Fig. 4. The fourth step, in which obliquely taken sliding steps carry the dancers further round

Fig. 4. The fourth step, in which obliquely taken sliding steps carry the dancers further round

A clear and concise definition of the waltz is: A series of six sliding steps, forming a complete circle, with the accent on the first and fourth step. This means that the longest step comes alternately with the right and left feet of the dancers.

An important point in ideal waltzing is that the foot should never entirely leave the floor. There are so many "hoppers" and "jumpers" corrupting the waltz nowadays that this may seem a misstatement; but it is, nevertheless, a fact. The waltz, like other things, has been "improved"; but a "hop" of any sort is totally incorrect.

The six photographs reproduced provide a practical technical demonstration of the method used in giving a little beginner her first lesson in waltzing.

The first picture shows the position necessary for starting correctly. The teacher, who wears a short dress in order that her feet may be visible to the pupil, occupies the position of the gentleman, and the pupil that of the lady. It will be noticed that the gentleman starts with his back to the centre of the room, and the lady with her back to the wall. This is a very important thing to remember in waltzing.

The First Step (Fig. 1). The lady, starting with her feet in the fifth position, takes a long slide forward with the right foot. This step is taken straight between her partner's feet. The gentleman starts with the left foot, also taking a long slide forward outside the lady's right foot. This step carries the dancers nearly half round the circle.

The Second Step (Fig. 2). The lady slides her left foot forward outside her partner's feet. The gentleman draws his right foot close behind his left in the fifth position, and both dancers turn a little further round the circle.

The Third Step (Fig. 3). The lady closes her right foot behind her left in the fifth position, turning so that she is standing with her back to the centre of the room. The gentleman turns on both toes, dropping the right foot in front of the left in the fifth position. At the completion of this step (half the waltz) the dancers occupy exactly opposite positions to those in which they started, and have finished half the circle.

The Fourth Step (Fig. 4). The lady takes a long slide forward with her left foot outside her partner's feet. The gentleman takes a long slide forward with his right foot straight between the lady's feet. Each of these slides are taken obliquely, and carry the dancers further round.

The Fifth Step (Fig. 5). The lady draws her right foot behind her left in the fifth position, and the gentleman slides his left foot forward outside his partner's.

The Sixth Step (Fig. 6). The lady turns on both toes, and drops her right foot in front of her left in the fifth position, finishing with her body in exactly the same position as that in which she started the first step. The gentleman draws his right foot behind his left in fifth position, and finishes also in the same position as in the first step.

Fig. 5. The fifth step

Fig. 5. The fifth step. The pupil draws her right foot behind her left, and the teacher slides her left foot outside the pupil's

A careful comparison of Figs. 1 and 6 will show that the figures of the dancers are in precisely the same position in both pictures, though the feet are different.

Another glance at the illustrations will show that, from their position in Fig. 6, the dancers have only to advance their right and left feet as directed in the first step and they will con-tinue the waltz as before.

These six steps constitute the waltz, and form a complete circle. If a big chalk Circle were drawn on the floor, the dancers would follow it, finishing a little further down the room. Having performed the six steps once, they are repeated indefinitely without any pause. When thoroughly mastered and danced up to time they become a correct waltz.

Many beginners are confused because of the supposed difference between the lady's and gentleman's step. There is no difference. The steps made by each are exactly the same; but the lady starts at one and goes to six, while the gentleman starts at four and finishes at three. This will be understood by comparing the pictures. The lady in Figs. 4, 5, 6 is doing the same steps as the gentleman in Figs. 1, 2, and 3. It is impossible that both dancers should start with the same foot; therefore, the gentleman uses his left when the lady is using her right, and vice versa.

And the figures of the dancers are in the same position as at starting.

Fig.6

Fig. "6. The sixth and last step, in which the circle is completed.

Though the feet are differently placed

One dancer is three ahead of the other, but they both do exactly the same steps, which fit together like pieces in a puzzle.

Lady's Waltz Step

1. Right foot forward.

2. Left foot forward.

3. Feet together, fifth position.

4. Left foot forward.

5. Right foot behind, fifth position.

6. Turn on toes, finishing fifth position.

Gentleman's Waltz Step

4. Left foot forward.

5. Right foot behind, fifth position.

6. Turn on toes, finishing fifth position.

1. Right foot forward

2. Left foot forward.

3. Feet together, fifth position.

Thus, the steps numbered alike will be seen to be exactly similar in character.

The matter is "really a very simple one. If beginners will follow the above directions, will remember not to hop, and will recollect that the long steps come on beats one and four, they should turn themselves into expert waltzers with very little trouble.