The Wonders of Waltz
Updated: Feb 15
Traditional and timeless, the Waltz is often overlooked as being confined to the older generation and is taken for granted as a staple of ballroom dancing. At Arthur Murray, we celebrate the many and varied benefits of learning the Waltz and encourage all dancers to give the classic discipline a whirl.
If you can master the frame for the Waltz, it will set you in good stead for all the other ballroom styles. The key to sticking together like glue from the waist down is to make sure you’re slightly offset, connecting on your right hand sides; the man should stand upright, while the woman arches her body and turns her head away to create the beautiful image of a flower in a vase. When the dance was first presented during the 18th century, it was considered scandalous due to the intimate embrace, but this hold will give you a core of steel, as well as challenging your sense of balance in the spins.
Due to the speed of the Waltz – before you even progress to the Viennese Waltz – you’ll move your feet approximately 90 times per minute. The continuous shift of weight and the resistance of movement will increase your cardiovascular health in no time. If you dance 3 times a week, you should see real improvement in 6 to 8 weeks, and a study back in 2006 showed that it was just as effective as working out on the treadmill – and way more fun!
While the simplicity of the Waltz makes it an easy dance to learn, mastering it is another matter altogether. Concentrating on your footwork, perfecting both the rise and fall and the swing and sway of the style, as well as reading body language cues from your partner leaves little room in your mind to worry about other things. Learning the Waltz can help your cares melt away, freeing the day’s stress from your body and leaving you a more relaxed person.
Tune in & tone up
With the triple step movement performed to a 3-4 beat, the body is challenged throughout the dance to stay upright, let alone in the right position. Your muscles will pull against each other and so become lean and taught without the need for repetitive gym work, and the weight will simply fall off your frame. When you add spins and turns, you’re creating further tension within the core, which is already working overtime to maintain the frame, thus creating a fantastic all-round workout.
Make a connection
Whether you are dancing with your life partner, trying the class as a first date or single and out to meet someone new, the Waltz is the perfect way to reach out and connect with someone. Not only is it the most romantic of dances, but the hold is intimate and the style is so classically elegant it will soften even the toughest of nuts.