The waltz is a simple and elegant ballroom dance that is usually practiced in pairs. The tempo that follows is slower and uses the "snare step"; that is, a series of movements that form a box. If you want to dance the waltz, you must start by learning the steps from either whoever is leading or who is following. In this way, you will master the basic movements. Then, you can try it out as a couple to put into practice the steps that you have learned individually. You can also hone your skills and learn to take them one step further by signing up for dance classes and watching videos of other dancers.
Part 1 of 4: Doing the Lead Steps
Step 1. Look to the side of the room
You should stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms relaxing at your sides.
Step 2. Step forward with your left foot
It falls smoothly so that the stride feels light and ethereal. Stand on the ball of your foot gently flexing your left leg.
Step 3. Step forward with your right foot so that it is parallel to your left
Both feet should be side-to-side slightly more than hip-width apart.
Step 4. Move your left foot so that it meets your right
Both should be side by side, barely touching.
Step 5. Take a step back with your right foot
As you do this, slightly bend your right leg and keep your torso straight and relaxed.
Step 6. Move your left foot back so that it is parallel to your right
Make sure your feet are side-to-side and are at least 1 foot (30 cm) apart.
Step 7. Place your right foot next to your left
With this, the "box step" or the basic steps of the waltz ends. When dancing the waltz as a couple, these steps are carried out in sequence while drawing small boxes with the feet.
Part 2 of 4: Doing the Follower's Steps
Step 1. Start by looking to the side of the room
The feet should be hip-width apart and the arms should be relaxed at the sides.
Step 2. Step back with your right foot
As you do this, bend your right leg a little to land on the ball of your foot first. The torso should be straight and relaxed.
Step 3. Step back with your left foot so that both feet are parallel
Make sure they are 1 ft (30 cm) apart and are facing in the same direction.
Step 4. Place your right foot next to your left
Both feet should be side by side, just touching.
Step 5. Step forward with your left foot
As you do this, slightly bend your left knee to land gently on the ball of your foot.
Step 6. Move your right foot forward so that it is parallel to your left
Both feet should be side-to-side slightly more than hip-width apart.
Step 7. Place your left foot next to your right so that they are barely touching
This constitutes the last movement of the "box step". As you waltz, you will repeat these steps with your partner to form a box.
Part 3 of 4: Waltz as a couple
Step 1. Stand in front of your partner shoulder-width apart
The person who is driving must face forward and the person following must face behind or in the opposite direction of the person who is driving.
Step 2. Place your right hand on the left shoulder of the follower if you are the lead
Wrap your left hand around the right hand of the follower and keep your elbow at shoulder level.
Step 3. Place your left hand on the shoulder of the lead if you are next
The leader's left hand should wrap around your right hand. Take care that the elbow is at shoulder level.
Step 4. Step forward with your left foot if you are the one leading
If you are the one who leads, you should always step forward to guide your partner. You can do it by following the steps of the wearer, starting by moving the left foot forward and ending with the right foot next to the left.
As you move, bend your knees slightly so that you are on your toes as you lift your foot and land gently on the ball of your foot. Your feet should stay close to the ground when moving from side to side
Step 5. Take a step back with your right foot if you are the one to follow
You must let the one who leads guide you. Following in the footsteps of the follower, you should start by moving the right foot back and finish with the left foot next to the right.
You must land gracefully and smoothly on the ball of the foot. When moving, your feet should be close to the ground, particularly when performing side-to-side steps
Step 6. Dance the waltz to the beat of a three-measure tempo
Count "1" when the lead takes a step forward and the follower takes a step back. Then count "2" when the lead and the follower take a step to the side. Finally, count "3" when the one who leads and whoever follows put their feet together.
- The tempo should be slow, rising with each measure and falling between measures. You should repeat the steps several times following the three measures until you get a fluid and confident rhythm.
- You could waltz to music with a tempo of three bars, but you must be careful that it is neither too fast nor too slow, or it may throw off your steps.
Part 4 of 4: Learn the Advanced Steps
Step 1. Move in a circle with your partner
You can carry out the circular motion by making between a quarter and three quarters of a turn, although this will depend on your preferences. To be able to move in a circle, both you and your partner will carry out the first two steps of the waltz, after which, in the third step, whoever leads will place the left foot so that it is turning slightly and whoever follows will place the foot right in the same direction. In this way, you can then turn slightly when dancing the waltz.
The circular movement will always be carried out to the left of the wearer. As you go through the steps, both you and your partner should move to the left in a fluid turn
Step 2. Add a basic twist to the waltz
The person leading should start by looking diagonally toward one wall in the room and the person following should face in the opposite direction. Then the lead steps forward with the right foot and the follower steps back with the left foot. The wearer will make a quarter turn to the left so that the left foot is parallel to the right foot. Then the follower will turn along with the lead and place the right foot parallel to the left foot. To finish the step, whoever leads will place the right foot next to the left and whoever follows will place the left foot next to the right. When performing the turn, you should follow a three-measure pattern.
- When making a quarter turn to the left or right (depending on whether you are leading or following), don't forget to open your body to the side.
- Your arms and elbows should be kept up, and as you turn, you should land gently on the balls of your feet.
Step 3. Perform an underarm waltz twist
Dance with your partner following the first three movements of the box step or waltz. Then, on the fourth movement, the lead will let go of the follower's right arm and then raise their left hand and turn it clockwise to the left. The wearer must continue to perform the box step during measures 4, 5 and 6 as the one that follows rotates. The latter should then move forward during the turn in measures 4, 5 and 6. Finally, both parts are in the starting position in the sixth measure.
- Be careful that the lead takes shorter steps in bars 4, 5, and 6 so they don't get in the way of whoever follows.
- The follower should move forward in a fluid turn in a heel, toe, and heel pattern, resting their weight on the heel on the fourth measure and on the toe on the fifth and sixth measures.
- You can take a professional dance class at a local dance studio or community center to perfect your waltz. The instructor will be able to teach you to dance the waltz in the correct way and to improve your technique.
- Watch online videos of professional dancers dancing the waltz. You can also attend a dance competition or performance featuring the waltz so that you can learn from professional dancers and improve.