The Beauty of Waltz Steps …
Macarena— is there anything quite as beautiful? Wait, that doesn’t sound right does it? Don’t get me wrong, there are some people who appreciate the contemporary and trendy dances and that’s alright. But there’s something about the elegance and gracefulness of waltz steps that make it so beautiful to watch. It is a timeless form of art that has made its mark in history.
Interestingly enough, waltz started out as a shockingly brash dance in the earlier centuries. When the aristocrats first saw free-spirited peasants hold each other close and twirling around, they were indignant and scandalized. You must remember, the dances in high-society, like the minuet, then were very proper— and arguably they were also very boring. It wasn’t long before lighthearted noblemen and women started to enjoy and participate in the waltz.
Original Waltz Steps
The original form of this dance (landler) was tweaked and refined to a more graceful dance that the aristocrats could deem acceptable. The heavy twirling and jumping around gave way to graceful glides and more elegant postures. The scandal of the proximity shared by the men and women eventually wore off and the waltz became a popular and very fashionable dance throughout the world.
Now the waltz is an accepted dance today. This is often danced in weddings or other more formal events that people dress up for. For the untrained dancer, the waltz might be a little more difficult to learn but definitely, the end result is worth the pinched toes and minor collision courses between partners. With a little time and effort, two awkward individuals can look polished and graceful— making beautiful music on the dance floor together.
Basic Footwork of Waltz Steps – It’s Not That Technical!
For the professional dancers though, or even for the amateur ones who consistently take ballroom dancing lessons, waltz steps are not as challenging as the other forms of dance. There is some basic footwork to be learned and a certain bearing to be maintained, but the true student of dance will be able to master this with a few practices.
More than the technical steps, what is important to build is the chemistry between the partners. The man must be able to lead his partner and the woman must trust the man enough to allow herself to be led. There is absolutely no interchanging of roles here. The man takes charge of the choreography and direction, the woman supports and follows. This is not to say the woman’s role is easy. Not at all. As Ginger Rogers was said to have commented with regard to partnering to acclaimed dancer Fred Astaire, “I did everything that Fred did, only backwards and with heels.”
It’s really funny if you think about it because now, waltz steps seem like a really conservative dance that belongs to the upper crust. It is at the opposite end of the spectrum of how it was first perceived. You never know, maybe in the next century the Macarena will be elevated into an art that professionally trained and elegant dancers will seek to perfect. Or maybe not.