Five-Step Waltz

(La Valse à Cinq Temps, 5/4 Waltz)

{1847-Present}


General Description

The name five-step waltz can refer to any waltz that is danced in 5/4 time.

Five-step waltzes have been danced since the mid-19th century, and crazy dancers (like us) have been innovating on the basic concept ever since.



Vintage Five-Step Waltz


Valse à Cinq Temps (1847)

Sources: Cellarius 1847, Durang 1856, Howe 1858, Brookes 1867

Position: Waltz position throughout.

The Footwork:

1-2-3-4: First four counts of a Leap Waltz.

5: The Lead glides (brushes) the left foot forward and into the air, while the Follow glides (brushes) the right foot closely behind the right, smoothly transitioning into the following leap with the same foot on the next count 1.

The first half turn happens on 1-2-3, the second half turn on 4-5. Howe 1858 notes that the second half turn happens mostly during the brush step.

Cellarius 1847 notes that this, like most waltzes, can be reversed, turning to the left instead of the right. The easiest way to do this is to change the rotation on the brush step.


Five Step Waltz (Five Step Polka Mazurka) (1854)

Sources: Carpenter 1854, Ferrero 1859, Howe 1862, Hillgrove 1863, Dick & Fitzgerald 1878, Sause 1880, Sidney 1881, Carpenter 1882, Koncen 1883, Rivers 1885, Dodworth 1885, Gilbert 1890

The Footwork:

1-2-3: First three counts of a Polka Mazurka, "slide-cut-lift," straight along LOD.*

4-5: The last two counts of the Zingerilla, "slide-hop," turning halfway.

Repeat opposite.

Ferrero 1859 notes that this can also be reversed, turning to the left on the slide-hop.

* The Gilbert 1890 version features a heel click as the third step of the Polka Mazurka (and Five Step Waltz), rather than a lift.


The New Five Step Waltz (Five Step Polka Waltz) (1878)

Sources: Cartier & Baron 1878, Cartier 1882, Dodworth 1885

The Footwork:

1-2: "Slide-and-slide-and" à la Galop, on the Lead's left and Follow's right.

3-4-5: Half waltz, the Lead backing around.

Repeat opposite, on the Lead's right and Follow's left, and with the Follow backing around.

Cartier & Baron 1878 notes that this can also be reversed, turning to the left on the waltzes.


Five Step Waltz (No. 2) (1890)

Sources: Gilbert 1890

The Footwork:

This is basically a Hecla Galop with an extra hop to fill the fifth count.

1-2: "Slide-and-slide" à la Galop, on the Lead's left and Follow's right.

3: Lead closes right foot to left as Follow closes left foot to right.

4: The Lead leaps back around the Follow on his left foot as the Follow leaps straight forward between his feet, starting the half turn.

5: The Lead hops on his left foot as the Follow hops on her right foot, completing the half turn.

Repeat opposite.

Though not explicitly noted in the description, this can also be reversed.


The Music

Music in 5/4 time.

Cellarius 1847 specifies 152 bpm. Dodworth 1885 and Gilbert 1890 specifies 144 bpm.

Here's "The Fashion" a "New Waltz in Five Steps" composed by Christian Nolff in 1848:



Here's "The American Republic" a "Waltz in Five Steps" composed by Christian Nolff in 1849:



Here's the "Hampton Five Step Waltz" composed by J. A. G'Shwend in 1852:



Ferrero 1859 provides this music, "The Five Steps Waltz" by Christian Nolff, which appears to be a copy of "The Fashion" from 1848:



Carpenter 1882 provides this music, "Saratoga" by Walston:




In 1887, Frederick Blume published this under the title "Dodworth's Five Step Waltz," with composer C. Nolf. It also appears to be a variation on "The Fashion."



Here's a "Five Step Waltz" composed by John M. Loretz, Jr. in 1880:



Here's "The Original Five Step Waltz" composed by Clarence R. Sidney in 1881:



Other vintage five-step waltz tunes include Edward de Roland's "Five Step Waltz," and A. J. R. Conner's "Valse À Cinq Temps."



