The Half and Half

(Hesitation Waltz in 5/4 Time)

{c. 1914}


The Half and Half is a dance in 5/4 time invented by Vernon and Irene Castle and introduced in 1914.

It is a form of Hesitation Waltz with five beats instead of six.

The Dance

Described Variations

The Music

Music in 5/4 time [VC14, FC14, MF14, FN14, JS14, JM15].

For a list of early 20th century pieces for the Half and Half with free downloads of the sheet music, see Half and Half Music.

A wide range of tempos was proposed for the Half and Half. One recording from the time is at 174 bpm. Another is at 132 bpm. A piece of sheet music for the Half and Half specifies 160 bpm. A written source cites a tempo range of 110 to 140 bpm [FC14]. Some variations work better at certain tempos than others.


© 2018 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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