Waltz is one of the five dances of the Standard category of the International Style ballroom dances. It was previously referred to as Slow Waltz. It is a waltz dance and danced to slow, preferably 28-30 bars per minute (84-90 beats per minute), waltz music. Preferably, the 1st beat of a measure to be accented. Waltz music is in 3/4 time. Most of the basic figures have 1 step per 1 beat, i.e., 3 steps per measure. Advanced figures may have 4-6 steps per measure, and this, coupled with various turns, makes the dance very dynamic despite the relatively slow tempo. At the same time, advanced dancers often use slow steps and elegant poses to create contrast (sometimes referred to as “light and shade”).
Waltz is usually the first dance in the Dancesport competitions in the International Standard category. The dance is danced exclusively in the closed position, unlike its American Style counterpart. Like all dances of Standard category, it is a progressive dance. Waltz is characterized by the pendulum swing body action. Other general elements of ballroom technique important for Waltz are foot parallelism, rise and fall, contra-body movement and sway.