Contemporary Five-Step Waltz

In 1847, the original publisher of the five-step waltz, Cellarius, wrote, "This waltz is capable of as many variations as the others." Here are a few other possibilities we've explored:


Basics
» Waltz
» Reverse Waltz
» Waltz and Step Hop
» Leap Waltz and Step Hop
» Waltz and Pivot
» Waltz and Two Pivots

Hesitating Variations
» Varsovienne
» Rocking Waltz

Leaping Variations
» Redowa
» Viennese Step
» Air Redowa
» Reverse Air Redowa

Mazurka Variations
» Polka Mazurka
» Pas Glissé
» La Gitana (La Carlowitzka)

Galop and Polka
» Five-Slide Galop
» Three-Slide Galop and Polka
» Polka-Pivot-Polka

Heel Clicks
» Hungroise

Newport & Waltz Galop
» Newport and Waltz Galop

Reverse Five-Step Waltz
» All of the above can be reversed.


Related Dances

Five-Step Mazurka Clandestina

Most variations in mazurka clandestina can be adapted into five-step waltz, and vice versa.


© 2015 Nick Enge


(Click to expand)

Historical Descriptions


Waltze a Cinq Temps (Cellarius, 1847):

Maelzel's Metronome, 152 [eighth notes]

I will finish what I have to say upon the different kinds of waltze, by giving some account of a new waltze composed, during my residence in London, by my friend, Perrot, and which he has had the kindness to dedicate to me, I may therefore say I have been at the fountain-head to acquire its execution and principles.

This, which is called the waltze à cinque temps, is as yet known in Paris only by hearsay. I must therefore confine myself to a mere technical notice, and wait till it has received the approbation of the French public before making any peculiar observations.

The step of this waltze in itself has nothing very complicated; the principal difficulty consists in the time, which is little used, but of which nevertheless we find an example in Boieldien's celebrated air, "Viens, gentille dame." The pupil should in the first place familiarize his air with this time, and after attending to it for a little while he will be able to keep it as easily as that of the other waltzes.

The waltze à cinque temps, destined originally for the theatre, was executed by springs, and was composed of many figures and running steps, which have been suppressed to make it suited to the public.

The position is the same as for the waltze à deux temps; the gentleman begins with the left foot and the lady with the right.

This is the detail of the five beats, of which the entire waltze is composed;

First beat: the waltzer should have his right foot in advance, make a jetè with the left, passing before the lady as in the waltz à trois temps.

Second beat: place the right foot in the third position behind.

Third beat: join the left foot behind the right.

Fourth beat: place the right foot in the fourth position in front.

Fifth beat: A little glissade behind and on the side.

It is necessary always to recommence with the left foot.

A demi-round must be made to the three first beats as in the waltz à trois temps; you then make a slight turn to the fourth, and make the second demi-round upon the little glissade.

I shall now point out the lady's step, decomposing the five times as for the gentleman.

First step: The lady should have the left foot in advance, and make a jetè upon the right foot, raising the left foot behind.

Second step: Coupé upon the left foot, raising the right foot before to the fourth position.

Third step: jetè upon the right foot, raising the left behind.

Fourth step: jetè of the left foot, raising the right behind.

Fifth step: Little glissade behind the right foot.

The lady should not forget that she must always commence with the right foot.

This waltze is capable of as many variations as the others, and admits equally of l'envers and l'endroit.

To accustom the pupil's ear to this time, the composer has suggested a bell to be struck with a little hammer at the fifth beat. For the greater facility this measure may be divided into two-a measure of three beats, and a measure of two.

After this simple detail, made rather by way of precept than for the world, I do not pretend to give any farther idea of the waltze à cinque temps, nor to presage the less or greater success, that it is destined to meet with. If, however, I may be allowed to speak of my personal impressions, independent of the fascination it derived from the wonderful execution of its inventor—it seems to me to combine all the conditions of allurement and grace, which are needful to put it on a par with other dances and new waltzes. I think too that there will be found in its execution a peculiar originality, which it owes to the piquant clashing character of the rhythm, which may perhaps above all contribute to its becoming fashionable.

But I must not forget that I am talking of a waltze which so to speak, is unpublished, and which, at the moment of my writing, has not yet appeared in any French ball-room. I have always held the maxim that a professor of dancing should never take the initiative in the matter of a new dance or waltze; he ought to wait for the public impulse without ever attempting to give it himself. A master's pretending to impose a novelty on the ball-room might perhaps be enough to drive it from them for ever, whatever else might be its merit and attractions. It is, therefore, under the form of a mere suggestion that I have ventured to speak of the waltze e cinque temps, I have therefore endeavoured to describe its fundamentals, and to explain the step for those who may wish to try it. My duty now is to watch for the first indications, and to see what may be its fate in the balls of the ensuing winter.


