• We usually START these dance practice sessions with the waltz rhythm, since it's "step on every  beat" structure should make it easier for the guys who are new to dancing.
  • Almost all these basic patterns use 6 counts (beats) of music.  Most use 6 steps, except the Hesitations use only 2 steps.
  • There are links to VIDEOS below (mostly Youtube), of people demonstrating these patterns.

A. List of Patterns:
1. Box Step (w/o turn for practice)
  • 6 counts, fwd on 1, back on 4.  
  • See chart at bottom for more detail about COUNTING the steps.)
  • The "basic" step (almost every dance has a "basic" step).
  • Man: L Fwd-side-close ; R Back-side-close (6 steps, 1-2-3-4-5-6)
2. Box Step-Left Turning:
  • Same 6 counts as box, but rotates to Left (CCW, toward L shoulders) .
  • Rotate as much or little as comfortable; most rotation occurs on counts 2 & 4. 
  • Usually turn Left 1/8 turn to 1/4 turn on each 3 counts.
3. Box Step-Right Turning:
  •  Man steps Fwd on 4, back on 1; almost like Left Box, but turns R instead of
4. Balance Step, L & R:  
  • L, R behind, L recover; then R, L behind, R recover 
5. Progressive Box & Progressive Forward Changes:
  • Traveling CCW around outside of floor (aka "Line of Dance").  
  • Like box, but go forward on 4 instead of back.
  •  Man: L Fwd-side-close ; R Fwd-side-close (6 steps) .
6. Hesitation (aka left and right side draw touches)
  • 6 counts of music, but only 2 steps
  • M steps L on 1, side-draw-touch on 2 & 3
  • M steps R on 4, side-draw-touch on 5 & 6
7. Six-Count Underarm Turn:  (aka Interrupted Box)
  • M lifts L hand on 4, W walks hula-hoop sized circle for 5-6, &1-2-3 until she returns back to M.
8. Six-Count Underarm Turn Ver. 2:
  • M follows W.  The man "follows" the woman onto the circular 'track' (instead of waiting to "pick her up"). 
 8b. Six-Count Underarm Turn Ver. 3:
  • M follows W, but going backward.  The man "follows" the lady onto the circular 'track' (instead of waiting to "pick her up"), but this time walks BACKWARD on the track.

B. Box Step

Note the "1" count is Left foot for the man, Right foot for the woman.

Comments:  The basic "box" footwork is not that difficult.  For a new male dancer, the challenge is getting your feet "synched-up" with the music, . . . . . plus leading your partner at the same time . . . . . plus planning your "next move", . . . . . plus maneuvering around other couples.

We plan to start with the waltz "box" . . . usually the first pattern taught.
Note we're doing "American Style" waltz, not "International Style".
Following below are links to related VIDEOS that demonstrate the first 7 patterns.

C.  **VIDEO** Links:

0. Short "Mish-Mash" Overview Videos

  • (added 1/14/2018) The following link opens a Google Drive folder, containing 5 short videos.
    The first video shows Phonix ballroom instructor Mona Brandt reviewing some ballroom patterns.  The 2nd video shows Rita and I doing an "amateur review" of the pattern where the guy follows the lady on the underarm turn.
    ~~~~~The last 3 videos are round dance instructors.  Note that some of the round dance patterns (box, balance, hesitation) are same as ballroom, but some of the others are not so commonly seen in ballroom.
1. Box Step - No Turns

