How to dance the waltz for beginners

How To Waltz Dance For Beginners

Learn how to Waltz dance for beginners in this starter guide.

Table Of Contents:

What is the Waltz?
How To Count The Waltz
Waltz Basic Steps (Box Step) – Video
Progressive Basic Step – Video
2 styles of Waltz

What is the Waltz? Slow Waltz Character/History:

The Waltz dance is one of the classiest Ballroom dances with an emphasize on “rise and fall” and smooth movement across the dance floor. The Slow Waltz Originated in Vienna, Austria and was soon the go to dance at various Ballrooms and parties.

It is a dance that has a very elegant and soft character to match the classical music that often accompanies it. This dance has figures that are in one place such as the box step (taught below), as well as figures that travel around the floor such as the progressive basic step (taught below).

It can be danced to classy songs like “Appassionata” by secrete Garden and “The Sweetheart Tree” by Johnny Mathis.

How To Count The Waltz:

The way you count the Waltz is: “1,2,3” – “1,2,3” – Each beat is even. The Waltz has a 3/4 time signature which is different than many of the other social dances like Rumba or Foxtrot that have a 4/4 structure.

Check out the 2 Waltz steps below:

Basic Waltz Dance Steps (The Box):

Summary of Waltz Basic Steps (Box Step)


Fwd with left foot
Side with right foot
Close left foot to right foot
Back with right foot
Side with left foot
Close right foot to left foot


Back with right foot
Side with left foot
Close right foot to left foot
Fwd with left foot
Side with right foot
Close left foot to right foot

Pro Tip:

One of the keys to make your Waltz look better is to do “rise and fall” through out. In general you lower on count “1”, and go up on count “2”, then lower at the end of count “3”. Try it out!

Now that you learned how to Waltz in place with the box, you need to learn how to travel around the room since Waltz is a traveling dance.


Fwd with left foot
Side with right foot
Close left foot to right foot
Fwd with right foot
Side with left foot
Close right foot to left foot


Back with right foot
Side with left foot
Close right foot to left foot
Back with left foot
Side with right foot
Close left foot to right foot

2 Popular styles of Waltz:

American Style: The American style Waltz originated in the United States and has moves that are done in closed-hold, as well as moves that are done in open-hold. The open-hold moves are what distinguish this style from the International style.

International Style: This style of Waltz is danced in both the USA and Europe. All the Waltz moves in this style are done in closed-hold. The International style is also often done competitively.

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Learn Basic Steps For Waltz

Waltz is an elegant, nearly universal dance, perfect for weddings, or almost any social occasion. It's not as hard to learn as most people think.

  • Basic steps
  • Instructions & Diagrams
  • Video
  • Recommended Video Lessons »

Quick intro

Waltz dates back to the late 17th century Europe, but has never really been out of fashion and clearly stood the test of time. It should probably be one of the first ballroom dances you learn.

It is a smooth and graceful dance with long, flowing movements, characterized by rise & fall motion. It has a unique 3/4 timing and a simple rhythmic pattern which blends with the music. You can start waltzing very quickly by just learning the simple box step.

Basic steps

The basic step for waltz is a box step. It's named after a pattern it creates on the floor (box or square) and forms the foundation of the dance.

A box step can be divided into two parts - a forward half box and a backward half box. Each half box has three steps - a step forward or backward, a step to the side, and a step to close the feet together.

The leader starts with the left foot and executes a forward half box, followed by a backward half box. The follower performs the opposite – she starts with the right foot and executes a backward half box, followed by a forward half box.

The basic box step pattern uses three counts - slow, quick, quick, which is repeated twice to create the box step. Timing is 1,2,3,1,2,3 or 1,2,3,4,5,6.

Instructions & Diagrams:

When dancing waltz someone has to lead and someone has to follow. Usually the man will lead and the woman will follow.

Men's Steps:

  1. Step forward with the left foot
  2. Right foot step sideways to the right
  3. Bring your left foot next to your right foot
  4. Step back with the right foot
  5. Step back sideways with the left foot
  6. Bring your right foot next to your left foot

Lady's Steps:

  1. Step back with the right foot
  2. Left foot step sideways to the left
  3. Bring your right foot next to your left foot
  4. Step forward with the left foot
  5. Step forward sideways with the right foot
  6. Bring your left foot next to your right foot


In this video Leon and Kim will show you the basic box step. You will also get important tips on rise & fall movement which characterizes this dance:

more videos »

Once you've mastered the basic box step, it's time to start rotating that box. It will usually be rotated to the left (counterclockwise), so it's called the Left Box Turn. It's quite simple: with each half box, you turn 1/4 of the turn to the left. After two boxes (or four half boxes) you will complete the turn and end up where you began. Then start all over again.

Ok, so now that you know the basic box and how to rotate it, lets continue with basic progressive. Here, as the name implies, the leader will always be moving forwards and the follower backwards. This will enable you to move around the dance floor instead of just dancing on the spot. Here is a clip from Learn & Master Ballroom Dance course that will show you in detail how it's done:

Where to go next?

Now that you know the basics, what's your next step (pun intended ;)? To go to the next level, we recommend one of the video training programs. Here are our recommendations »

prices, reviews and addresses of dance studios

Waltz in Moscow - prices and reviews. Comparative table of dance schools where there are waltz lessons. Groups for beginners, training for continuing.