Five-Step Waltz (Cinq Temp Valse) (Carpenter, 1854):

This very beautiful Waltz was first introduced in New York, by that able master, Mr. Saracco; every movement being so exact and pointed, and of which is different from the Cellarious five time Waltz, being too much in the style of a gallop; although I teach either the Saracco or the Cellarious Waltz.

The gentleman will stand in the third position, with left foot.

Commence, by sliding the left foot to the second position, then draw the right foot up to the left in third position; rest on the right foot, and make a little battemen with left foot, second position; let the left foot come down immediately third position, make a half turn, and place the right foot in the third position.

Slide the right to second, draw the left up to right foot, third position; make a little battemen with right foot to second, left the right foot come down to third position; give a half turn, and draw the right up to the left foot, third position, and so repeat.

Music, 5/4 time.

The lady will always begin with right foot. Care should be taken to spring slightly at every position.


The Valse A Cinq Temps (Durang, 1856):

Five Step Waltz. As Described by Cellarius.

The gentleman's ttep.

First time.—He should have his right foot in front, make a Jete with the left foot passing before the lady, as in the Valse a Trois Temps.

Second time.—Place the right foot in the third position behind.

Third time.—Join the left foot behind the right.

Fourth time.—Bring the right foot forward in the fourth position.

Fifth time.—A little glissade behind and on the side.

The waltzer must always recommence with the left foot. In the three times the waltzer must make a half turn, as in the old three time waltz; scarcely turn at all in the fourth, and make the second half turn in the fifth, upon the little glissade.

The lady thus—First time.—She should have her left foot in front, make a Jeté upon the right foot, lifting the left foot behind.

Second time.—Coupé upon the left foot, lifting the right foot before to the fourth position.

Third time.—Jeté upon the right foot lifting the left behind.

Fourth time.—Jeté with the left foot, lifting the right behind.

Fifth time.—Little glissade behind the right foot.

The lady should not forget that she must always begin with the right foot.

This Valse is susceptible of as many variations as the others, and admits of the l'envers and l'endroit, viz;—left and right.


The Valse A Cinq Temps (Five Step Waltz) (Howe, 1858):

[An abbreviated copy of Durang 1856]

Five Step Waltz, as described by Cellarius.

The Gentleman's Step.

First time.—He should have his right foot in front, make a Jete with the left foot passing before the lady, as in the Valse a Trois Temps.

Second time.—Place the right foot in the third position behind.

Third time.—Join the left foot behind the right.

Fourth time.—Bring the right foot forward in the fourth position.

Fifth time.—A little glissade behind and on the side.

The waltzer must always recommence with the left foot. In the three times the waltzer must make a half turn, as in the old three time waltz; scarcely turn at all in the fourth, and make the second half turn in the fifth, upon the little glissade. Lady commences with the right foot.


The Five Step Waltz (Ferrero, 1859):

Slide the foot forward (count one). Bring up the right, springing and raising the left, pointing the toe to the floor (count two). Spring again on the right; bring the left back close to the right (count three).

Slide the left forward again (count four); then bring the right foot in front of the left (count five).

Recommence the same with the right foot.

Turn and reverse, as in other dances.


The Five Step Waltz (Howe, 1862):

[Verbatim copy of Ferrero 1859]


The Five Step Waltz (Hillgrove, 1863):



Music in Five-Four Time.

This dance is very similar to the Polka Mazourka, and was formerly a great favorite.

The Steps.

1st. The gentleman will slide the left foot forward (count one).

2d. Bring the right foot up close to the left, in third position, at the same time raising the left foot to front, with toe pointed to the floor (count two).

3d. Spring on the right foot, and bring the left foot back close to the right (count three).

4th. Slide the left foot diagonally forward in front of your partner, slightly turning to the right (count four).

5th. Hop on the left foot and bring the right foot in front of the left to third position, turning half round (count five).

In all, one bar.

The gentleman then recommences with the right foot, and so on alternately.

