141 – Waltz

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like walking on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

As I moved down the walkway that stretches over the dunes covered with sea oats, I noticed a pelican gliding in the air high above me. The wind is blowing in one direction, but I watched the pelican effortlessly glide back and forth – both with the wind and into the wind. Gliding and never a flap of the wings – a smooth glide as if it was having a good time.

At the waterline, I look across the water to notice other pelicans simply sitting on the water. They seem to be resting yet bobbing up and down with each passing wave that’s progressing toward shore. I see them best when they rise, but disappear as they fall – only to return with the rise of the next passing wave.

The Waltz – Bronze sculpture by Camille Claudel

One pelican gliding effortlessly in the wind. Others, sitting on the water – rising and falling to the rhythm of the waves. Gliding – rising-falling – rising-falling – graciously gliding. As a ballroom dancer, waltz immediately comes to mind – as does the challenge of creating a walk with my thoughts.

The waltz is a fun, elegant dance. While many people associate it with the simplicity of the box step. Truth be known, the waltz is not easy. Waltz is the dance non-dancers want to experience. Waltz music causes dancers to fill the floor like no other dance.

Waltz music is in 3/4 time (three beats per measure), and the only standard dance with that timing. Most dances are in 4/4 time. Good waltz music provides an easy-to-hear 1-2-3, 1-2-3 pattern, with the first beat that is heavier than the other two. A more pronounced first beat serves as the first word of a sentence. Sort of an accent starting the sequence.

I think of the initial boom igniting fireworks into the sky. A boom followed by the Pow that brightens the sky, then the spectator’s ahhhhh. 1-2-3 … Boom-Pow-Ahhhh … 1-2-3 …. Boom-Pow-Ahh. Then the dancers react to the music – low on the 1 – slowly rising on the 2 – lowering on the 3 … then staying low on the 1 to rise on the 2, then lower on the 3. 1-2-3 … Boom-Pow-Ahh … low-rise-fall. Yes, the beauty of waltz music.

Image from Dance Sport

Regardless of the place, the music sets a tone – a mood for the dancers to explore. Therefore, different dances are for different moods: Waltz music provides an opportunity for grace and elegance.

A country waltz has a place – that is, waltzing to country music. To me, that place is a bar or a barn, and the ballroom floor is neither. Ballroom waltz music is classy, elegant, and gracious. Ballroom waltz music and dance can transport dancers to another world.

Waltz is the long, slow breaths moving in and out of one’s body in a flow that is a mystical celebration of elegance and expression. Fluid, clean, and smooth. Slow, controlled, grand, and dreamy.

With long strides flowing to the rise and fall, some say the waltz is the mother of all dances – the poetry of dance – the queen of the ball.

Waltz is an artistic impression of the love for the dance, the music, the partner, or any combination of the three – and best when all three unite as one.

Waltz is a dream, a spirit-filled magical story that can transport two casually-dressed people dancing at a less-than-elegant venue to a grand ballroom – he dressed in a tux with tails – she in a flowing gown twirling with every turn.

Waltz is a timeless dance – a throwback to a time that has passed – a now moment with its subtle precision of shaping – the time of looking forward to the next dance of tomorrow.

Dance Waltz painting by Leonid Afremov

Waltz moves counterclockwise around the floor with long, controlled strides incorporating the rise and fall like the pelicans on the water with the fluidity of the gliding pelican. Whether an International Waltz with dancers staying in contact/hold, the American style breaking hold to spin, turn, and other steps, or the fast feet of a Viennese Waltz, the waltz is a positive expression of grace and goodness in the world.

Waltz – He is the calm, stately, and the one willing to serve as the frame for the picture she will paint. She is the poised painter, the center of enchantment, and the possessor of many brushes for painting a picture in motion.

Waltz – A dance starting with a straight back and neck while offering a left hand. Hands touch, then she takes position and arches her back onto the palm of his other hand.

Waltz – He and she seemingly looking away, but noticing the presence of the other. Waltz is ease – a desire – the smell of a rose.

Waltz is classy like a rose – a rose that is gracious, soft, layered, complex, enchanting, and complex. A rose is not just any flower. A waltz is not just any dance. Yet, both the rose and the waltz are different forms of elegant seduction – and both are timeless.

Waltz is a tribute to the glories of the rising and falling sun. In between the sun’s daily bookends, the sun radiates its light and warmth to our planet while waltz radiates intellect and grace 24-7-365 to a time and place. Waltz radiates through the synergy of the music, connection, timing, and chemistry between partners.

Waltz is the collective beam of light I see over the water on a cloudy day. The beams of light that break through a hole in the cloud cover. Those beams toward the horizon shine on two partners dancing into their bliss.

Image from Masterclass.com

In reality, life is like a waltz – a series of ups and downs – rises and falls. But unlike life, waltz’s rhythm is steady and predictable – an inspiration to be the best you can be and a chance to enjoy the moment.

I look toward the buildings away from the water to think of the gliding pelican I saw earlier – but none are soaring above. I turn to the water to find pelicans are no longer riding the rise and fall of the waves. I continue looking. Alas, I notice ahead the pelicans are now diving into the water for food. To me, that’s another dance.

I walk the beach to a steady rhythm, but without the rise and fall. Perhaps when my pace changes are like the music changing the dance. Nonetheless, I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have posted about Waltz

Next Post: Hold – Unsure, but hopefully Saturday or Sunday @ 1 AM (Eastern US)

41 thoughts on “141 – Waltz”

    1. Jo,
      Grace, elegance, and control are wonderful descriptors for waltz because it’s steady – not rushed. For me, Foxtrot also has those adjectives – but because of the timing of the music is different, so are the feet … and yes, both are joyful.

