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
» Double Turn on 1 (Waltz + Pivot)
» 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
» Lead's Underarm Turn, Behind the Back Pass
» Lead's Underarm Turn, Waist Slide, Double Turn
» Dishrag He Goes She Goes
» Behind the Back Hand Change, Outside Turn

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 Outside Turn
» 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
» Rollaway
» Toss Across, Inside Turn to Open Position

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

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)

Hammerlock and Skaters
» Hammerlock Waltz (for Him)
» Hammerlock Waltz (for Her)
» Roll Out to Skaters Waltz
» Face Loop Exit from Skaters Waltz

Zillertaler Arms
» Double Turn into Zillertaler Arms
» Face Loop Exit from Zillertaler Arms

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

» 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
» Wrap into Cradle Side Dip

» Lift

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

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.

It's particularly fun to do this to Nightclub Two Step music.

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 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.

For full-length teaching videos, visit: University of Dance.

For help crafting a life you love, visit: Project Quartz.

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