The waltz is one the nicest dances to dance and to watch on any ballroom or country/western floor. The American (or ballroom) waltz is based upon the BOX STEP; the Country and Western waltz is based on a straight forward or backward TRAVELING STEP. Combining the two styles offers the dancers many more variations.

STYLE: Feet remain close to the floor; movement is of a smooth, gliding quality. Count 1 is exaggerated with a reaching step onto a full foot. Count 2 begins the "rise" onto the ball of the foot, and by the end of Count 3 the dancer's heel is on the floor. The highest point of the rise is at the end of Count 2.
Cue forward: "heel-toe", "toe", "toe-heel".
Cue backward: "toe-heel", "toe", "toe-heel".
The dancers' movement should show a subtle and smooth rise and fall rather than a bouncy or sudden "down up up".

RHYTHM: The waltz is written in 3/4 time, meaning 3 equal beats to the measure. It is, therefore, the only dance that is not counted in combinations of SLOW and QUICK steps. The accent is on the first count of the measure 1 2 3 / 1 2 3.

DIRECTIONS: The man's part is described, except where noted. Whenever a "waltz step" is referred to, it means 3 weight changes ("1-2-3"). Most variations can be adapted to both the American Waltz and to the Country/Western Waltz. Those that are limited to one or the other will be so noted.

BASIC TRAVELING WALTZ: A progressive step, moving forward or backward.
Count 1 2 3 1 2 3
Weight L R L R L R
Direction Fwd Fwd Cl Fwd Fwd Cl


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