Country and Western > What is Country Western Waltz?

Discussion in 'Country and Western' started by discovery, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. discovery

    discovery New Member

    What is CW Waltz and how is it different from American style ballroom waltz? My understanding is that is somewhat resembles two-step but is done to waltz music. I am mainly interested in how it is done at social level as opposed to a competitive level, although I'd be curious to hear competitive info as well.

    Is the basic step just three forward steps for the man? Or do you dance a progressive/change step action where you dance fwd-side-close? Do you dance box steps? How about a 3/8 turn pattern where you dance a left box followed by a change step and then a right box followed by another change step?

    What are some common steps for this dance? What would you consider to be the first 5 patterns you would learn for this dance?
  2. jon

    jon Member

    It is the same thing as a social dance, except done with hats. Somewhat more progressive / more spins for the followers, country floors tend to flow more so you won't see as many people stopping and shaping. Ballroom instructors crossed over to country back in the early 90s (e.g. Grant Austin), if not before, and took their technique with them.

    Oh, one other variation - in country partners end up in side-by-side more often. As a result country followers will tend to come out of a spin facing LOD instead of backing, unless the leader is very clear on what's desired.
  3. discovery

    discovery New Member

    Thanks for the info! How would you describe the basic progressive step? Is it just three forward steps or is it a fwd-side-close action?
  4. jon

    jon Member

    Very much in the feet passing mode. Possibly some country teachers do box steps and closing actions in beginning classes, but it is unusual to see people dancing that way. Stopping or slowing down is discouraged (pragmatically, by the likelihood of being run over :)).
  5. discovery

    discovery New Member

    What would you consider to be the 5 or 6 most fundamental patterns to country waltz?
  6. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Here is what I have written from my notes when I was taking Waltz privates for competition . . . albeit, a few more than 5 or 6:

    1. Turns - L and R
    2. Box turns to the R
    3. Closed changes
    4. Hesitations
    5. Side whisks
    6. Underarm turn - 6 count
    7. Twinkles
    8. Chasses
    9. Spin turns

    Most of these, if I can recall correctly, are pretty much from Ballroom Bronze??? Maybe???
  7. discovery

    discovery New Member

    Those do sound like bronze ballroom waltz patterns to me. Is what you dance socially much different? I am getting the impression that social country waltz is more linear, sort of like two-step but fit to waltz timing, with the feet passing almost all the time.

    Something like this (counting 123 456):
    Basic step: fwd-fwd-fwd,
    Outside Turn (leading lady to turn R on 3 or 6)
    Inside Turn (leading lady to turn L on 3 or 6)
    Cuddle (from an inside turn)
    Hammerlock (from an outside turn)
    Double outside turn to Sweetheart

    For all these steps the man is just going fwd, fwd, fwd.

    Later on adding:
    Open left turning box
    Right turning box

    Is this what social country waltz is?
  8. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    So, why did you ask??? You got it!

    Just remember, it is progessive, as jon points out, and it continually travels around the edge of the floor . . . it doesn't stay in one area - with your back or your partner's back going downline frequently, or both of side-by-side.

    Off topic question: Are you learning this or writing something on C&W dancing?
  9. discovery

    discovery New Member

    Good point :D, but I asked because although I can make a good guess and I have heard bits and pieces of information I wasn't sure (and I like to be sure!).

    Also complicating this was that I saw a video that seemed to go against the information I was hearing about how country waltz is danced socially. The video was by Cody Melin & Resa Henderson but they seemed to dance what to me was just a loose interpretation of American Style Silver Waltz even in their beginning video. That is they were dancing a progressive step that went fwd-side-fwd, open left boxes, progressive open twinkles, etc. but there wasn't just a basic where they step fwd-fwd-fwd or any other 2-step-adapted moves.

    I'm not writing anything, I just want to know it. I am mainly a ballroom dancer but I am dabbling in country. Also I think this thread would be good for posterity for anyone in the future who would like to know what country waltz is.

