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American Style Waltz
Left Box (Reverse) Turn
1. Left Box (Reverse) Turn
Fact Sheet
Official Name:Left Box (Reverse) Turn
Dance / Level:Beginning Bronze American Style Waltz
Aliases:Waltz Basic, Box Step, Left Box Turn, Reverse Turn, Closed Reverse Turn, Chasse Reverse Turn

Although Waltz has no one definitive basic step per-se, the Left Box Turn is often chosen as the starting point for most newcomers to the dance, and so it is sometimes though of as the Waltz basic step. Many people simply call it the "Box Step", because when taken without any turn, the steps which make up the pattern outline the four corners of a box, as can be seen in the diagram:

Man's Part Lady's Part

For the sake of simplicity, the diagram illustrates a Box Step taken without turn. However, in most cases this Box will be turned to the left, and so it is called the Left Box Turn.

The actual amount of turn that one can take over the course of the six steps is optional -- anywhere between 1/8 and 3/4 turn may be applied, depending on the dancers' skill level and the purpose of the movement. With any more than 3/4 turn, the Box Turn becomes an entirely different animal known as the Left Cross Turn, as can be seen in the Viennese Waltz. With any less than 3/4 turn, the Box becomes a "spot movement" used for turning corners, realigning oneself to set up for a particular pattern, or for confining oneself to a small area of the dance floor (the latter of which is particularly handy in crowded nightclub situations).

Advanced dancers will actually use the Left Box Turn to travel down the line of dance, but this must be done in a very specific way. The man must begin facing a diagonal center alignment, and take the Left Box Turn with exactly 3/4 turn, to end facing diagonal wall. This is often done in combination with the Right Box Turn, resulting in a sequence of consecutive turns which enable the dancers to travel around the line of dance.


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