What makes a waltz a waltz for you?

Subliminal

Well-Known Member
#1
There are three basic ways to step in Vals Argentino.

step on beat 1, hold on beat 2, hold on beat 3, etc.
step on beat 1, step on beat 2, hold on beat 3, etc.
step on beat 1, hold on bat 2, step on beat 3, etc.

There's a fourth way, stepping on every beat, but it's seldom used as the music is so fast.

Creative use of these rhythms and musicality is the foundation, of course. But what else makes a good waltz? Circular movements? Smoothness in the step? What do you do to make your waltz stand out from your regular tango, style and step-wise?

I have my own thoughts, but I'd like to hear others' opinions. Particularly followers, what they like to feel.
 

newbie

Well-Known Member
#3
Long ago I attended a CITA class by R. Herrera/N Poberaj, he said that vals was more happy-face, while for tango you had to look sad. Not just the facial expression, all the body language.
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#5
Re: step on beat 1, step on beat 2, hold on beat 3, etc.

There are three basic ways to step in Vals Argentino....
In contrary Vals is for me the total absence of basic ways, rhythmic patterns, interpretion, a.s.o. as you wrote.

With Vals I let myself go, I shut off my head, and dance...

With Tango it´s all present and I am really concentrated and analyze the music, not so with Vals, I let my hear dance, and I follow.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#6
More non-stop-ish (obviously it will stop, but less pauses than usual), more circular movements in general, often a softness/smoothness in the dance (because the music is often softer and smoother), more flowing, really following the energy of the music.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#8
What makes a waltz a waltz to me is 3/4 time (sometimes 6/8 ). :D
6/8 or 12/8 is how I feel vals (they may be written differently, but that's how I tend to feel them).

For me, the emotions I feel range from energetic, happiness, to elegance.
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#9
6/8 or 12/8 is how I feel vals (they may be written differently, but that's how I tend to feel them).

For me, the emotions I feel range from energetic, happiness, to elegance.
I've never seen any vals in musical score, but much sounds as though it is 6/8. I certainly feel a slow, compound, beat of 2, but (wait for it...) because I dance Viennese Waltz, anyway, the faster movement of 1 step per fast beat (in 3s) doesn't feel particularly 'fast' to me, although I do appreciate that some (by no means all) vals is played at a slightly faster basic tempo than waltz.
 

Ampster

Active Member
#12
Dancing tango is an earthy, heavy, and deep emotional experience. It is drama.

Dancing a Vals is a flowing and swoopy exercise that melds into each other continuously and seamlessly. It become light hearted and happy. It's a heart-warming moment.
 
#13
But what else makes a good waltz? Circular movements? Smoothness in the step? What do you do to make your waltz stand out from your regular tango, style and step-wise?
If we don't want to fall in the stereotypes, we should avoid generic anwsers: the way the music is translated to dance depends on many factors, including the partner you are dancing with, the floor, the crowdness of the milonga, the piece that you are dancing, and of course, the orchestra that is playing. Because if you compare the same "Desde el alma" played by d'arienzo, canaro and by pugliese you can clearly see that they are totally different worlds. Canaro's version is very flowing, I would take smooth steps, and circular movements are proably the best way to mantain the flow while remaining on your place, very useful when the crowd doesn't allow you to move forward. But if you have a lot of space, linear movements can be good as well. If it is so crowd that you don't have space for giros, you don't do giros. I would not define D'Arienzo's version "flowing": it is full of staccato notes that I would rather dance with quick, sudden movements, more like a milonga, but mixed also with flowing movements, because this is the music. Pugliese's version is full of pauses and tempo changes, so if someone thinks that in vals there are no pauses, he/she should sit down with this music...

So, resuming: circular movements, linear movements, flow, not flow, smooth steps, strong steps, soft steps, pauses... :)
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#15
As a variation on that theme, I was interested to read (in another discussion the other day) how many were claiming to be sublimely unconcerned with the actual pulse or rhythm of the music, but seemingly, as soon as they dance vals, are very well aware, if not actually counting.

Strange difference of approach.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#16
As a variation on that theme, I was interested to read (in another discussion the other day) how many were claiming to be sublimely unconcerned with the actual pulse or rhythm of the music, but seemingly, as soon as they dance vals, are very well aware, if not actually counting.

Strange difference of approach.
Well, if you're thinking of me, you're not paying attention to what I said. I don't pay attention to the beats, pretty much ever. But beats != pulse != rhythm...both of which I am extremely aware of. Always. That doesn't change regardless of if I'm dancing tango, milonga or vals.

The fact that I can listen to it and pick it out as being 3/4, or 6/8 or 12/8 timing is a completely separate matter.
 
#17
As a variation on that theme, I was interested to read (in another discussion the other day) how many were claiming to be sublimely unconcerned with the actual pulse or rhythm of the music, but seemingly, as soon as they dance vals, are very well aware, if not actually counting.

Strange difference of approach.
To me - and I admit it's just a personal view - I find that the rhythms in vals and milonga are more "insistent" than in traditional tango; there seems to be less flexibility about the interpretation, and more of an expectation to "obey the beat" to an extent.
 
#18
If we don't want to fall in the stereotypes, we should avoid generic anwsers: the way the music is translated to dance depends on many factors, including the partner you are dancing with, the floor, the crowdness of the milonga, the piece that you are dancing, and of course, the orchestra that is playing. Because if you compare the same "Desde el alma" played by d'arienzo, canaro and by pugliese you can clearly see that they are totally different worlds. ..

So, resuming: circular movements, linear movements, flow, not flow, smooth steps, strong steps, soft steps, pauses... :)
Best post so far.
 

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