    It may seem like I spun that list of steps off the top of my head but actually I searched for quite a while on the internet trying to find some description of what country waltz is and how it differs from the other styles' waltzes. But I didn't really find anything of substance. The list came from what little I did find and me trying stuff with my partner. I am hoping that here in the dance forums I will get the good info!

    If anyone knows any good videos for Country waltz I'd be happy to hear about them.

    And just to clarify, is that definitely the guys basic, just fwd-fwd-fwd all in a line?
  10. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Cody and Resa are two very wonderful dancers, and if you can copy "anything" that they do . . . I'd do it! They certainly do their share of winning! They are very strong in Waltz, and just about everything else they do!

    Sorry . . if it sounded like I was accusing you. I was not! There are several members who do write on dance subjects . . . I just wanted to make sure the info I gave you 105% ACCURATE!!! Sometimes I go off half-a**ed in my replies!

    The only Waltz tapes that we have are of my wife, an Advanced dancer in UCWDC dancing with her Pros . . . Toby Monroe, Tony Gutch, Glen Cravalho, and Robery Campos. These could help put a good routine togehter . . . ???

    If I'm reading your question correctly . . . yes . . . 1, 2-o-o, 3 . . . then you start patterns.
    Are you up on your chasses??? Those seem to be the biggest challenge for men!
  11. gitjiggy

    gitjiggy New Member

    Country Ballroom........

    Country Ballroom used to be such an old fashioned hillbilly looking style dance with no true rise and fall. It was more like up and down, up and down.

    The country western dance circuit, I feel, is acquiring its discipline mainly from ballroom and latin background dancers. It is evolving into a more ballroomish style of dance but with the country accent (hats, boots, etc). Even the top levels of dancer's costumes are changing.

    Most of my experience of Country Western waltz is a progressive, with the same basic techniques of ballroom waltz. We typically learn waltz using the box step. Then we learn proper rise and fall, turns, and shaping. Its basically the same as ballroom with the exception of the country attire. It is just now evolving over the last few years, so you will have to give it time to catch up to the ballroom world, but I see the future being a bright future, that is if the UCDWC directors or organization can change.

    Simply, you have dancers running an business when they have no experience in doing so. They offer very few monetary benefits for dancers. Dancers spends thousands and thousands of dollars with hardly any reward except a cheap wooden plaque and certificate for a free pair boots. If the UCWDC wants to improve the country western dance world, they must treat it like a business, promote it within other dance style venues, and start providing better rewards for dancers.

    80% of the dance competitions on the country circuit suck. They are poorly run, not enough resources to effectively promote and run a successful comp. UCWDC should reduce the amount of sanctioned events, and start pumping more money into the sanctioned ones creating larger events, more competitors in each division, and more money to offer dancers.

    This is just my opinion.
  12. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Re: Country Ballroom........

    . . . and thus , you described "exactly" why I no longer compete in the UCWDC . . . it IS about the rewards, and not about how much your dancing has improved. Hell, my dancing improves with an hour workout in the garage . . .We work out a** off and spend lots of $$$ on privates, costumes, air fares, hotels, hotel food, event entries, $$$ to Pro for each dance entered . . . the first year that my wife and I both competed (with separate Pros . . . we tracked every penny spent - over $20K.

    Yep, we got the wood placques . . . recognition . . . one certificate for boots . . . and a broken foot!

    I hear what you are saying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  13. josefrk

    josefrk New Member

    I hope I can do this correctly since this is my first time on one of these.. But I understand you are interested in the country waltz?? SOme of these answers tell of typically ballroom manuvuers to the country waltz.. I have danced to country since 1981, all along the west coast to MO... I have yet to see someone do a twinkle to the country waltz... The country waltz is typically performed in the progressive style like the two step.. Moving in a forward motion using a standard waltz step.( 1-2-3 close together,,,move forward some,,,then 4-5-6 close together ).. Once in a great while you will see someone do a box formation to the country waltz... ALot of the same moves you do to a two step, you can also do to the country waltz.. For instance... windows... hammerlock... the pretzel... side step... spins...pivots... and also can take your partner into the sweetheart position ( side by side ) and do other moves like "around the world" and so forth..... I hope this helps some..... Joe
  14. josefrk

    josefrk New Member

    Country Waltz

    One more thing.... The country waltz is preformed with rise and fall, just like its ballroom cousin..... The country waltz can be made as elegant, even with some of the complex moves of the country waltz... ( and yes I also have done ballroom dancing ) .... Thanks
  15. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang Member

