Viennese Waltz Technique

Viennese Waltz Technique

See Also: Standard Technique for posture, range of motion, forward and backward walk.

  • Posture: Music for Viennese Waltz is so fast, it's important for the partners to have good posture and move together as one unit.

    • Head, shoulders, rib cage and hips in upright, lined up position, pull ab muscle, feeling lifted, lengthened and stretched up.

    • Palm connected, not too light, not strong, but with upward pressure in the palm that comes from the back. Do not twist wrist into body.

    • Maintain the upright lengthened position even when you come down to knees.

    • Partners in offset positions, 4 tracks for moving legs. Lady's R leg touches Man's R leg.

    • Lady: stay very left *into* Man's R arm, keep the volume, do not get into his space/in front of his face.

  • Rise:

    • Waltz/Foxtrot/Quickstep: most of the times, foot rise and body rise happen at same time.

    • Viennese Waltz is fast. Movement is smooth and gliding, very flat action, keep knees flexed. Not much shaping. focus on moving bigger.

      • V. Waltz: not much of a rise in body, majority of the rise is in foot and it happens on count 2 (side step) .

      • Side step on Count 2:

        • Leg extend and stretch leg out (almost straight), body is inclined (Sway)

        • Step on IE edge of toe, partial weight

        • Then as body moves onto the foot, knee bends (transfer weight to bent knee to keep flat, and not rise), foot is on IE of ball of foot, heel stays up

        • Draw trailing leg in while keeping head height the same, no rise, stay flat with flexed knee, still partial weight. Do not overshoot.

        • Then full weight transfer onto the new foot.

      • The (foot) rise is absorbed in knees, do not pop up. Imagine dancing under a low ceiling.

    • When done correctly, V. Waltz movement feels lighter and easier than Slow Waltz.

  • Sway happens on count 2 and 3.

  • Shaping: slightly, not too much. (Some top dancers do not shape.) Shaping helps slow down momentum and signal change of direction.

    • Shape toward inside of the turn. Shape forward and up, lengthening the opposite side from direction of shaping and don't collapse the other side.

    • There is some shaping in Natural Turn. Reverse Turn is more flat.

  • When starting the dance,

    • Lady does not get into place and bend back and take head out to produce shape. Lady aims to go to Man's right side, leaving some space in between two bodies, then leave head, send middle of body forward to produce diagonal stretch to left.

    • Lady pay attention to not peel off on right side.

    • Preparation step is often danced by:

      • Man FDC, weight on his RF; Lady BDC, weight on her LF.

      • Man stepping onto his LF to his left, turning to L to wind up. Lady stepping to her right, turning L.

        • Lady may turn her head, but make sure to stay on her own quadrant, on Man's right side. Lady's head recovers during Natural Turn next.

      • Continue with Natural Turn.

  • Travel direction:

    • Reverse Turn and Natural Turn travels down on LOD on a straight line.

    • Change Steps (Reverse to Natural and Natural to Reverse) are used to adjust alignment needed and get onto the correct foot.

      • It changes the movement from one track to another track.

      • Change Steps in V. Waltz is different from Slow Waltz in that V. Waltz Change Steps makes 90 degree turns vs. Change Steps in Slow Waltz does not have direction change (as the feet are already in correct alignment.)

      • For example:

        • Starting with Man FDC, with Natural Turn (123 123), that's track 1 for Natural Turn. (Outer Track)

        • With 1 Change step (123), alignment changes from Man FDC to Man FDW, the track shifted parallel toward Center to continue with Reverse Turn (123 123) (Inner Track).

      • Change Steps can be done either forward or backward.

    • Reverse Turn is normally used to travel down long side, and Natural Turn on short side.

      • At corner, LOD changes 90 degrees to Left to new LOD. So, Natural Turn is underturned (90 degrees) to go around corners, while Reverse Turn would need to be overturned to get around a corner.