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Closed Impetus

Waltz Closed Impetus

The Waltz Closed Impetus is a Bronze level figure. This online reference gives a detailed description of the dance steps, including timing, footwork, alignment, and movement; steps diagram; a list of figures that may precede or follow the pattern; and videos providing instruction and demonstration of the figure, techniques and practice routines that include it.


Step Timing Movement
Alignment Footwork Turn Sway CBM Rise & Fall
LF back Backing LOD TH Start to turn R S CBM -- This step can be OP, depending on previous figure.
RF closes to LF (Heel Turn) Facing DC HT 3/8 between 1-2 L
Rise e/o 2 
Man's heel turn.

Legs should straighten as RF comes in, creating late rise. Late rise is required to allow lady to pass the man.Too early a rise will stop her. See note below.

Need to drag heel on the closed impetus. Feet should not come together until weight is committed to RF. That’s going to provide the signal for the lady to commit her weight on her left foot.

Turn continues on the ball of the foot through the 3rd step
3 LF to side and slightly back Backing DC against the LOD TH 1/4 between 2-3 S
Up. Lower e/o 3 Left heel does not come down until feet are together.

Turn continues on the ball of the foot through the 3rd step

When followed by Reverse Pivot, place spine over RF stepping back for Reverse Pivot,
1 RF back Backing DC against the LOD T


Step Timing Movement
Alignment Footwork Turn Sway CBM
Rise & Fall
RF fwd
starts to turn R
-- Strong CBM  (shoulder/upper body rotate to right), big step will make the step easier, lighter for Man. But always watch Man's central line.

Keep head very left. Keep knees soft. Don't pop up.

This step can be OP, depending on previous figure.
LF to side
3/8 between 1-2

rise e/o 2
Drive this step using whole left side (not just shoulder) to give Man the momentum. He's just there for a ride.

Should not commit weight early, and this step is really around the man. Wait and sense when Man commits weight. Otherwise, if lady steps too early, it's likely it's not the right position and will gap with Man.

The lady’s hip sticks to the man’s hip as a guide to his weight changes.

Lady’s two feet need to be pointing parallel at end of closed impetus.

Turning axis is on left foot, Man actually put weight on it (compared to Outside Spin where turning axis is Lady's RF).

Do not drop left side, stretch and lift left side to Man

Difference from Natural Spin Turn: this is not spin. It's a side step (normally done as forward step, then turn.)

Delayed rise. side step is a bit like diagonal, depending on how much Man turns. After side step, stay left, leave the right side to the Man, brush (contract thigh muscles) and then out.

"Hover"  - the good feeling of totally on balance, extend, express musicality.

Frame needs to "breathe", give hand/arms to Man

Steal time from front beat and back beat and show off rotation and extension. Body movement does not stop, it's continuous.
RF diag fwd having brushed to LF
FDC against LOD TH
1/4 between 2-3

up, lower e/o 3
Extend and respond to Man, make arm more flexible and "give it" to Man (or, think about "leaving the arms with Man") to allow to extend more.

When followed by Reverse Pivot, the lowering only happens in foot, not in leg. Lady does not completely lower. Next step in Reverse Pivot will be a toe lead to complete the lowering.
4 1 LF fwd
FDC against LOD H

Technique Notes

  • This can also start BDW, in which case turn 3/8 between 1-2, 1/8 betwen 2-3.
  • The Closed Impetus may be danced at a corner to end backing DC of new LOD. Follows as for Natural Spin Turn at corner.
  • When first learning the Closed Impetus, the smoother way to execute this figure has the man delaying any rise until 3. In other words, on 3, the man pushes off the ball of his right foot to go up on the toe of his left foot. 
  • When followed by the reverse pivot, blend it into the preceding step. Be sure that the man's right foot tracks under the body for reverse pivot, and that the weight is fully committed to  Man's right foot before the next step.