    In this area, CW Waltz basically consists of the man walking around the floor following line of dance, leading the lady through a series of turns, sweethearts,etc.
    Hopefully to more or less of a 3/4 beat......
    The look of amazement on the ladies' faces when someone actually knows how to Waltz is priceless......
    JoeB likes this.
  16. RickRS

    RickRS Member

    josefrk, welcome to DF, hope you enjoy it here.

    I get my dance instruction from a pair teaching and completing within the UCWDC. Both have twinkles in their waltz. And hopping over to the UCWDC site, UCWDC have added two low level divisions, VI and V, and have posted syllabus and demo videos for those syllabus. You can find them here:
    (cut and paste in your browser, not a hyperlink, per DF policy)

    I had to right click and "Save As" to get the videos from the site.

    Div V has the following syllabus:
    *** Waltz
    1. Left Box Turn with Lady’s Right Underarm Turn
    2. Left Box Turn with Lady’s Left Underarm Turn
    3. Pattycakes to Single Twinkle
    4. Simple Twinkle
    5. Closed Serpentine

    I've struggled with waltz, still a very lousy beginner on this dance, but the basic was presented by the instructors as forward-side-together, which I see in the UCWDC demo videos as well.

    And as you say, very elegant, very "ballroom". While I've never done FADS, seems my instructors would be right at home there, until they suit up for a comp and break out the hats and boots. :wink:
  17. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    thanks guys...I had tried to ask a couple of friends who've done a lot of country dancing, but both of your explanations are much clearer.

    I had always wondered why the waltzing at my local California Mix (WCS/hustle/country) dances didn't look and feel like the ballroom kind that I learned.
  18. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Because of cowboy boots, country western dance is more likely to feature a flat-footed glide with some heel and toe touches rather than a lot of "toe type" dancing. In addition to a quiet upper body, there is very little hip movement. Pumping of the hands, bouncing, and waddling are not encouraged.
    Cowboy, or "country" waltz consists of gliding steps that are consistent with wearing cowboy boots, rather than "on the balls of the feet" quick steps of the classic version. Neither foot is lifted completely from the ground. Steps should be a light footed glide rather than a flat footed shuffle.
    (If you want the sources of those statements, see wikipedia.)

    I was taught "Twinkles", too, and throw them into my waltz now and then.
    So if you ever find yourself in Portland...

    Some people teach stuff with ballroomy style, but Wolfgang pretty much sums up the state of affairs for most CW social dancers here in the Northwest. In Texas they keep it pretty simple.

    And, yes, welcome josefrk.
  19. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    And let's not forget the "social bfo" giggle. The leaders tend to do it more than the followers. When doing waltz - in CW - the "bfo" is a big ol' no no. Pray tell...."bfo" hmmm....butt fall out. (note how a person might drop down with his/her backside on the rise and fall). And for some strange bizzare weird reasoning - this little item has stuck with me since my first CW Waltz lesson many many moons ago. CW Waltz is a smooth glide with rise and fall. Cheers!
  20. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    I like to do both version of the CW Waltz. It seems to me the linear aspect of bar style Waltz comes from the number of people on the race track? The dances are popular and space is limited. So big circular motions can be tough and the "2-step" approach is the only one that fits.

    When I am at a really nice big dance floor or a studio, the CW Waltz that is basically American Smooth sure is fun. We can have a really make the dance as big as we like.

    One big difference in technique between the two styles is how the rise and fall are created. In the bar version, most people create the rise and fall by extending and shortening their steps. So the dance becomes long-short-short. That is very different from the plie to releve body flight created by driving the heel on 1 and rising through 2 and 3.

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