The directions for the lady (except reversing the feet), are precisely the same.

N.B.—The dancers, either lady or gentleman, on taking the fourth step with the right foot, will step between their partner's feet—and not in front as with the left foot.

Turn and reverse as in the other dances.


Valse A Cinq Temps (Brookes, 1867):

(The Five Step Valse.)

Composed by Perrot, in London, 1815, and dedicated to Cellarius.

The step is not very complicated; the principal difficulty consists in the measure, which is a little out of date, but of which an example is to be found in the allegro of Boieldieu's famous air, "Viens, gentille dame."

Take one Mazourka step to the left (one-two-three), leap or step on the left foot (four), then bring the right foot in front of the left, third position (five); recommence with the right foot.

This dance is now out of fashion.

STEP OF THE CINQ TEMPS.

As originally described by Cellarius.

For the Gentleman.

First time. He should have his right foot in front, make a jeté with the left foot, passing before the lady, as in the Valse a Trois Temps.

Second time. Place the right foot in the third position behind.

Third time. Join the left foot behind the right.

Fourth time. Bring the right foot forward in the fourth position.

Fifth time. A little glissade behind, and on the side.

He must always recommence with the left foot.

In the first three times he must make a half turn, as in the Valse Trois Temps, scarcely turn at all in the fourth, and make the second half turn in the fifth upon the little glissade.

The Step of the Lady.

First time. She should have her left foot in front, make a jeté upon the right foot, lifting the left foot behind.

Second time. Coupe upon the left foot, lifting the right foot before to the fourth position.

Third time. Jeté upon the right foot, lifting the left behind.

Fourth time. Jeté upon the left foot, lifting the right behind.

Fifth time. Little glissade behind with the right foot.

This Valse is susceptible of as many variations as the others, and admits also of the l'envers and l'endroit.


The New Five-Step Waltz (Cartier & Baron, 1878):

Make two slides sidewise, commencing with left foot—(counting one and two); then execute waltz step half round (counting one, two, three). Repeat the same, commencing with right foot.


Five-Step Waltz (Dick & Fitzgerald, 1878):

Music in 5-4 Time.

This waltz is very similar to the polka mazourka, and is exceedingly graceful; but the time is so peculiar that is is very seldom danced.

Gentleman.

1. Glide left foot forward; count one.

2. Bring up the right foot to third position, springing on it, and at the same time raising the left, pointing the toe to the floor; count two.

3. Spring again on the right, bring the left back close to and behind the right, heel raised, toe pointing to the floor; count three.

4. Glide the left foot diagonally forward toward your partner, turning slightly to the right; count four.

5. Glide the left again and bring the right in front of the left foot, in the third position, and at the same time turn half round; count five.

The gentleman then commences with the right foot, continuing with five more counts, making another half turn, and thus completing the circle or turn. Observe, that in taking the fourth step with the right foot, the dancer, lady or gentleman, steps between his partner's feet, and not forward, as directed for the left foot.

Lady.

Same as the gentleman, except the feet are reversed, she starting with the right, instead of the left foot.


Five-Step Waltz (Sause, 1880):

Glide left foot forward (count one); bring the right foot to the third position, springing on it, at the same time raising the left with toe pointed to the floor (count two); spring again on the right foot and bring the left back close behind the right, with the heel raised and the toe pointing to the floor (count three); then glide your left foot diagonally forward toward your partner, and turn slightly to the right (count four); and again glide the left foot and bring the right in front of it in the third position, and turn half round (count five.)

Then commence with the right foot and continue with five more similar counts while making another half turn.

The lady's steps are the same as the gentleman's, except that the feet are reversed, the lady starting with right foot.

In making the fourth step with the right foot, the dancer steps between his or her partner's feet, and not diagonally forward as directed for the left foot.


The Original Five Step Waltz (The Five Step) (Sidney, 1881):

Slide right foot to the side, transferring weight of body to the right, leaving left in same place, with heel slightly raised, Count one.

Change feet by striking right away with left heel, thus standing on the left, with right extended to side, Count two.

While right is still suspended hop upon the left, Count three.

Leap from left to right foot, leaving left suspended to the side, Count four.

Spring from right, but alight upon both, left in front, the heel in hollow on the right, Count five.

Slide left foot to the side, transferring weight of body to the left, leaving right in same place, with heel slightly raised, Count one.

