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Details of waltz rise and fall timing
Posted by yelneerg
2/18/2016  2:22:00 PM
(Note that all of this will be from the perspective of an bronze American waltz leader.)

I'm trying to nail down when rise and fall should happen. If one thinks of a metronome going while dancing and 1,2,3 correspond to instantaneous ticks of the metronome, and the &s are at the middle point between each set of ticks, then at what point in the rise and fall should one be at the exact instant of each of & 1 & 2 & 3 & ?

Basically I want a graph showing rise and fall. It gets a bit complicated when describing it in reference to *saying* the counts out loud because saying the word "one" takes up varying amounts of time. I think it would be correct that the "instantaneous" beat "1" should correspond to when I *start* saying the word "one"?

My current thoughts are:
- The "1" beat happens at the end of the forward step when weight is placed on the foot.
- 1: fully lowered
- 1&: same level
- 2: end of lowered section, begin to rise on weight change
- 2&: rising
- 3: high point, on toes, feet together, begin to lower on weight change
- 3&: lowering

Remember to read the list as each bullet indicating an instant in time so "1" is where I am at the point I start saying the word "one," while the 1& is what is happening during the time it usually takes to say "one."

I hope I'm not coming off as pedantic, I just want to be very clear.

Thanks!

#PhysicistDancer
Re: Details of waltz rise and fall timing
Posted by Geey Branzy
9/25/2021  6:40:00 AM
Perfect timing is important

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Re: Details of waltz rise and fall timing
Posted by yelneerg
2/18/2016  8:54:00 PM
So are you saying I'm right or wrong?

When you say "rise at the end of step one" does that mean begin to rise right after the instant a metronome would strike the "1" beat (or right after the moment a conductor's baton would at it lowest point)?

Re: Details of waltz rise and fall timing
Posted by nloftofan1
2/20/2016  12:16:00 PM
My view: In a smooth dance you are essentially walking to music. As I see it, 1 is when your (assuming you are the person moving forward) heel strikes the floor. Then you "walk up to the toe"--your momentum naturally produces rise. So 1& is the beginning of the rise. 2 is a toe (or ball of the foot) step--you are already up. I recall one instructor's remark that you give a little extra upward push at the end of 2 (2&). On 3 you step onto the toe, then lower (toe-ball-flat). The main thing is not to exaggerate. Rise and fall in Waltz is the result of natural motion, not conscious effort.
Re: Details of waltz rise and fall timing
Posted by guest
2/24/2016  8:29:00 PM
While we are on rise and fall why not take a look at the Feather Step in the Foxtrot and compare to 1 2 3 in the Waltz. Foxtrot. Rise at the end of step 1. Which means that step 2 is the same height as the end of step 1 as is step 3. Lower at the end of step 3. Can we see the difference. Incidentally until about 1922 the Feather Step was a cross up behind like a Lock Step. Josephine Bradley with Mr. G.K. Anderson, an American, introduced the Feather Step which replaced the Lock.
Re: Details of waltz rise and fall timing
Posted by Waltz123
2/27/2016  8:32:00 PM
Hi Physicist Dancer,

Your analysis is quite good, as it pertains to Waltz Box actions where the 3rd step is closed. The only thing I would add to that is more specificity on the 3&. You've separated everything into half-beats except for beat 3, but that too could use additional information, namely:

3: Vertical lowering
3&: Progressive lowering

The lowering between 3 and 1 is neither perfectly separated from the progression, with the path of travel in the shape of an "L", nor is it taken exactly concurrently, with the path of travel on a straight diagonal line from beginning to end. The best description I can give for the path would be one that is roughly parabolic, commencing straight down, overlapping for a brief period of "scoop", and continuing into a slight downward diagonal toward its final point of mid-stride.

The space of time between 3 and 3& is therefore primarily a vertical lowering, mostly in the form of heels lowering to floor. You do want that vertical lowering to overlap slightly with flexing knees to soften the transition, but exactly where that overlap moment falls with respect to the 3& is up for debate, and in truth probably doesn't matter. If the mechanics of the movement are correct, it will fall where it should.

The space of time between 3& and the following 1 is for moving the body forward or backward into the position we want to achieve at mid-stride. Through the flexing of the appropriate joints (knees, hips, ankles, etc), as well as the division of the legs, the body should arrive in a position at mid-stride that is slightly lower than where it began, which is why I describe it as "progressive" lowering. (Some might disagree with my choice of nomenclature, but the mechanics are correct).

One more thing I'd like to point out is in your analysis is the description of 1& being the "same level" as 1. If 1& marks the end of the step (which itself is debatable, but we'll save that for another thread and assume for the sake of this discussion that the beginning and endpoints of a step are when the feet pass), then count 1& is the exact endpoint of the step. Therefore the language "commence to rise at end of 1" suggests that the action of rising should begin slightly prior to that point, and that you would be at least slightly higher on count 1&, at least in the legs if not the feet, than you were on count 1.

The truth is, many of today's competitors don't quite dance it exactly according to the book, and your analysis does actually represent more accurately what's going on. So if your goal is to dance more like a competitor, "same level" is a good description of count 1&. But if you plan to take an exam and want to match your verbal description as accurately as possible, you will want to be just slightly higher on 1& than you were on 1.

Which version is "correct?". Depends on who you talk to. I study with both camps, so personally I think they both are, in their own way. How you dance it, I suppose, will depend on who you're trying to please.

Regards,
Jonathan Atkinson
Re: Details of waltz rise and fall timing
Posted by guest
3/3/2016  6:08:00 AM
When you wrote in your second to last paragraph that " Many of today's competitors don't quite dance it exactly according to the book ". Maybe that is the reason that there are never any overhead shots of the dancers. Because they often use different alignments to those in the Technique Books, and don't want to throw a spanner into the works. I know in my book if I followed it to the letter my partner and I would be trying to stand in the same spot at the same time. Alex Moore did excuse himself by adding that the book should not be followed in a Parrot like fashion.

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