How to Teach the Waltz to Beginners

By Contributor ; Updated September 15, 2017
Teach the Waltz to Beginners

How to Teach the Waltz to Beginners. The waltz is a beautiful ballroom dance that many people want to learn. Showing your friend the basic steps of the waltz can be fun and rewarding for both of you. As long as you break the waltz down into simple steps, most beginners should pick it up quickly.

Have the student stand with his feet a few inches apart. Invite him to take steps that follow the 3-beats-per-measure tempo. This is best done by having him count, taking a step for each count. The student should step left, right and left, and then step right, left and right, continuing this pattern.

Practice posture with the student. She should stand up straight by aligning her spine and keeping her shoulders back.

Instruct a male dancer to wrap his right arm around his female partner's arm, so that his hand touches the middle of her back. His left hand should be held out to hold his partner's right hand.

Teach the female to place her left hand on the shoulder of her partner and put her right hand in his left.

Teach the starting step. A woman in the standing position will start with her right foot and step backward while the male will start with his left foot and step forward.

Instruct your student to take a side step after the initial step. A woman will do a side step out with her left foot while the man does so with his right.

Teach the student to come to a closed position. The woman will bring her right foot to her left, and the man will mirror her movement with his left foot.

Have your student shift his weight, so that the process can be repeated, starting with the other foot.

Tip

One of the first things for beginners to keep in mind is that their footwork is mirroring that of their partners'. For example, when a man steps with his left foot, his partner steps with her right. Teaching beginners the waltz requires the ability to dance both the male and female steps, so that you can help your students practice.

Warning

Avoid trying to teach beginners several different waltz moves right away. Beginning students should first practice the fundamental steps and body positioning, so they can execute these moves with ease. In general, a couple will look more impressive on the dance floor if they can carry off the fundamentals smoothly rather than displaying a repertoire of complicated moves that are not performed well.