La Valse Viennoise

So Monday  my dance lesson was in Viennese Waltz!! It is rare to have an entire class dedicated to this dance as it is often the forgotten dance.  After all there aren’t many steps and the technique is rather repetitive… nonetheless I’ve had very few Viennese Waltz lessons in my life so I was super excited.  As a side note, this is a dance that spins around repetitively and there is a huge endurance factor since you’re holding the same position for a long period of time.

Here’s a video of me dancing Viennese Waltz at a competition in April!! Kudos if you can find me in the video…. super kudos if you spot all 5 Cornell couples 🙂

I took lots of notes of everything I could remember on my métro ride home from my lesson this week:


  • We did a drill of moving our knees forward (therefore bending them, but not sitting down)
  • Then we would move our knees in forward circles
  • Then with feet shoulder-width apart we would do what looked like diagonal golf swings, but we’d work on moving knees/transferring weight to the forward diagonals.
  • Always keep hips under you (forward)
  • We did a different drill where you stook straight in front of your partner in a hug position (hands on shoulder blades) and had to dance…. it’s super important here to keep the right side (ladies)  up… when you’re not in frame it’s super easy to drop

Turn to the Right

  • the first step is the driving step
  • step forward and harness the energy for a turning movement instead of a rising movement
  • foot placement of right foot is directly forward, but it then turns with turning momentum of second step
  • left side forward
  • the standing leg as Tal Livshitz calls it… here they call it le pied appui  (pushing foot) which is the idea of rolling through the standing leg and really pushing off the ball of that foot
  • Full half turn for the first part and second part of turn… no cheating!!

Turn to the Left

  • you start turning on the first step, so the first step with left foot can be turned already
  • no rise
  • don’t roll ankle on the cross step; when you do the movement stop and look at your foot… i was shocked to see I was rolling my ankles instead of keeping weight on the ball of my foot
  • don’t drop left side in the cross!! In fact the prof said to think of stretching left side on the cross because everyone always unconsciously drops it.
  • For the uncross step (2) make it small because the guy has to travel around you; conversely for the step (5) where you’re going around the guy, take a bigger step
  • On the uncross step (2) don’t put the heel down, then for the closing (3) you use the adductors to pull the legs together /finish turn and put the feet down together
  • Always keep right side forward… I try to physically push the man’s hand back with my right arm… which is super difficult and so it keeps that side in front to make sure I get full rotations.
  • Full half turn for the first part and second part of turn… no cheating!!


  • The men get a heel lead on the very first step, after that no more!
  • realistically… putting heels down probably won’t happen with time constraints
  • ladies have the first step practically in place, and then behind (2) and then cross in front twice… in crossing in front you only move one foot as to maintain an axis of rotation
  • We didn’t finish the technique of this move because it’s a rather difficult move to simply get the steps down and it was many people’s first time doing it… This move is super difficult to do when the man doesn’t have a frame and stands super far away… 🙁

One thought on “La Valse Viennoise

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *