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+ View Older Messages

Re: what should I start with?
Posted by anymouse
1/26/2011  10:20:00 AM
"My fiancee and I are getting married in September, and would like to take some online dance lessons. We do not want a choreographed first dance, but want to not step on each others toes during our first dance, as we do now! Our song is "Catch the Wind" by Donovan.
What is our best plan of action? Where should we start?
Any tips are greatly appreciated!"

The turning basics that most of us consider the foundation of viennese waltz are as others point out a bit difficult to learn and hard to do on a small floor.

But no rule says that you absolutely have to build your dance around them. You could use more stationary sidestep and sway type figures, as might be seen in a cotillion type setting vs. a ballroom competition. Instead of taking 3 steps per measure, a lot of these will have you taking only one step and holding, or in some cases two uneven ones. Without time to build the skill of smoothing out the body movement across the 3 steps of the turning figures, this is going to be a lot more elegant and less frantic looking.

There are some ballroom dances such as rumba, swing, rhythm foxtrot, and to a degree slow waltz where the key ideas can be distilled down in a few lessons and made accessible; but viennese waltz isn't one of them, so if you have your heart set on this music, then you probably want a more pragmatic approach than the traveling ballroom concept of it.
Re: what should I start with?
Posted by quickstep7
1/27/2011  9:00:00 AM
I do agree with anymouse. In terms of learning a dance in a couple of lessons I would not pick the Viennese Waltz. In practice it is simple, but there are so many places where it can go wrong. Possibly think of a slower tune, or find a slower version of the tune you want and you can then learn a Waltz rather quickly. This will give you a smooth dance, which can be matched to ability and very little chance for problems!

Have a good wedding and make the right dance choice! :)
Re: what should I start with?
Posted by pakarinen
1/27/2011  6:55:00 PM
If VW is deemed too difficult, with all the digital processing software out there, couldn't the DJ knock the song tempo down to a waltz?

Re: what should I start with?
Posted by Waltz123
1/27/2011  7:24:00 PM
Very good question. One might expect that it would be that simple. Unfortunately it's not.

As it turns out, there is a limit to how much music can be sped up or slowed down (more so the latter), beyond which it becomes unbearable to listen to. This is to some extent a subjective matter, depending on the tastes of the listener and the quality of the music. But the more extreme the speed change, the more people will agree on the result.

There is a point at which nobody would enjoy any song slowed down, and let's just say for the sake of argument that that point is somewhere around -15%. Even if I'm off my as much as 5%, that's nowhere near the amount you'd need to slow down a Viennese to convert it to Waltz speed, since a Waltz is about half the tempo of Viennese.

Regards,
Jonathan Atkinson
www.ballroomdancers.com
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