Change feet by striking left away with right heel, thus standing on the right, with left extended to side, Count two.

While left is still suspended hop upon the right, Count three.

Leap from right to left foot, leaving right suspended to the side, Count four.

Spring upon left, but alight upon both, right in front, the heel in hollow of left, Count five.

The Gentleman's steps are the same as the Lady, except that the feet are reversed, the Gentleman starting with the left foot.


The New Five-Step Waltz (Cartier, 1882):

[Same as Cartier & Baron 1878]


The Five-Step Waltz (Carpenter, 1882):

Music in Five-Four Time.

The dance is quite similar to the Polka-Mazourka, and very graceful, still, the time being so peculiar renders it somewhat difficult of execution.

Gentleman.—1. Glide left foot forward; count one.

2. Bring up right foot to third position, springing on it, and at the same time raising the left, pointing the toe to the floor; count two.

3. Spring again on the right, bring the left back close to and behind the right, heel raised, toe pointing to the floor; count three.

4. Glide the left foot diagonally forward towards your partner, turning slightly to the right; count four.

5. Glide the left foot again, and bring the right in front of the left foot, in the third position; and at the same time turn half round; count five.

The gentleman then commences with the right foot, continuing with five more counts, making another half turn and thus completing the circle or turn. Observe that in taking the fourth step with the right foot, the dancers, lady or gentleman, steps between their partner's feet and not forward, as with the left foot.

Lady.—Same as gentleman, except the feet are reversed, lady starting with the right instead of the left foot.


The New Five-Step Waltz (Koncen, 1883):

Glide the left foot forward, (count one;) draw the right foot close to the left, springing on it and raise the left foot pointing to the floor, (count two;) glide the right foot forward, (count three;) glide the left foot forward between your partner's feet turning to the right, (count four;) glide the left foot and bring the right foot in front of the left and turn half around, (count five).


Five Step (Dodworth, 1885):

Introduced in 1849.

This is a peculiar dance in five-four time, for which we have but few musical compositions. It consists of the mazurka with leap and hop.

Accent.

M.M. [quarter note] = 144.



The turn is made at the leap; hop (fourth and fifth motions), two bars being required for one revolution. At the moment of making the last hop (fifth motion), the disengaged foot should be brought to the first position, so that the heels will touch simultaneously with the hop.


Cinq Temps (Rivers, 1885):

Take one mazourka step to the left, count one, two, three; leap or jette on left foot, count four; spring on left, at the same time place right foot in third position, count five, thus turning half round; mazourka step, beginning with right foot, leap on right, spring on right, and place left foot front in third position, which will complete the turn.

The lady begins the dance with the right foot, (and as above described for the gentleman).


New Five-Step (Dodworth, 1885):

A very agreeable change is made by making two slides at the first and second motions, and at the third a change instead of a hop.

The accent will be seen under the music.


Five Step Waltz (No. 1) (Gilbert, 1890):

M.M. = 144 [quarter notes]. 5-4 time.

One Mazurka step to the left, 1, 2, 3; leap upon the left foot, 4; hop on left and bring right to 3d raised, 5; one measure. Repeat commencing with the right foot.

Counterpart for lady.


Five Step Waltz (No. 2) (Gilbert, 1890):

Slide left foot to side, 1; chasse & 2; draw right to left placing weight on right, 3; leap from the right to the left foot, 4; hop on left and bring right to 3d raised, 5; one measure. Repeat, commencing with the right foot.

Counterpart for lady.


The 5-4 Waltz (Valse en Cinq Temps) (Zorn, 1905):

836. A Waltz in 5-4 measure, which was said to have originated in Paris, was at one time brought out, but its rhythm was so greatly at variance with the ordinary sense of measure that it was very short-lived and the endeavor to make it fashionable resulted in utter failure.

837. Nearly the same fate overtook the Sicilienne and the Impériale, which were published, with notes and descriptions, in 1854. They were too complicated to attain popularity.


The 5-4 Waltz (Valse en Cinq Temps) (Zorn, 1920):

[Same as Zorn 1905]


If you or your community is interested in learning Five-Step Waltz, .


For more, including descriptions of 25 different waltzes and hundreds of variations thereof, see Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living a book by Richard Powers and Nick Enge.


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