Basic Steps for the Round Dance

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Round dancing blends ballroom dance with square dancing. It incorporates all the classic ballroom dance moves from waltzes to sambas, but in a choreographed series with cues like in a square dance. One difference is the cue leader. While a square dance caller can make up the moves as he goes, with each round dance there is a printed sheet of cues available to anyone. The cue leader will simply call from that cue sheet. Choreographed round dances to numerous popular ballroom dance songs are available online at many round-dancing sites.

Basic Waltz

  • The modern waltz steps are smoothly executed at a more relaxed tempo than the Viennese Waltz. Holding your partner as you would normally, facing each other, your lead hand on her waist, hers on your shoulder and your other hands grasping, you step in a simple 3-step pattern then step together and pause. While the man leads with three forward steps, his partner must step backward. Waltz steps are typically long, compared with other dance steps, and the movement has an overall rising and falling effect. On a cue sheet, the lead may be directed to take two sets of waltz steps forward followed by two sets backward, in which the lead now steps backward and his partner forward. Cues may require you to separate and take your waltz steps apart then back together. Or you may waltz toward the right or the left.

Basic Polka

  • Another of the earliest, popular forms of ballroom dancing includes the lively, hop-and-skip-like polka. Holding your partner, you step forward (or to the side) as directed by the cue sheet with the lead foot. Then close with the trailing foot. This is usually done with a bit of a hop to it. Then step off again with the lead foot and close with a hop. The effect should be like skipping, or a little like a gallop. The glide polka is done without the hop for a smoother polka. You may be cued to polka with a right lead for so many steps then switch to a left. A few separations and twirls may also come into play as more advanced moves.

Basic Two-Step

  • The ballroom two-step is not to be confused with the Texas two-step. This round-dance step sprang from a centuries-old gallop and polka. As with the polka, take two quick, skipping steps with one foot leading. On the second step, slowly close with the other foot, bringing it to a touch alongside. Then change lead feet and take two more quick, skipping steps, closing slowly on the second. The rhythm is quick, quick, slow; quick, quick, slow. The steps are usually smaller than with a polka, keeping the feet underneath the body.

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