A to Z Challenge

Monday, April 30, 2012

W is for What Happens Between the Beats!

W is for What Happens Between the Beats?
Dance!  Dance is what happens between the beats of music.  The dancer’s feet hit the floor on the beat, their bodies move through the space and time between the beats.  The space between the beats is where movement is led and followed, where turns, swing, sway, rise and fall are executed, where the motion of dance can be seen.  The beats are for timing and accent…dance wouldn’t be a visual art form without the beats…but the beauty of dance happens between the beats!

Dance of the Day: Waltz

Modern waltz is a much slower version of the original Viennese Waltz.  It is danced to ¾ music with a characteristic gliding, wave-like motion that incorporates rise/fall and swing/sway.  Waltz became popular (although scandalous and controversial because of the close proximity that the partners held each other) in England during the Regency period (around 1811-1825) and continued on to become the mainstay of ballroom dances into modern times.  Nearly every culture has music written in ¾ timing to which some version of waltz could be danced.  Additionally, if you look closely at the patterns danced in any modern ballroom dance, you will see that most are similar, if not identical, to syllabus waltz patterns, but are, of course, modified to fit the 4/4 timing of the other dances.  Hmmm….learn waltz well, not only is a really fun dance, but knowing waltz patterns makes learning the other ballroom dances easier!

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