Slow waltz, also affectionately known as the "English waltz," is a dance close to my heart. Let's take a journey back in time to explore the enchanting story of this graceful dance style.
Imagine yourself in the late 18th century, surrounded by the traditional folk dances of Austria and Bavaria. These early waltzes were vibrant and spirited, with couples spinning and twirling to the rhythm of life. The very word "waltz" whispers in your ear, stemming from the German term "walzen," meaning "to turn."
As the 19th century dawned, the waltz started its transformation. In the elegant Viennese courts, it became a dance of refinement, adopting a slower tempo and more fluid movements. The slow waltz, as we know it today, was born.
England played a pivotal role in shaping the slow waltz. During the Victorian era, it found its home in the hearts of the English. Dance teachers in England formalized the style, crafting specific rules and techniques to set it apart from its livelier counterpart, the Viennese Waltz.
Two Waltzes, Two Styles:
By the mid-19th century, there were two distinct waltz styles. The Viennese Waltz retained its vivacity, while the slow waltz embraced a more unhurried tempo, allowing for graceful, flowing movements.
Elegant 3/4 Time Signature:
Dancing to the slow waltz's 3/4 time signature feels like a gentle embrace. The music pulses with three beats in each measure, allowing us to sway and twirl to a tempo of about 28-30 bars per minute. It's as if time itself slows down, inviting us to immerse ourselves in the dance's grace.
Romantic and Classic:
The slow waltz embodies a romance and classical charm that's hard to resist. It's the dance of choice for couples on their most special occasions, like weddings and anniversaries. The emotional melodies that accompany the dance add an extra layer of magic to the moment.
In the 20th century, the slow waltz gained worldwide acclaim, becoming one of the five standard ballroom dances in international competitive ballroom dancing. Joining the ranks of the Viennese Waltz, tango, foxtrot, and quickstep, it's cherished for its elegance and dignified movements.
Today, the slow waltz remains close to our hearts, a symbol of grace and timelessness. Dancers and enthusiasts worldwide continue to be captivated by its enduring beauty and the rich history that brought this exquisite dance to life. So, the next time you witness a couple gracefully waltzing across the dance floor, remember the enchanting journey that led to this timeless and elegant dance style.
Have a look on a video to see what a ballroom slow waltz danced by professionals looks like: (2) World Professional Ballroom Championship. Slow Waltz - YouTube
You started your dancing journey, but now you have some doubts? Dancing is an enriching and fulfilling activity that goes beyond just moving to music. Here are some compelling reasons why you should keep dancing and continue to develop your skills:
Dancing is an excellent way to stay physically fit and active. It engages various muscle groups, improves flexibility, enhances cardiovascular health, and helps in maintaining a healthy weight.
Dancing acts as a stress reliever by releasing endorphins, the body's natural mood boosters. It allows you to let go, forget your worries, and focus on the joy of movement.
Improved Balance and Coordination:
Regular dancing improves balance, coordination, and spatial awareness. It sharpens your reflexes and motor skills, making everyday activities easier and safer.
Dance is a powerful form of self-expression and creativity. It allows you to communicate emotions, tell stories, and convey feelings through movement, music, and choreography.
Mastering dance moves and routines boosts self-confidence. Overcoming challenges and performing in front of an audience can significantly enhance your self-esteem and belief in your abilities.
Dancing provides ample opportunities for social interaction and networking. You'll meet fellow dancers, instructors, and enthusiasts, fostering friendships and a sense of community.
Mental Stimulation and Memory Enhancement:
Learning new dance steps, patterns, and routines requires mental engagement and memory retention. It stimulates your brain, enhancing memory and cognitive function.
Different dance styles often have cultural roots and traditions. Learning various dance styles helps you appreciate and understand different cultures, their histories, and their artistic expressions.
Time Management and Discipline:
Practicing dance requires dedication and discipline. It instills time management skills as you balance practice, classes, and other commitments, teaching you how to prioritize and organize your time effectively.
Longevity and Aging Gracefully:
Studies have shown that dancing can help in maintaining mental sharpness and agility as you age. It's an activity that people can enjoy throughout their lives, promoting a more fulfilling and active lifestyle as they grow older.
In summary, dancing is a holistic activity that offers physical, mental, emotional, and social benefits. By continuing to dance and developing your skills, you can lead a healthier, happier, and more vibrant life.
HAPPY DANCING! :)
Dance is my passion.