Waltz Technique

See Also: General Standard 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

Waltz is a "dreamy" dance. There is continuity in the steps. End of count 3 feeds into next step Count 1.

In all steps, the feet should glide/slide/skimming on the floor before stepping.

  • Count 1: is driving step, push for bigger step.

    • Count 1: Full weight transfer

  • Count 2:

    • 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.

    • The moving foot does not close to standing foot first before moving to the side. It moves to the side directly (after clearing knee).

    • Footwork: stays on inside edge of ball as trailing foot in drawn in on count "3".

    • Count 2: partial transfer, center of gravity is over the foot to transfer into on next step.

    • On side steps, do not overshoot weight past standing foot (e.g. Change Step, Natural Turn, Reverse Turns.)

    • Finish change of position/head by the end of 2.

    • Hips play a major role of absorbing sway.

  • Count 3: 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.

    • The figure is not complete until the heel touches the ground, and the heel doesn't touch the ground until the feet are together.

    • 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).

    • When you begin to lower, that's when acceleration needs to happen.

    • Count 3: full transfer of weight

Waltz Preparation Step

Prep Step (123 456) - Man facing DW on long wall

  • 45: Lady: R side, rib and hip to Man even more. Lady: no foot rise, L heel down.

  • 6: don't lose R side pressure.

Waltz Rise and Fall

    • Typically, one begins to rise at the end of 1, continue to rise on 2, and into the count 3 transferring weight and the lower at end of 3 . 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.