  • Note that waltz boxes are normally danced WITH a turning motion.  
  • Box steps WITHOUT turning are usually used either for (a) beginner practice, or (b) in round dance. ("Round dance" is essentially choreographed ballroom dance, using a "cuer" to tell dancers what to do next).
  • American Style Waltz, Left Box (No Turn)   (0:17)  BallroomDancers.com
  • This short 17-second long video demonstrates the 6-step box, done to 6 beats of music.
  • Note:  They count 1-2-3; 1-2-3; we may use 1-2-3; 4-5-6.
  • Learn to Waltz  (Youtube, moshunpics, Joe Baker)
  • This 5-1/2 min. video demonstrates the 6-step box, done to 6 beats of music. (We use the AUDIO from this video, in our class practices.
  • At about 3:05, he starts to demonstrate the left-turning box.
  • Please watch closely the first 3 minutes; watch her stepping on taped "box" on floor.
  • Note man's footwork is SAME as lady's for box; they are just 3 steps out-of-sync.
  • The remainder of the video is more advanced; you can skip this for now.
  • Learn A Wedding Dance Online - Learn to Waltz  (Youtube, DancerPassion)
  • Don't pay too much attention to the first part; we won't try that stuff.
  • Start watching a little closely at about 1:30 "The Waltz,, Lesson1, Box Step" where she talks about "dance frame", up to about 3:30
  • Then watch more closely at 3:30 - 4:15  where they demonstrate the man's footwork.
  • Note on Count "2", the man's foot (ideally) goes sort of  "around the perimeter" of the box, not straight across diagonal.
  • The remainder of the video demonstrates the woman's footwork and than as a couple -- watching this part is optional.
  • At about 5:10, she starts to demonstrate the left-turning box. 
These videos contain more or less the same information as the first four videos,  But sometimes hearing DIFFERENT instructors explain the SAME thing, often helps.

2. Box Step - Left Turning


3. Right Turning Box    (aka Reverse Box or Back Box in round dance)

Right Turning Box: R foot Fwd on 4, L foot back on 1. Is almost a "mirror image" of the Left Box, but turns R instead of L.

  • American Style Waltz, Right Box (Quarter Turns)   (0:17)  BallroomDancers.com-- (same page as above, click 1st thumb and then  2nd thumb on right side of page)
  • The 2nd short 17-second long video, demonstrates the 6-step box, with a 1/4 turn to the right.
  • Waltz Reverse and Natural turns (7:21) Anderson Moore
  • Note in this video, the left-turning box is called "reverse turn" and the right-turning box is called "natural turn".  (He starts the right-turning box demo about 1:30.)


4. Left & Right Balance

  • L, R behind, L recover; then R, L behind, R recover  
  •  Waltz Balance (by Steve & Lori Harris, at Venture Out, Mesa Az)

  • REFERENCE - watch first 90 seconds of NC2-Step Basic Concepts.mov (by Michael Kiehm), shows how similar the footwork for Night Club 2-Step is to the waltz balance, but with DIFFERENT S-Q-Q timing.

5. Progressive Box & Forward Changes     (progressive, travels down the floor)

  • Progressive Forward Changes (0:29)    BallroomDancers.com
  • (click 3rd thumb on right side of page)
  • Note on counts 2 and 5, instead of stepping 90 degrees to the right like a normal box, they are stepping diagonal down Line of Dance.
  • Country Waltz Progressive Basic  (1:17) Brett Long
  •  Don't let this one CONFUSE you, it's a bit different because it's COUNTRY, not ballroom. 
  • But note that the country version looks fairly SIMILAR to the ballroom version, except basically they step straight AHEAD on counts 2 and 5, instead of stepping to the side.
  • Note the same offset between bodies as ballroom, and you can see the man's foot going between the woman's feet on counts 2 and 5 (similar to ballroom).

6. Hesitations    (aka Side Draw Touches in round dance)


    7. Six-Count Underarm Turn    (aka Interrupted Box in round dance)

    VIDEO 7A:
    • 6-Count Underarm Turn  (0:30)    BallroomDancers.com
    • This 30 second video demonstrates it.
    • Man raises L hand on "2nd one" to lead W.
    • Woman walks on "hula hoop" size circle.  Man continues basic footwork.
    • Do not "rush it".  If W not around by 6th count, no problem.  Just "pick her up" whenever she gets there.
    VIDEO 7B:
    • Waltz Under Arm Turn.wmv    (7:00) Anderson Moore
    • Note: This instructors and the one in the next video, go into a lot of (good) DETAIL about step size and position to "pick up" the lady after the turn;  A simple-minded description would be, "Man raises his Left hand on Count 4, woman walks a hula-hoop size circle for 6 counts, man "picks her up" whenever she arrives".
    VIDEO 7C:

    8.  Six-Count Underarm Turns, Ver 2
    • M follows W.  The man "follows" the woman onto the circular 'track' (instead of waiting to "pick her up"). 
    VIDEO 8A:

    9.  Six-Count Underarm Turns,  Ver 3    (no video found yet)

    D. Some Advanced Waltz Videos     (just to IMPRESS you)


    E. Counting Chart for Waltz

    You can  download the PDF version of this chart from this directory: track2.com/mmDance