      Like

  1. I love to dance Frank, but I’m a terrible dancer, although on my left hand, I had my wife, who was a great dancer and a competition Ballroom Dancer … and of course she would lead me around the on the dance floor … haha ,.. those were the days my friend …

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ivor,
      Thanks for the video. A great example of waltz music – and a song I didn’t know. I realize you are a Leonardo Cohen fan, and it ‘s a great fit for this post. Although I know this post also struck sadness with you, I hope your thoughts also brought warmth and smiles. Thanks for sharing about your wife! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always been a fan of watching dance competitions – the waltz is a beautifully flowing stream of moves and feelings and grace. Funny but the first thing that comes to mind outside of the “human” dance is the ocean. The way the waves caress the shore – with fluidity like the waltz…..the grace and beauty as the waves almost reluctantly leave behind the foam on the sand. It reminds me of the moves of dancers with perfectly timed movement. The waltz is a romantic dance – the ocean’s heartbeat is too. One of the oldest “dances” on planet Earth. Love this very visual post Frank!

    Pam

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pam,
      The way you related the waltz to the beach is perfect because it is all that and more. Waltz’s flowing, elegant nature give it a timeless feel that will last with time. Cheers to the joys of waltz and the beach. As you can tell, I’ve been time-poor recently, so I’m trying to catch up.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelia,
      For some yes, but others no. I believe vastness gets to most of us. No question about the vastness of the sea. I would say the same for the vast mountain top view. Images of deep space also get to me. Some us it as a deity connection …. others to a spiritual connection to nature or creation as a whole. For instance, (for me) I have no doubt that Carl Sagan was not religious, but he certainly was spiritual … and the vastness of space touched his spirit.

      Like

    1. Laurie,
      Although you are the first to mention this, other later comments also did. The inclusion of the art was a late-minute decision – and wow – I’m glad that I did! I thought about the possibility of a set of dance images were too blah – but including a painting and a culture would amplify the dance’s beauty that I wanted to convey.

      Like

    1. Muri,
      Cheers to the two of you diving into the ballroom world. Interesting that you found waltz harder than foxtrot. Then again, I can see it if you had standard brone waltz and foxtrot. At the silver level they change – especially foxtrot … and then many social dancers start dancing foxtrot too much like waltz. Oh well …. How long did the tow of your take lessons?

      Like

  3. Frank, I do agree it is a dance which “rises above” what humble outfits the dancers might be wearing, or what modest room they might find themselves dancing within. A very classy, transcendent experience. The pelicans made me think of our nearby ducks. Some usually go with the flow, bobbing about. Others look like they have mini-motors behind them as they glide back and forth across the water. And of course, all of them need to eat…some even turning upside down in the shallow end to get at their meals.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s strange to think the at one time the waltz was considered shocking.
    I love that Claudel sculpture–the flow is like waves, and you can almost see it moving. Some of her smaller pieces are at the Rodin museum in Philadelphia.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Lots to ponder and absorb on this walk, Frank — thank you! I’m not big into dancing but I do love music, and you’re right: “waltz” does conjure up the feelings of elegance and grace. Perhaps because I see dancing as very personal, I think I’d be most uncomfortable doing it with a stranger. Couples who know each other well seem most at ease dancing.

    Like

  6. The waltz is a beautiful dance I’ll have to enjoy watching other people do because as I mentioned once before, my husband and I took ballroom dance lessons once and that didn’t go so well. 🙂 But I enjoyed your thoughts and the beautiful dance. Happy Wednesday.

    Like

  7. I love watching couples in a ballroom setting waltzing to the beautiful tones of say, Strauss, and so many others of that period. In some ballets, there are also waltzes, such as those that appear in The Nutcracker.
    André Rieu is known as the Waltz King and he is sometimes shown with his orchestra on PBS. They play all kinds of waltzes, the known and the not so well known.

    I never learned how to dance…any type…but I sure do appreciate the precision one needs to do them so well.
    Are not Minuets also in 3/4 time?? But of course who dances those anymore, LOL!

    Thanks for a fun and interesting post. I’ll be dancing in my dreams, now:)

    Like

  8. “Waltz is ease – a desire – the smell of a rose.” My parents danced together for more than 40 years and they were good. People would stop to watch them. I was mesmerized at the poetry of their movements. I love the comment about the waltz and the smell of a rose. It fits perfectly in my mind with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. There is something about the waltz that is all about elegance to me. Not so much the professional one – I just can’t get into that forced position the women take (I know, I know, what do I know?)

    Like

  10. One of the most beautiful of dances, ever. Whether done by humans or critters.
    (for some reason, WP decided I was no longer worthy to follow you so I re-followed you again). Luckily your pal Marco tweets your posts so I can see what’s shaking in Cincy). 🤞🏼 I’ve outfoxed technology. Have a lovely weekend.

    Like

  11. You provided a wide lens with which to think about the moves of a waltz, and I found this delightful. I love dancing a waltz, an I admit it’s been quite a long time since I had an opportunity to be on a dance floor. But I can waltz across a room when motivated. 🙂 And I love “Dance Waltz painting by Leonid Afremov.” It’s beautiful! Wonderful post, Frank.

    Like

  12. Lovely post Frank and I loved the subject this time. I’m a big fan, I must admit, of Dancing with the Stars and especially enjoy it when they waltz. It’s such a beautiful, graceful dance. And it was very clever to tie it to the movement of the pelicans. Well done.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.