"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #162, Thursday, November 27, 2003

Dancing Tid-bits
Improve your Waltz by Pierre Allaire

This was a sort of group lesson given by Mr. Pierre Allaire at the Ohio Star Ball and I thought I will share it with you, why not? He really gave us few tidbits in form of some exercises to improve our ballroom dancing. Of course it is taken here for granted that every one has developed a good posture, poise-balance etc. Along with his most charming wife, Mireille he suggested the following exercises.

Waltz: He asked a question to the audience...! What is the most important feature of Waltz? The correct answer is..! Neat closure of your feet! And of course there is no Waltz without a proper rise and fall. These are the 2 most important basic features of Waltz.

How to Improve; some Exercises: Make a series of Natural and Reverse turns. Use 1 bar of Music (123) for the first 1/2 of the turn, Hold 456, Repeat this for the back 1/2 of the turn. Ladies may reciprocate. In other words use 4 bars of music for a complete turn. Repeat ad lib. I hope you understand what I mean. This will give you a very good balance and this should be practiced alone as well as with your partner.

As I came back to Michigan I was eager to try these exercises. As I swung for a reverse, the 1st bar 123, LRL, I lost balance and fell to the outside. Oh! I said; I gotta use sway to check this centrifugal force. So next time I used a pronounced sway to left doing 123 of the reverse turn. This time I fell to the inside. Then it dawned on me that I had to compromise. So I used the sway as I swung into reverse turn but then gradually dissolved the sway to neutral at the end and now I was able to hold this position on Toes for 456, before lowering again.

I did the same thing on the back 1/2 of the turn; of course sway was to my right this time and I dissolved it at the completion of turn on 1st bar, to keep my balance. I strongly recommend this exercise if you really want to work on your Waltz and it is just not only Pierre, I have heard it from other top coaches before. However when it comes "LIVE" from teachers like Pierre and Mireille, it means so much more.

Happy Thanksgiving, Max

This article is part of and should be seen in the frame context of Dancesport UK, Tid-bits