Country and Western > Waltz

Discussion in 'Country and Western' started by athenon, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. athenon

    athenon New Member

    How do you waltz? The internet seems unable to answer my dance questions, unless I'm willing to pay some money (ie dance lessons in some random place...I don't think we offer any country, hip-hop, etc lessons in this town).
  2. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    While you may find some resources, a basic and comprehensive introduction probably is going to require in-person interaction with either a teacher, or at least a group of people who do the dance you want to learn.

    You'd be suprised what is out there in terms of dance classes Many partner dances are also similar, so even if you could find a class in say ballroom waltz, that would put you much closer to your goal of learning C&W waltz.
  3. Mr. Dance

    Mr. Dance New Member

    Group classes are a good way to start..they are generally very reasonably priced and give you a nice, pressure free introduction to all types of dancing. My basic ballroom class consists of the Waltz, Rumba, Foxtrot, and swing.

    Check out your local yellow pages for dance schools, dance instruction, etc.
  4. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    Ditto all that! Very good advice! You're getting good at DFing, Mr. Dance... ;)

    Twilight Elena
  5. Mr. Dance

    Mr. Dance New Member

    Well thank you.. you all make it very easy to fit in here and get along. Props to you and everyone on this forum for such a great job.

    athenon, depending on where you live exactly you may have to travel alittle bit to find classes but I would imagine it cant be all that far to decent instruction. Im sure I could google some websites that can show you some basic moves but Im not well versed enough in dance yet in general to make a good decision as to how accurate they are; Im sure many on this forum might be able to point you in a direction as far as that goes.
  6. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    If there's really no instruction near you, you could try a video. I'm not a CWer so I can only recommend, which has some CW videos, but I'm sure there are sites that offer more CW videos. Learning from a video would probably work best if you already have dance experience of some kind and a partner to practice with.
  7. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Don't forget the country bars. Many of them have weekly group lessons that rotate between different kinds of dances. Having a very basic first half and a more complex second half seems pretty common.
  8. PasoDancer

    PasoDancer New Member

    You're in Texas, and they don't offer waltz? OMG- Ernest Tubb is totally rolling over in his grave. :lol: That would be like no Waffle Houses in Tennessee, or a sky with no blue- a picture of me without... wait, that was Jones... oops.

    True, most people don't want to teach you anything for free, because it cost them a lot of time and money to learn how in the first place, and the internet is rarely good for anything other than hooch recipies and fake nekkid famous people. Besides that, sometimes people might want to help, but might not be the best-qualified to do so, and that could screw you up even worse.

    Find a terrestrial studio (or other means of instruction- just so long as it's "real"). That's your best bet. I don't want to stereotype, but this is based on recent experience: The "country set" here, locally, seems to believe that you can just show up, get out on the floor, and by the time the song ends, have a basic step by just launching into it and going. When you can't, you're immediately labeled "slow".

    No... some people just... shuffle backwards (or forwards if you're a guy), praying that the building will collapse and end the torture because the extra two minutes for the song to end is too long to wait.

    That's why I support the "find a studio or a place that is actually there for the purpose of giving dance lessons" theory- they like beginners, and will make you feel comfortable, and non-dumb.
  9. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I second the "find a studio or a place that is actually there for the purpose of giving dance lessons" theory- they like beginners, and will make you feel comfortable, and non-dumb.

    Even so, some people never get some dances, so don't get discouraged when you first start learning. Just hang in there . . .

    I still stink at waltz - socially - but can execute a darn near perfect Waltz in a competition routine. It's all in what you really want to do!
  10. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    What's the difference between waltz in C&W and waltz in, say for example, American Smooth? Specifically, is there a difference in the basic step? Or iis there a difference in how the dance travels?
  11. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Country western waltz is 99% progressive. The posture is a lot more relaxed than ballroom. You don't lean away from your partner, either. It's more like a simple walk. You might see a lot of what I call the "cowboy slouch" ie "bad posture". You might go for "relaxed" rather than "bad". (See the movie "Save the Last Dance" for an interesting/amusing scene regarding learning to use a relaxed posture.)
    Couples will often walk facing the same direction (I've heard several names for this position, how about promenade?)
    The "elegant" hand and arm stuff seen in some ballroom styles is not found in this style. If you can't imagine John Wayne doing it without laughing, then it probably isn't country western. (No toe pointing either!)
    Other than that, waltz is pretty much waltz.
    I doubt that Athenon is interested in competition dancing, so, just to be clear, I'm describing how waltz is actually done in country western dance places in the Pacific Northwest where there are still honest to gosh cowboys and Native Americans (p.s. I am neither of those).
  12. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Agree . . .

