Camilla Dallerup's exclusive blog: Step-by-step guide to the waltz

Who better than Strictly Come Dancing champion Camilla Dallerup to show you how to perfect the waltz for the first wedding dance?

This month I'm going to share something very close to my heart, something that makes me smile – the waltz. And I hope that you and your partners may feel inspired to pick it for your first dance.

There are only a couple of dances that I feel this passionately about. The waltz is, perhaps, a little bit old fashioned but it's also classic, beautiful and romantic. I would go so far as to say it's timeless. It's counted 1, 2, 3 and it's slow: imagine a classic tune like Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany's, which has a perfect waltz timing. Equally appropriate is something like If I Ain't Got You by Alicia Keys. The waltz has a beautiful lilting action and a lot of rise and lowering through the legs and feet. This combined with you and your partner gliding across the dancefloor is such a beautiful feeling – it's too hard to describe so you must try it for yourselves.

It was the one dance that most of my Strictly Come Dancing partners totally adored, and it was one of the first dances I would teach them as it has the fundamentals for all other ballroom dances. I'm proud to say my celebrity partners were all very good at it and they still remember the waltz to this day. It was always the one they felt an emotional connection with – at times even feeling quite emotional when dancing it. The waltz has the ability to awaken deep feelings within and it's truly magical when two people connect through it, which is exactly why I'm suggesting it as a first dance.

The waltz works really well if you want to have a low-key but romantic and stylish wedding dance, where it looks like you've made an effort. 

To get in the right frame of mind, think about the following:

1. Take the pressure off

Remember that this dance is for the two of you to enjoy and how you look to the people watching is secondary. It's a wedding and everyone in the room is there because they love and support you and they'll love you even if you forget every step of the planned and practiced dance.

2. Choose a tune

Pick a tune you love but if you want to do a specific dance then make sure it's one that matches the timing needed. In the case of the 1, 2, 3 timing of a waltz, a song in which you count to four is not helpful. If you have trouble with this, ask someone you know who is musical to help you, don’t just guess.

3. Create a romantic atmosphere

Walk onto the floor hand in hand, and only have eyes on each other as this will draw the attention to you. The bride should walk around in a circle while the groom stands still.

My quick guide to the waltz

In the hold position

Place the lady's right hand in the man's left hand at shoulder height.

Bend the lady's left arm and place her hand just below his shoulder. Place the man's right arm on her back in the shoulder blade.

Waltz around the floor using the guide below, in an anti-clockwise direction. 

The man faces forward and the lady backwards. The lady's right side to the man's right side so there is now space for each other's feet.

Lady's steps

Step back on your left foot

Step to the side on your right foot

Close left foot to right foot

Continue going backwards

Step back on your right foot

Step to the side on your left foot

Close right foot to left foot

Repeat from the beginning around the floor

Man's Steps

Step forward on your right foot, on your heel

Step to the side on your left foot

Close right foot to left foot

Step forward on your left foot, on your heel

Step to the side on your right foot

Close left foot to right foot

The box step, staying in one spot on the floor

Lady's steps

Step forward on your right foot, on your heel

Step to the side on your left foot

Close right foot to left foot

Step back on your left foot

Step to the side on your right foot

Close left foot to right foot

Man's steps

Step back on your left foot

Step to the side on your right foot

Close left foot to right foot

Step forward on your right foot, on your heel 

Step to the side on your left foot

Close right foot to left foot

These two basic moves can be mixed together and there's a video here to demonstrate.

Have fun learning the waltz! Remember to enjoy it and everybody else will enjoy it with you.

Camilla x

PS. The rumba is another of my favourites from the world of ballroom dancing and I'll be teaching you how to do it in a future post so keep checking back for more!

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