Fluttering on clouds, and dancing on nothing but air, these waltz professional compete to the death for a gold at the 2013 WDSF held in Bassano, Italy. Every couple does have its differences: choreography, coach, and style to waltz. However, one thing that you notice is grace and fluidity through out every couple that dances. Even though these couples are from multiple countries such as Italy and Russia- two different cultures- the requirements are still the same for the dance and every dancer incorporates their unique culture to Waltz.
We all remember the dance learned in sixth grade: box steps everywhere. The boy’s right hand was on top of the girl’s left shoulder blade. The girl’s left hand was placed, and squeezed, at the boy’s bicep-tricep dorsal muscle. Finally, the girl’s right hand and boy’s left hand were joined together, held up high for the world to see. This was, and is, the basic position of Waltz. Waltz is nothing like Latin or Swing dancing. The movements are much more fluid, and firm, at the same time. What I mean by that is both dancers are locked in a frame that holds them together allowing certain motions to take place that make the dance more upright and graceful at the same time. As the dancers are locked in a frame filled with grace and fluidity, their costumes contribute so much to the mood of the dance itself.
A typical Waltz costume shown in the video for the men is a tuxedo with almost a hanging part of clothing in the back- a skirt I think it’s called- with black dance shoes and a tie at the collar. However, the ladies are what make everything colorful and exciting to watch. When I see professionals dance Waltz I’m taken back to the 1800’s when the dance was formed. The female costumes are poofy with exotic colors that make spectators feel as if they’re watching an element float in the atmosphere, flow into the ocean, or burn with passion across lands. These costumes are spacious and wide. There’s no other way to describe them. One other thing that I notice about this competition, and Waltz in general, regardless of costumes and frame, is the upright attitude and lack of personal expression seen more evident in dances such as Latin or Swing.
There is much expression in Waltz don’t get me wrong. Facial expressions are still evident and specific movements that dancers favor are present. However, I feel because dancers are caught in a metal frame when expressing their elements, they are unable to move freely. The frame is the dance. Compared then to Latin and Swing, although there is a partner and there is a certain frame, dancers are able to move more freely away from one another and still maintain within the standards of International Latin and American Swing.
In conclusion I adore this competition, and Waltz in general for two reasons. The framing allows the dance to have a mature, fluid, and graceful motion, and the costumes are theatric, the dance always takes me back to the 1800’s, every time.