The Veleta

(London, 1900)

General Description

This is an easy English sequence waltz composed by Arthur Morris in 1900.

The Position

Both facing LOD, holding inside hands.

The Dance

Part I - Promenade and Chassé Along LOD (4 bars): Side-by-side, Follow on the right, promenade six steps along LOD starting outside feet (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Then, facing partner, slide (1), close (3), slide along LOD (4), opening up to face against LOD at the end.*

* The promenade was originally specified as a slide, close, slide, slide, close, slide, but it is usually danced today as a simple progressive walk (which is also supported by later descriptions [FD08, WH12]. It's also often danced today with a slight Vis à Vis, facing slightly away from partner on first three counts, and slightly toward partner on the next three [WH12, VS50]. The handhold for the chassé (here, and in Part III) was originally specified as the leading hand only. Some people dance it this way, while others hold two hands here and maintain waltz position in Part III.

Part II - Promenade and Chassé Against LOD (4 bars): Repeat opposite, traveling against LOD, and closing up to closed position at the end.

Part III - Waltz and Chassé (4 bars): One full turn of rotary waltz (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), then chassé twice along LOD (1, 3, 4, 6).

Part IV - Waltz (4 bars): Two full turns of rotary waltz.

Repeat from the beginning.

Veleta Waltz Mixer

Richard Powers has adapted The Veleta into a mixer by replacing Part IV with:

Part IV - Waltz and Underarm Turn (4 bars): One full turn of rotary waltz (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), then the Lead raises his left arm to let the Follow turn under clockwise, as she waltzes solo along LOD to the right side of the next Lead ahead of her (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). The Leads step in place to receive the next Follow who is progressing forward.

The Music

"The Veleta" by Arthur Morris is the original tune, but it can also be danced to any rotary waltz with continual eight-bar phrases.

Here's a mid-century rendition of "The Veleta" by Victor Silvester and His Ballroom Orchestra:


© 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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