Sharing The Joy Of Dancing

CHARACTERISTICS OF AMERICAN STYLE VIENNESE WALTZ


Viennese Waltz is a "smooth" dance that travels counter clock wise around the dance floor, just like Slow Waltz and Foxtrot.

Viennese Waltz is twice as fast as Slow Waltz. Standardized Slow Waltz is 28 to 30 measures per minute (mpm) and Viennese Waltz is 55 to 60 mpm.

It has comparable patterns to the International Viennese Waltz: left turns, right turns, forward and backward changes from left turns to right turns, and forward and backward changes from rights turn to left turns. Open and solo patterns are allowed in American Style that are not allowed in International Style Viennese Waltz. This allows American Style to be much more of a social dance. In a social environment, Viennese Waltz requires a good size floor and an obvious line of dance.

It does not have any foot/ankle rise. There is no dramatic rise and fall as you see in Slow Waltz, but more of a "swaying" action.

The musical timing is the same as Slow Waltz: 1, 2, 3. The 1 beat step forward is always a heel step and the 2 and 3 beat steps are almost flat steps with the heel ever so slightly off the floor. You travel only on the 1 beat step down line of dance and the 2 and 3 beat steps are used to position the partnership for the next 1 beat step (traveling step).

In your left and right turn patterns, the 1 beat steps (traveling steps) are always down line of dance. The left turn is started facing "diagonal wall", however the 1st step is taken "down line of dance". The right turn is started facing "diagonal center" and the 1st step is also taken "down line of dance". Turning happens as a result of the leg turning from the ankle up to the hip and by foot placement.

One of the most comm. problems dancing Viennese Waltz is over rotation which is usually caused by not controlling the momentum of the partnership. Think of turning to face 180 degrees backwards instead of thinking of spinning in circles. This will help prevent dizziness and give you more control. Each measure of music you will turn 180 degrees or one half circle.

The frame and connection is very similar to Slow Waltz or Foxtrot. However, the head position is even more critical in Viennese Waltz because of its rotating characteristic. If you look down on a partnership frame, you would see that the arms and shoulders of the partners form an oval shape. It is a must, that both partners keep their heads outside of the oval.

All movement must be powered from the center of gravity of the partnership. This keeps the movement low to the floor and gives you more control of the centrifugal force created by the rotating action of the left and right turns.

Viennese waltz is an exciting and fun dance. Challenging to master but well worth the effort.