    Disagree . . . "if'" you've seen C&W dancing in the last year . . . it has dramatically changed . . . for the better . . . and more toward ballroom. In fact, those who write the rules and teach the judges are now requiring that look.

    Now, I know Steve is talking "social" dancing, and I agree.

    I'm only coming back to bring up the fact of how C&W dancing is more and more "leaning" (pun intended) toward ballroom. In fact, my wife replied, "What?" after I read Steve's opening statement. She has a coach for ballroom who is strictly ballroom, and he has her leaning and doing 100% ballroom moves, etc.

    I totally agree with Steve. I just envision the day that as the competitors Waltz on the dance floor, some of wht they do, will be imitated by those who watch . . . and C&W dancing will evolve.

    C&W dancing is getting closer and closer to ballroom . . . the difference being the men's costumes, the boots on both, and sometimes - the music!
  13. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Why would a dancer want the strained head posture thing? I just social dance, but there are very accomplished ballroom dancers at some of those. I never understand the whole looking away and past each other thing?
  14. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    You may have only seen it done poorly, in which case it's good to question why you'd want it.

    Question: do you want to put your partner directly in front of you, or do you want to offset somewhat so that your legs can pass by each others, intead of colliding?

    We tend to move in the direction we are looking.

    So, shoud we look diagonally at our partner, and move diagonally towards them?

    Or should we look diagonally past our partner, in the direction in which we are free to actually move?

    Ballroom technique is commonly misunderstood - by those who reject it, and also by those who are just starting the many-years process of adopting it - and that goes for communities as well as individuals. Without ready examples of what it looks like when really done right, you can't tell if the idea is flawed, or if you are only seeing the idea as interpreted by people who only understand some aspects of what they are trying to do.

    This is especially likely when one style borrows underlying methods from another. If the parent style sourcing the technique is enough different that average participants in the borrowing style won't habitually refer back to the source of the ideas, and instead only see the ideas as presented by those who are importing them into the borrowing style, thenthey will only see the ideas as used by those just learning them - they won't get to see how they work when performed by those with more established expertise in their practice.
  15. letsgetcrunk

    letsgetcrunk New Member

    there is a video on it at
  16. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Nice response Chris . . .
  17. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    It will probably be really obvious when I understand this position, but I don't quite get it?

    So if we dance in closed position, our body position would be with our feet slightly offset from each other. If I just hold my head naturally and look forward, I am looking slightly past her head. We can talk if we want or I can see traffic etc.

    Now, when the ballroom instructors show up, they have a much different head posture. The body position is about the same. However, they actually look diagonally out from each other. I'm not good enough to be a judge of whether they are doing it right, but it certainly looks like the competive ballroom dancers on TV. So if the woman is looking off to her left and I am looking off to my left, how does that help us dance better?
  18. bjp22tango

    bjp22tango Active Member

    If you are attempting rotary motion in the dance and not just forward side together forward side together around the floor , it will help you by keeping each others core balance slightly off center. It will enable turning motions to happen more "naturally" without having to move your partner "out of the way" first.

    As an example:
    Chris mentioned we tend to move in the direction we are looking. If you are attempting a right turn into and around your partner, and she is directly in front of you staring you in the face she is more likely to be a big stumbling block right in your way. If she is offset and looking past your shoulder she is more likely to feel like a hinged door that is opening and allowing you through.
  19. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    For competition or performance, you want your audience to be able to see your face. If they can't see your face, they feel closed out of what you're doing instead of being invited to relate to you and your performance. That's one reason for looking "out" away from your partner.

    Another thing that's important about the lady's position is how she can use her head weight as part of the movement. Certain changes of direction, position, etc. just don't work right unless the lady contributes a shift of her head weight to the couple's movement. She can only do that if her head is stretched away from her partner.

    But the looking out isn't necessary for social dancing and most people don't really use head weight in social dancing. Even the ballroom pros I know don't use the full "competition posture" when they are dancing socially, at studio parties, for example.
  20. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Thanks for the responses. I will experiment with it a bit.

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