The Workings of Waltz


I feel very blessed because my last two private lessons with Nick were completely dedicated to Waltz.  Yes, I tell everyone that my favorite dance is a tie between Samba and Cha-cha.  That’s true for the Rhythm dances, at least.  But, my heart really and truly belongs to the Waltz.

I’m Bronze II, so I’ve been working on the more technical aspects of this dance, rather than just the school figures.  Perfectly fine by me.  If I can’t do the steps flawlessly, why learn them?  I’ve been working on connection, or as I affectionately call it, “sandwich dancing”, for a while now.  But, my gut tells me that physical connection varies depending on the dance.  For Waltz, the connection feels wide, close, and adhesive.  I try my best to communicate blissful elegance and pure romance.  For Foxtrot, I feel like I can relax a little more.  I’m still very connected physically, but I feel freer in the artistic aspect.

Honestly, Waltz has to be one of the more difficult dances I’ve ever encountered.  If anyone every tells you that Waltz is easy, they’re lying.  The steps are easy to learn, sure.  But, learning to communicate effortless elegance while gliding around the floor while trying to maintain your posture is a whole different ball game.  Here’s the things I have to remember as I Waltz:

1) My sternum needs to be directed towards the guy’s chest.  To put it more bluntly, I have to give the lead both my breasts.

2) My right arm and elbow need to be extended, but my right elbow must not go behind my body.

3) As for my left arm, it can touch the lead’s right arm, but I must hold my own arm up on my own.  And, it must not droop towards the floor.  (That’s a particularly nasty habit I need to break.)

4) My entire left side needs to be steadfastly elongated because it creates a nice line.  So, my hips need to remain up, so does my arm (see above), shoulders must be down, and endless other things.

5) Speaking of elongation, my neck needs to stretch.  It doesn’t look elegant when the lead is waltzing with a beautiful follow that is appears to be neck-less.

This is just my upper body.  There are plenty of things to keep in mind when it comes to my lower body.  Personally, my downstairs in better than my upstairs, so I nag myself more when it comes to my neck, arms, shoulders, etc.  But, there are some new things I learned in regards to my legs.  If you’ve ever seen professionals Waltz, you’ll notice that they travel in a circular motion down the floor.  Nick’s been teaching me the intricacies of this circular motion, and its give-and-take dynamic.  In particular, the action of “twisting” into the floor.  I’ll try to explain as best I can.  You need to maintain connection, and keep up with the lead as he moves you.  It’s even harder when the lead is a good head taller than you. *cough*  Nick told me to imagine a wine opener.  It twists and screws into the cork, giving you leverage to open the bottle.  I need to twist my body into the floor as he pushes me to move.  This makes it more fluid, and my steps don’t look as if they’re desperately trying to keep us as we’re dancing.

There’s also a sort of “swinging” motion that needs to be addressed.  I barely understand this mentally, so bear with me.  Have you ever been on one of those giant swing rides at the amusement park that swings so high that it feels like you’re going to fall straight down?  It swings like a pendulum, and I really enjoy those kinds of rides.  Cheap thrills aside, I’m trying to figure out this sort of motion.  So, Nick had me walk back and forth with big, swinging steps to try to get the concept.  I’m still trying to figure this one out, so I really have nothing else to say aside from the fact that I have to practice this more.

It’s a well-known cliché that anything worth getting is difficult.  Waltz definitely fits into that concept.  It’s not my best dance technically speaking, but if I could ever enchant people with my waltzing, it’ll all be worth it.

__

P.S. Like my new blog header?  I made it myself, and all without the help of pesky HTML coding, which I used to know quite well.  Click here to find out how to make your own.  All credit goes to the wonderful blog authoress.  Thank you very much.

P.P.S  Sorry.  I just wanted to say that this is my 98th post.  Only two more posts to go!

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