The New Waltz

(The Modern Waltz, The Side-Step Version)

{1880s-Present}



Contemporary Description

This is the late-19th century version of the Waltz, with a side-step on the second count of the backing half, allowing the Waltz to be easily reversed.


The Position

Waltz position throughout.


The Footwork

1: Facing against LOD, the Lead steps back with his left foot, toward the outside wall, as the Follow steps with her right foot forward, slightly between his feet, along LOD.

2: The Lead takes a small side step right, along LOD, as the Follow takes a large side step left, along LOD, passing by in the inside lane.

3: Both close their trailing foot (his left, her right) up to that side step, taking weight.

4-5-6: The Lead does exactly what the Follow did, and vice-versa.

Sause 1880 describes both this turn to the right, as well as a reverse turn to the left, and forward and backward movements (as in the Pursuit).


The Music

Music in 3/4 time.




Contemporary Waltz Variations

Contemporary variations of the Waltz can be found on the Rotary Waltz page.


© 2015 Nick Enge


(Click to expand)

Historical Descriptions


The New Waltz (Cartier & Baron, 1879):

Slide left foot backward to the left to 4th position (count one); draw right foot backward to the right to 4th position (count two); slide left foot backward to 1st position (count three).

Slide right foot forward to the right to 4th position (count four); draw left foot forward to the left to 4th position (count five); slide right foot forward to 1st position (count six).

To Reverse to the Left.

Slide right foot backward to the right to 4th position (count one ); draw left foot backward to the left to 4th position (count two); slide right foot backward to 1st position (count three).

Slide forward with the left foot to 4th position (count four); draw right foot forward to the right to 4th position (count five); slide left foot forward to 1st position (count six).


The Modern Waltz (Sause, 1880):

Music—3-4 Time.

In beginning the Waltz, the gentleman takes the first position and moves as follows:

Glide the left foot backward and to the left about twelve inches (count one); then bring right foot back to second position (count two); place left foot in first position (count three); advance right foot a full step and turn toe to the right, as in fourth position, (count four); advance left foot half the length of the foot before and about the length of the foot to the left of right foot (count five); and then bring right foot to the first position (count six).

In movements two and five the weight of the body must rest very lightly, these steps somewhat resembling a limp. On the other hand the full weight of the body should rest on counts one, three, four, and six.

The lady commences on the fourth step, and continues with five, six, one, two, and three.

In this way the lady executes four, five and six, while the gentleman executes one, two and three.

These are the steps necessary for turning to the right, and at the sixth step a complete turn must be accomplished.

The reverse, or turn to the left, is effected by substituting the right foot for the left in the foregoing explanation.

The backward movement is executed by gliding the left foot directly back a full step (count one); then bring the right foot half the length of the foot behind the left (count two); then bring left foot in a straight line so that the toe is on a line with the heel of the right foot (count three); then the right foot goes back a full step (count four); then left foot back the same distance as in step two (count five); and then bring right foot back with the toe on a line with the heel of the left foot (count six.)

These steps are reversed for forward movement.


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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