Where the mysteries of waltz are revealed...
What 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 every month.
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!
Do 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.
What 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 besides waltzes?
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.
What 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?
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 dancing.
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 events?
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
What 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 more
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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