Waltz & Reverse Waltz

(Rotary Waltz, Viennese Waltz)


(Rotary Waltz, Right Turn, Natural Turn)


This is the original waltz, first described in Thomas Wilson's A Description of the Correct Method of Waltzing in 1816.

It has been danced continuously, relatively unchanged, since then, although many variations have been added over the past two centuries.


» Turning Basic (Basic Version)
  (Long Shot, Close Up)
» Turning Basic (Pivot Version)
» Turning Basic (Side Step Version)
» Turning Basic (Follow Backing Version)

» Waltz Position (see "Turning Basic")
» Half Closed
» Follow Holding Dress
» Follow Holding His Shoulder
» Neck Hold
» Chess Game of the Hands
» Crossed Hands, etc. (see "Crossed Hands")
» Wedding Cake, etc. (see "Wedding Cake")

Follow's Turns
» Single Turn on 1
» Double Turn on 1
» Triple Turn on 1
» Outside Turn on 4
» Free Spin on 4
» Rollaway on 4
» Outside Turn on 2
» Double Outside Turn on 2
» Outside Turn, Free Spin on 2
» Outside Turn, Lead's Underarm Turn, Pivaloop
» Triple Free Spin Combo
» Quadruple Turn on 4
» Quintuple Turn on 2
» Texas Tommy

Lead's Turns
» Shoulder Slide
» Lead's Underarm Turn
» Lead's Underarm Turn, Pivaloop
» Dishrag He Goes She Goes

Swing Out
» Swing Out
» Swing Out, Texas Tommy

» Windows, Mixmaster
» Windows, Double Turn
» Double Windows, Double Turn
» Windows, Valentino Dip (see "Endings")
» Double Windows, Valentino Dip (see "Endings")

Follow Backing
» Pursuit
» Cross-Body Inside Turn to Pivaloop Free Spin
» Cross-Body Double Inside Turn to Pivaloop Outside Turn
» Cross-Body Double Inside Turn to Pivaloop Double Outside Turn

Open Position (Side by Side)
» Single Free Spin
» Double Free Spin
» Triple Free Spin

Crossed Hands
» Outside Turn Entrance
» Crossed Hands
» Fog Hands
» Cloud Hands
» Crossed-Hand Matador
» Crossed Hands to Shadow
» Crossed Hands to Wedding Cake

Shadow Position
» Crossed Hands to Shadow (see "Crossed Hands")
» Mixmaster
» Face Loop Exit

Wedding Cake
» Free Spin Entrance
» Crossed Hands to Wedding Cake (see "Crossed Hands")
» Wedding Cake
» Lowered Wedding Cake
» Exploded Wedding Cake
» Blooming Wedding Cake
» Left Hands Floating
» Wedding Cake Inside Turn
» Face Loop Exit
» Inside Turn Exit

Cradle Position
» Follow's Wrap
» Cradle Wheel
» Roll Out of Cradle
» Roll into Cradle
» Cradle Yo Yo
» Lead's Wrap
» Lead's Cradle Wheel
» Lead's Wrap, Follow's Inside Turn
» Double Turn from Cradle
» Double Unwind from Cradle
» Deney Terrio's Double Unwind from Cradle

Cinderella Waltz Variations
» Sway
» Varsovienne (Two Ways)
» Roll Out to Skater's Walk
» Roll Out to Skater's Wheel
» R-in-R Prayer Wheel
» Outside Turn to Matador Wheel

Inspired by 19th Century Polka
» Vis à Vis
» Pursuit
» Pas D'Allemande
» Coquette (Love Chase)
» Follow's Initiative: Coquette (Love Chase)

» Turning Basic (Pivot Version) (1 Pivot) (see "Basics")
» Single Canter Pivot (2 pivots)
» Canter, Waltz, Canter, Waltz (ABAB)
» Waltz, Waltz, Canter, Waltz (AABA)
» Three Quick Pivots (3 Pivots)
» Double Canter Pivot (4 Pivots)
» Canter Pivot, Three Quick Pivots (5 Pivots)
» Six Quick Pivots (6 Pivots)

Fancy Footwork
» Cross-Step Redowa
» Cross-Step Redowa (Waterfall Version)
» Reverse Cross-Step Redowa

» Underarm Turn to a Bow
» Underarm Turn to a Genuflection
» Sliding in to Home Base
» Check into a Dip
» Free Spin Dip
» Windows, Valentino Dip
» Double Windows, Valentino Dip

Super Speed Waltzing
» Pivot Version
» Waltz Walk
» Hopped Pivots
» Double Boston
» Waltz Chassé
» Chassé Waltz
» Chassé Waltz (Slower)

Reverse Waltz

(Left Turn, Viennese Waltz)


While this left-turning waltz is often called Viennese Waltz, it actually dates back to the 1870s in Boston, Massachusetts.

The left-turning waltz by itself is one of the most common (and satisfying) variations of the right-turning waltz.


» Turning Basic (Basic Version)
  (Long Shot, Close Up)
» Turning Basic (Pivot Version)
» Turning Basic (Side Step Version)

Inside Turn (on 4)
» Inside Turn (on 4)

Inside Turns (on 1)
» Inside Turn (on 1)
» Free Spin (on 1)
» Double Inside Turn (on 1)
» Inside Turn, Free Spin (on 1)


Here are some common ways to transition between right-turning and left-turning waltz.

Rotary to Reverse
» Follow Backing
» Lead Backing

Reverse to Rotary
» Follow Backing
» Lead Backing
» Cross-Body Inside Turn to Pivaloop Free Spin

Waltz Music

Here are a few of our favorite Waltz tunes, arranged by tempo.

Related Dances


The 19th century Rutscher is Waltz in slow-quick-quick timing, and anything in Waltz can be danced in the Rutscher.

Bluesy Waltz

When the music is bluesy, you can dance Bluesy Waltz, which includes Waltz as a variation.

If you or your community is interested in learning 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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