Music – Waltz 3/4
Tempo – 45 measures of 3 beats per minute
– 135 beats per minute
Pattern – Optional
Duration – The dance is skated for one minute after the man’s first three turn
The basic steps of the European Waltz are a three turn, a backward outside edge and a forward outside edge for the man, while the lady skates a backward outside edge, a three turn and another backward outside edge. Semicircular lobes of these three steps are skated along the sides of the ice surface, the first lobe starting towards the midline, the second away from the midline, but in rinks that are less than 60 meters in length it is permissible to skate only one lobe towards the midline.
The dance is skated in a closed position throughout. The rotation of the partners around each other is continuous and reverses its direction at the start of each new lobe. For example, in lobes aiming toward the side of the ice surface, the couple rotates to the left; in lobes aiming toward the midline, the couple rotates to the right. This rotation must be well controlled, which is best accomplished with the free foot kept close to the skating foot. On all three turns checking is necessary to prevent over-rotation.
Erect posture, consistently powerful stroking, even free leg extension, and a regular rising and falling knee action give this dance its waltz flavor.
Inventor – unknown
First Performance – before 1900 but the exact date and location are unknown.