CDC Revision Notes

Basic Waltz

This is a slow dance in 3/4 time (approx. 30 bars per minute of music, ie 90 beats per minute). When travelling around the room, the Line-Of-Dance follows the wall in an anticlockwise direction.

For most simple waltz figures, one step is taken per beat of the bar and the feet are used alternately. With 3 beats per bar of music and 2 feet per person (left and right) that means it takes a minimum of 2 bars of music and 6 steps to repeat anything.

Basic Closed Change Figures

The 1st step of 3 is always forwards or backwards but can be taken with either the left or right foot. The 2nd step is always sideways on the other foot (the one you didn't just use and stand on!) and the 3rd step is always a closing step - ie bringing the original foot close to the other foot and putting weight on it again so that the next figure will begin with the other foot. This closing move and changing of weight/foot is what gives the basic figures their name. The step pattern means there are exactly 4 basic figures, determined solely by the foot and direction of the 1st step.

The basic closed changes can be put together in pairs in various ways.

Straight Line Waltzing

If the leader dances the forwards basics, eg left foot then right foot, while the follower dances the backwards basics, right foot then left foot, the couple can move together in a straight line around the room. The corners are handled by simply bending the direction of travel slightly.

It's also possible to reverse this by having the leader dance bars backwards while the follower goes forwards.

Box Steps or Square Waltzing

This is the style of waltzing most commonly seen in crowded rooms or on films/TV. Couples don't go anywhere much at all. A matched forwards and backwards pair of basics form a box or square shape on the floor. While the leader dances the forward figure the follower dances the backward figure and then they each dance the half their partner was just dancing.

The left foot forwards basic and right foot backwards basic form a pair which can rotate gently around to the left. The right foot forwards basic and left foot backwards basic form a pair which can rotate gently around to the right. These box steps are the core of the slow turning waltz.


Minimalistic Beginners Waltz Routine

A repeating set of 2 bars (like the social foxtrot):


Clive's Beginners Waltz Routine

A repeating set of 6 bars:


Russell's Beginners Waltz Routine

A repeating set of 6 bars (leader starts facing diagonally into the centre):