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Dancesport - Waltz

Domenico Soale - Gioia Cerasoli, Italy


Waltz History
Waltz Characteristics
Waltz Interpretation
Couples to Observe
Waltz Music
The next Dance, Tango


For all competitors the "Waltz" is always the first dance to show to the Judges which speaks for itself. With this dance you have to make the first impression to the judges and you always will get ONE change to make a FIRST IMPRESSION. Consider that most of the judges often don't know who you are and what your level of dancing is. When couples enter the floor for a competition the judges and the audience (ask yourselves) start to look intuitively for a Champion. Warning, if you look and behave like champion you must dance the Waltz as a champion to confirm the very first impression people (judges, audience) had by "seeing you" entering the floor!!! Many couples underestimate the impact of the first impression........ The Waltz
Think about it when practising or planning lessons.

Consider that the other couples maybe dedicate 40% of their practice time to the Waltz, if you are one of them, you are on the right track to success.

Best Regards

Piet Rullens

Attention: This Information, may not be reproduced without our written permission signed: © Piet Rullens, Rullens Dance Consultancy 1996 all rights reserved For reactions and messages send your mail to:

Waltz History

During 1910-1914 many people went to the Bostonclub in the Savoy Hotel, central London to dance the Bostonwals, the forerunner of our competition Waltz. The Boston, imported from the USA, died at 1914 the basic steps were changed to the direction of the Waltz. After the World War 1 the Waltz started to develop more into the right direction with figures like, the Natural and Reverse turn and the Closed Change The development process of the Waltz was tough and slowly. Special contribution to the development was given by: Miss Josephine Bradly, Victor Silvester and Maxwell Steward and Pat Sykes first English Champions. An imported institute that contributed to the standardisation of the figures was the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). Many of these variations are still danced by today's competitors.

Waltz Characteristics

  • Waltz Character: Swing and flow, Soft and round movements, Sentimental and romantic
  • Movement: Swinging, Pendulum action
  • Timing: 3/4
  • Bars/min: 30 according the IDSF Rules
  • Accent: On beat 1
  • Competition: 1,5 - 2 minutes
  • Rise and Fall: Commence to rise e/o 1; Continue to rise on 2 and 3; Lower e/o 3.
  • Dynamics: Well balanced combinations of Flow, Weight, Time and Spatial motions

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Waltz Interpretation

An action that must be visible at any competition level is the Waltz Pendulum action, an action comparable with the movement of a bell clapper. The Waltz must contain the right level of Up and Down Swing in balance with the required spatial movement. The choreography must be well balanced with Swinging, floating, Soft, round patterns allowing the dancers to move spatial and natural with a constant changing gravity. Any Waltz routine should include variations to allow showing moments of superb control and confidence.

In many cases the music is Romantic, Dreamy, Sentimental and Female like which is a pitfall to many couples, they intent to loose their sensitivity to timing and speed and the readiness to dance light, bound and free.

As in all dances dancing from the supporting foot is essential, for the Waltz "the moment when" to start rising from your supporting foot is crucial. landing an lowering on to the supporting foot requires the typical Waltz foot tension and control

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Couples to Observe

There are many famous Champions in the past who danced a "Waltz to remember". At this moment in the competitive dancing sport, which is still developing, I have found my personal favourites. Some of them are not dancing as a couple anymore they are:
  • Lucca Barricchi and Loraine Barry
  • John Wood and Anne Lewis
  • Augusto Schiavo and Catarina Arzenton

Waltz Music

The CD's that flow into my mind when writing this page are the following: I will come back with my final list of favourites in the near future!

  • CD "Fascination" Nat king Cole
  • CD "My Cherie" Al Martino
  • CD "Hello Memory" Al Martino