Danish Family Waltz

{c. 1954}


The Danish Family Waltz is an easy waltz mixer described by Jane Farwell. It was described in her book Folk Dances for Fun (c. 1960), and several other folk dance workshop syllabi as early as 1954.

The version described below has been slightly adapted by Nick and Melissa Enge.

The Position

Single circle, facing in, Follow on the left.*

* The original version has the Follow on the right, but in that case, you'll never get to dance with them, so we prefer to start with Follow on the left.

Farwell suggests that "to help the group feel closer together," try it with at least two concentric circles.

The Dance

Part I - Familial Step Swings (4 bars): Looking toward partner, step toward partner with closest foot (Lead's left, Follow's right), and swing free foot in front (1, 2, 3). Then, looking at your other neighbor, step toward them with closest foot (Lead's right, Follow's left), and swing free foot in front (4, 5, 6). Repeat the first step swing (1, 2, 3), then take a step slightly back away from partner to face them (4).* Farwell notes that "perhaps the face is more important to the success of this dance than the feet."

* The original version has a fourth step swing, but we find that this slight modification makes it easier to invite your partner into the waltz..

Part II - Waltz (4 bars): Turning to face partner, take waltz position and waltz four bars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 / 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), sending the Follow out to the right to re-form the circle on the fourth bar.

Repeat from the beginning.

The Music

A brief sketch of the Danish music is provided in the source. In the absence of this music, Farwell recommends Styrman Karlssons Hambo.


© 2019 Nick Enge

For more dance descriptions, see our three books on dancing:
The Book of Mixers: 100 Easy-Teach Dances for Getting Acquainted (2022) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge,
Cross-Step Waltz: A Dancer's Guide (2019) by Richard Powers and Nick & Melissa Enge, and
Waltzing: A Manual for Dancing and Living (2013) by Richard Powers and Nick Enge.

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