the mysteries of waltz are revealed...
is Mostly Waltz?
Mostly Waltz is an afternoon of dancing to beautiful live music. As
the title implies, the program is weighted to waltzes--about two-thirds.
Other couple dances make up the balance of the program. Run on a volunteer
basis, Mostly Waltz occurs on the fourth (sometimes fifth) Sunday of
Mostly Waltz was founded by Peggy Leiby, Michael VanBuskirk
& Ret Turner in January 1999. There are at least eight other
dances in North America that have adopted, and are currently using,
the title "Mostly Waltz", the name we originated.
What style of waltz is danced at Mostly Waltz?
While the traditional turning waltz style is popular, you will see a
variety of styles of waltz, depending on the tune, tempo and personal
dancer style. (Note that while we call it the turning waltz it doesn't
mean you turn continously; it's also quite nice to progress around the
floor in line of direction.) All skill levels and styles are welcome,
from beginners to the very advanced. The waltz is popular in many music
genres, including ballroom, Cajun, Viennese, contra, country western,
cross-step, Latin, etc. You’ll see elements of many of these styles
at Mostly Waltz.
Who should come?
Anyone who loves to dance, and loves beautiful live music.... dancers,
or would-be dancers, folks looking for a new activity, or for healthy
exercise (physical & mental)... AND, it's just plain fun!
I need a partner?
No. All dances at Mostly Waltz are social events, so both singles and
couples usually change partners for each dance. Both men and women are
comfortable asking others to dance. It is also quite acceptable for
a couple to dance with just each other. Instructors usually ask dancers
to rotate during the pre-dance lesson to help ease any gender inbalance,
allow people to meet each other, and create the best learning experience,
but it is not required. Our pre-dance mixer also affords a chance to
greet and waltz with many partners.
if I don't know how to waltz?
No experience is required! Before the dance we offer a lesson for beginners
(free with admission.) This 45-minute pre-dance lesson teaches the seven
basic rotary waltz figures plus dance principles that will enable a
beginner or brusher upper to participate. The lesson also covers the
basics of common flourishes. Those who have some experience with the
box-step style often find it helpful to take this basic lesson their
first time at Mostly Waltz. Couple
Dance Tips has some information that may come in handy.
Which dances are on the program
It depends on what that month’s band specializes in, but typically
non-waltzes could be swing, polka, tango, blues, schottische,
two-step, fox trot, zwiefachers, hambo
and others. We've been known to include the Salty Dog Rag, Gay
Gordon, and the Spanish Waltz Mixer. We often teach one of these
dances in the pre-dance Intermediate Lesson.
Do you take requests?
Yes, the band is usually open to requests. Also, we invite dancers to
bring their favorite tunes on CD’s to play during the break.
Why do you play recorded music
during the break?
Our dancers like a wide range of music genres--wider than most of our
bands deal with. So for things like Cajun, big band swing, Argentine
tango, foxtrot, cha cha etc., we invite dancers to bring their favorite
dance tunes (on CD's) to play while the band is on break.
do you teach at the pre-dance Intermediate Lesson?
We often teach waltz flourishes, sometimes as part of a routine, sometimes
not. On other months we teach the basics of one the other couple dances
that are commonly played at the dance.
What do people wear to Mostly Waltz?
Generally, people tend to wear clothes, although there are a few that
really wear our patience (ha, ha, couldn’t resist). Casual but
nice, comfortable clothing is in order. Ladies have wide latitude in
attire—anything from slacks or jeans to skirts and dresses—even
evening dresses—it’s all good. We suggest layered clothing
that can be shed (whoa! not everything!) when you become warmed up.
What kind of shoes do you recommend?
For waltzing and other couple dances shoes that are lightweight, with
a sole that can slide and rotate without a lot of grip are good. Many
rubber soled shoes and regular sneakers have too much grip for easy
What is the Waltz Mixer?
Here's a shot of the waltz mixer that starts off the program
each month. It's easy for newcomers to participate and affords a chance
to greet and waltz with many partners. Also, notice our large, attractive
dance space at Felinton Hall in Broomall, PA
What is dance floor etiquette?
So that all may enjoy themselves, we ask everyone to please
observe the following "Rules of the Road" to promote the
smooth flow of dancer traffic on the dance floor.
All dancers shall proceed in a counterclockwise
direction around the floor.
Faster dancers should move to the outer perimeter
and slow moving dancers should make an inner circle or be near the
center of the floor.
Dancers who are not moving along should dance in
the center of the floor.
Move toward the center of the floor if many couples
are passing you or if couples are bunching up behind you.
Those who are not dancing should move well off
to the sidelines so as not to obstruct the dancing.
Do you serve refreshments?
No cocktails on the terrace, we fear. But we do serve fruit
at the break. Very refreshing, as well as healthy, you know.
Can I bring food to supplement the fruit at the Sunday afternoon
Dancers are welcome to bring snacks for themselves or for all, but
they must be kosher when we are at Felinton Hall in Broomall—which
is most of the time.
Do I need advance tickets?
Tickets are not sold in advance. All admissions are at the door.
Do you need volunteers?
Help!!! This is an all-volunteer non-profit event (only the musicians
and sound techs are paid). We offer reduced or free admission for
volunteers to do things such as sitting at the admissions table, refreshments
set-up, and publicity assistance. Please send us an e-mail
to see how you can help.
What is the Schottische?
The schottische is a light-hearted relatively easy dance that makes
for a nice change of pace.Part 1 is danced in open position (8 counts):
Step, step, step, hop, step, step, step, hop; Part 2 in closed position
and rotating (8 counts):
Step, hop, step, hop, step, hop, step, hop. Stay close to the ground
on the hops to help from tiring out too quickly.
What is the Gay Gordon?
What is the hambo?
It’s a combination of hambone and the limbo (only kidding).
Actually, the hambo is a couple turning dance in 3/4 time. Sometimes
called the “National dance of Sweden”, this fun dance
requires good partnering skills. see
wikipedia for more
is the zwiefacher?
The zwiefacher (pronounced tswee' fa khur) is a traditional couple
dance associated mainly with Bavaria and Austria. Zwiefacher tunes
have frequent rhythm changes, alternating between a series of 3-beat
(waltz) measures and 2 or 4-beat measures. Pivoting steps are danced
on the non-waltz measures. Each zwiefacher tune has its own pattern
of waltz and pivot steps, corresponding to the music. Some have patterns
that are simple and predictable; others are complicated and challenging.
see wikipedia for
On each pivot step, the couple rotates halfway around their common
vertical axis. It helps to be wearing shoes that can swivel on the
floor surface rather than grip the surface.
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