How to Waltz – Posture and Framing

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 74,887
    Dance expert Terry Dean talks about waltz posture and framing when ballroom dancing.

    Terry Dean

    Terry is the owner and principal male dance instructor of Terry Dean’s Dance Studio, in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has been teaching ballroom dancing for 30 years and opened his own successful studio following a 19 year career with Arthur Murray Dance Studios. Terry has received accolades for his choreography and has been honored as Virginia State’s Top Studio and Top Teacher twice. He and his staff teach students of all levels, whether they are interested in social dancing, exhibition dancing, or competitive ballroom dance sport. He has led many of his students to win top level gold medal competitions, and he is pleased to share his expertise with you today.

    Terry Dean: Hi! I am Terry Dean from Terry Deans Dance Studio. We are learning the waltz.

    Now, we are going to talk about the posture, which is the most important thing in making the waltz look beautiful. It's important that your top looks grand and beautiful. It's not very hard to do, but it's something that's physical and you need to train your body.

    So, first we are going to talk about a couple of things. We are going to talk your upper body and body isolations. So, if we can both stand side-by-side and what we are going to do is show you that our sides are going lift and separate from one side to the other. So, I am actually moving my ribcage from side-to-side, and then if am turning side ways, I am also going to lift my ribcage forward and back, so that you can see that I am moving my ribcage as back and forth. It's important that we don't slump when we dance that we always have a good posture, and the difference between the professionals and amateurs is often time just the posture. So, if you can just kind of lift your body and have a good shape through the ribcage, you have a good beginning of a good top.

    The next thing is going to be your shoulders and your elbows. So, when I lift my elbows up, I have a nice tall top that is parallel to the ground. My shoulders are not drooping. They are lifted, and the lady is going to do the same thing. So, if you demonstrate her elbows and her frame is lifted. Now, I am going to show you us joining. So, if you can turn this way Cindy. Thank you.

    What we are going to do is, the lady is going to put her hand right above the man's bicep then he is going to put his hand on the lady's shoulder blade. She is going to shape her body to her left man's right and then we are going to connect the left hand together and our right sides together. The lady is going to be shaped off to the left side. This top is going to stay throughout all of the patterns that we do. So, we have an elegant top, so that we are not dropping the shoulder or crunching our body. Its lifted and separated and very much shaped. Then, we are going to do the basic steps of the waltz.

    I am going to demonstrate a box step. You will have a wonderful top as you dance and you must hold it throughout, and it's not very hard but it takes a little practice and you are going to need to practice getting your body like you separated up top so you can just stay basically out of tension and keep those arms up. Thank you very much.

    Now the next we going to do are the waltz steps the swing and the sway.