

The waltz may be the simplest of the ballroom dances to learn, but few others match its grace and elegance.The waltz is a romantic dance in 3/4 time characterized by a continuous and fluid series of turns.

  • The hold: The man puts his right hand on the woman's back just below her shoulder blade and clasps her right hand with his left, holding it in a curve with the elbow lifted. She places her left hand on his right shoulder.
  • The basic step: Six steps, counted "one-two-three, one-two-three" make up a basic "box step." The man continues to go forward, alternating the starting leg each time. The steps described are for the man; the woman's steps mirror his.
  • One-two-three: The man steps forward with his left foot (1). He steps forward and to the right with his right foot (2). He closes his left foot to his right (3).
  • One-two-three: He steps back with his right foot (4). He steps back and to the left with his left foot (5). He closes his right foot to his left (6).

Though these are the basics to performing a waltz, don't be afraid to add some variety! Remember that the leader dictates by changing the direction or angle of the turns taken, as well as the length of each step. He can also add a "rise and fall" movement to the dance, bending his legs slightly at the beginning of each three step sequence and extending up to his fullest height by the end. This helps smooth out the movement of the dance.

A well-performed waltz looks elegant and effortless. With this guide (and a bit of practice) you'll have the best moves at the ball.

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