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Waltz Technique

See Also: General Standard Technique

Waltz Technique

Posture and Frame

  • Lady:
    • Always remember to keep upper body to your left throughout figures, leave the whole right side to Man. Head follow your elbow.
    • It's especially important to stay left for turning figures, otherwise Lady will end in front of Man and block him. (For example, it's easy to shift to right in Chasse From PP)
    • Beat 2 and 5: stretch the head even more (more extension) and bring hips and ribs to the Man, frame needs to "breathe", allow bigger extension and more open frame at the top.

Waltz Movement

In all steps, the feet should glide/slide/skimming on the floor before stepping.
  • 1st step is driving step, push for bigger step.
  • 2nd step:
    • The first step is nice and big, but the second (and sometimes third) step should also have big and gliding motions.
    • The 2nd step should be slightly on bent knees to allow for more rise and balance.
  • 3rd step is collection:
    • The settling on step 3 should occur at the end of the step. Change timing to 3&, where one would be up on 3, and not lower until the &  - "settle" - put hips underneath, free to move again, and go into the next step smoothly. If lowering right on 3, it looks sort of like just plopping down on the step.
    • Collection should not be straight down, it should be controlled lowering, both down and forward (or backward - depending on direction of travel for next step).
    • The figure is not complete until the heel touches the ground, and the heel doesn't touch the ground until the feet are together.

Waltz Rise and Fall

  • Beginner is often taught to begin to rise at the end of 1 in many waltz figures. The rise is often delayed until step 2. That is, when the weight has been transferred on the second step, then rise.
  • On figures with a lot of rotation, there is little rise, as rise slows down rotation and momentum, both, such as the man's second step in the double reverse spin, and on heel turns.


  • Sway is often used on second step to step much longer (send the hips "out"). It is also used to slow down sideways momentum and to bring feet together.
  • Always sway forward, the upper body goes with the forward sway motion, do not bend upper body to create sway look - that's "broken sway", which will make Lady block Man. (Broken sway is used in some higher level figures)
  • When the movement is small, there won't be much sway. Do not do sway artificially.