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The portal contains information about where you can sign up for waltz classes in Moscow: addresses and telephone numbers of dance schools and dance studios, prices for the most popular directions, student reviews. For greater convenience in using the portal and searching for a dance school, we suggest using a convenient filter by districts and metro stations. Visual tables will help you compare the cost of classes and trainings in different dance studios in the city, choosing the best option for the price.

It is difficult to find a more famous dance than the waltz. His elegance and lightness captivates, plunging into a fabulous atmosphere. Waltz is ballroom dancing three-quarter time signature, performed mainly in the closed position. To the most common figures include a full revolution, made in two measure, each of which consists of two steps.

The beautiful waltz gained its popularity in the 80s of the XVIII century in Vienna, after which it began to gradually spread to other countries. So with its closed positions, the dance has become a model for creating many similar ballroom directions, including different types of the waltz itself. It was danced mainly at balls, demonstrating the ease of movement of partners.

Is it difficult to waltz?

The characteristic features and charms of the waltz include a smooth and continuous whirling of dancing couples, harmoniously combined with a common line dance, which involves the movement of all couples in a circle. liveliness, simplicity and the immediacy of the dance brought a special atmosphere to the ceremonial aristocratic salons, where pretentious pretentious gavottes and minuets reigned.

Meanwhile, waltz for beginners is quite interesting and simple. a direction that is quickly mastered and gives great pleasure dancing. Of course, waltz training should take place at a dance school, since according to it is quite difficult for books to master the steps and actions. It is more suitable for those who already has an idea about the basic movements or who just missed several aspects of the dance and wants to catch up.

How to learn to dance slow waltzes? Lessons at the dance school - the perfect solution to this problem. Training includes a warm-up during which body muscles are warmed up. Thus, nothing will fetter the body and dancer's movements. Only then does the actual processing follow. movements, steps and pas. Waltz lessons involve dancing in pairs. However, it is not worth to worry if there is no couple - people come to many dance schools without couples, so there is always a company. An interesting choice would be Viennese, french or figured waltzes, friendship waltz and boston.

How to find waltz dance lessons in Moscow?

Our portal is specially designed to enable its visitors to find the best dance school in Moscow for you, offering everything areas of interest to him. A convenient filter will allow you to find schools where there are waltz training, in the most convenient area, the nearest station to work or home underground. The tables show the cost of a one-time waltz lesson. With the price of Subscriptions can be found on the corresponding page. Class Feedback waltz in a particular school will help assess the level of presentation of information and teacher qualifications.

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How to learn how to perform waltz steps?

Nowadays, the waltz is widespread in all countries, including Russia. Waltz is played at almost every social event, it is considered mandatory at school graduations and weddings (which is why the dance was given the name "wedding"). That is why the ability to waltz and perform different combinations of waltz steps can be useful in our time. Waltz lessons, of course, should be taken from real dance teachers, but if this is not possible, and you need to learn the movements in a short time, you can use our publication. The dance is elegant and easy to perform, and in this article, we'll take a look at how to do the Waltz steps for beginners.

The history of the waltz

The waltz is a classic pair dance whose origins date back to the end of the seventeenth century. The name comes from the German walzer - "to spin". Despite the fact that the dance appeared in Germany and was considered peasant, it was first performed in Europe, in Vienna. In Austria, he gained fame among the nobility. At that time, dance was not just an element of art, it was a must for performance among the aristocracy. Waltz lessons were taught from an early age to girls and boys who belonged to the nobility.

From the beginning of the nineteenth century, dance rapidly spread throughout Europe and became more and more diverse. New types and combinations of waltz steps appeared, in many countries a modified version was considered a national dance. At the beginning of the twentieth century in England, such a well-known form as the slow waltz began to be performed. Despite its incredible popularity, any deviation from the classical style was negatively perceived by the old European aristocracy. In Russia, the appearance of dance coincided with the reign of Catherine II and Paul I. At first, the waltz was not approved by the rulers and the nobility, it was even banned, but over time it also gained fame. However, the waltz underwent special changes after the Second World War. In the dance, the basic character of movement, steps and turns has changed, but there are more opportunities for the development of dance figures.

Waltz variations

Despite the fact that the Viennese waltz is considered to be the ancestor of the dance, performed with fast side steps, its other variations are also very common in the world. In total, there are about two hundred and fifty types of this dance. The most famous variants are:

  • English (slow) waltz.
  • Viennese (fast) waltz.
  • Russian waltz (waltz in two steps).
  • Figured waltz.
  • Japanese waltz (mitriso waltz).
  • Argentine waltz (tango).


Waltzing is quite easy if you understand how to dance correctly. Waltz steps are carried out according to a certain pattern. First of all, imagine a square - you will move along such a trajectory during the dance. The dance is led by a man, his left hand should be on the partner's waist, and his right hand should be holding her hand. The woman's left hand rests on the man's shoulder. The movement in the waltz begins with the right foot, ends with the left and proceeds counterclockwise. But do not forget that the woman moves in the opposite direction of the man, that is, her steps are made clockwise and start with the left foot. The main step of the waltz is the side step, it is very easy to learn, but remember that for a beautiful performance of the dance, the steps must be light and sliding. To do this, first slide with the ball of your foot, then go to the toe and only then lean on the entire foot. The first step is big, the second and third are small. The movements should be relaxed and smooth, and do not forget to smile, then you will achieve the desired effect.

Scheme of movements

The movements of this dance consist of a path and a turn.

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