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5. Hesitations
Fact Sheet
Official Name:Hesitations
Dance / Level:Intermediate Bronze American Style Waltz
Aliases:Balance Steps
Suggested
Prerequisites:
None

A Hesitation in Waltz is a generic term for almost any movement where the dancers pause or slow down through one or more beats of music. In the Bronze American Waltz syllabus, Hesitations more specifically consist of a step in any direction on beat 1, followed by a pause through beats 2 and 3. During the pause, the dancers will typically allow the non-weighted foot to "follow-through", drawing underneath the body, either to or near the weighted foot.

In some instances dancers might choose to dance a "checked" or "stopped" action over counts 2-3. This is done by leaving the non-weighted foot pointing in place, rather than allowing it to follow through and brush towards the weighted foot. This is most commonly seen during the Outside Check variation with lady's optional Develope' (see below), or a Side Hesitation danced in open facing position.

5a. Forward & Back Hesitations

Forward & Back Hesitations consist of one forward and one back step danced to Hesitation timing (i.e. step on count 1, pause for counts 2 and 3). In the man's and lady's charts, they are shown danced consecutively for simplicity's sake. However, either Hesitation can be isolated and combined with other figures.

For example, the LF Forward Hesitation can be followed by 4-6 Left Box Turn, resulting in a pattern similar to the Foxtrot Hesitation Left Turn. Likewise, 1-3 Left Box Turn could precede the RF Back Hesitation.

For additional options and maneuverability, it is also possible to reverse the direction of the Hesitations, resulting in a LF Back Hesitation and/or a RF Forward Hesitation. These, too, can be isolated and combined with other figures. One common amalgamation is similar to the Foxtrot Progressive Quarter Turns: LF Forward Hesitation, 1-3 Right Box 1/4 Turn, LF Back Hesitation, 4-6 Left Box Turn.

For a complete list of possible precedes & follows for each Hesitation, see the "Preceded by" and "Followed By" tabs above.

A common variation of the Forward Hesitation is danced in outside partner position. This is most typically taken following a Forward Change O.P., and is especially popular as a corner movement. This can then be followed by any of the various figures which begin with the man stepping back (e.g. 4-6 Left Box Turn, Cross-Body Lead, Underarm Turn to L.) As an additional development in Silver and above levels (or social Bronze), if the man checks the Hesitation, the lady can Develope' her right leg during counts 2-3.

Variations of Rise & Fall

There are two variations of rise & fall used in side a Forward or Backward Hesitation:

  • As shown in the charts, the Hesitation is taken onto a flat foot and rise danced through the body only.
  • Foot rise may be used, in which case the footwork of the forward hesitation is (1) Heel-toe, (2) toes of both feet, and (3) toe-heel of supporting foot. The footwork of the back Hesitation is (1) Toe-heel-toe, (2) toes of both feet, and (3) toe-heel of supporting foot.
5b. Side Heitstions

Side Hesitations consist of a side step in each direction danced to Hesitation timing. In the man's and lady's charts, they are shown danced consecutively for simplicity's sake, however, either Hesitation can be isolated and combined with other figures. For example, it is very common to mix and match Side Hesitations with Side Whisks.

Side Hesitations can be taken in closed or open facing position with a one- or two-hand hold. When taken in open position, it is common to forego the foot closing action on 2-3. Instead, dancers will simply leave the free foot pointing to the side. When danced in this way, the RF Hesitation is commonly used as a substitute for the Open Break.

Side Hesitation Combination

One function of a Side Hesitation is as a substitute for a Closed Change, to link together Left and Right Box Turns, e.g.:

  • 1-6 Left Box Turn
  • LF Side Hesitation
  • 1-6 Right Box Turn
  • RF Side Hesitation


The LF Hesitation will be taken with man facing diagonal wall, with a slight body turn to left, while the RF Hesitation will be taken with man facing diagonal center, with a slight body turn to right.

Variations of Rise & Fall

There are two variations of rise & fall used in side a Side Hesitation:

  • As shown in the charts, the Hesitation is taken onto a flat foot and rise danced through the body only.
  • Foot rise may be used, in which case the footwork is (1) Toe-heel-toe, (2) toes of both feet, and (3) toe-heel of supporting foot.

 

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