The waltz is a smooth, graceful progressive dance which is danced to slow and elegant waltz music. The slower music of the waltz allows for long strides and elegant poses. Waltz is typically danced to a speed of 28-30 measures (84-90 beats) per minute.
Waltz has a 3/4 time signature, which is different than all other ballroom and Latin dances such as tango, foxtrot, cha cha, or jive, which all have a 4/4 time signature. The only other dance with a 3/4 time signature is the Viennese waltz, which sounds like a much faster version of the waltz. This unique timing is why the waltz would be counted as "1, 2, 3", "1, 2, 3", with one down beat followed by two ascending up beats. The timing of every count of the waltz should be even.
Waltz is a popular dance for weddings, quinceañeras, and other formal occasions. Waltz music is often beautiful and romantic, but many genres have songs appropriate for dancing waltz.
When selecting a song to dance waltz, it's important to find a song in 3/4 timing, that can be counted "1, 2, 3", "1, 2, 3" instead of "1, 2, 3, 4", "1, 2, 3, 4". If you would like to dance a waltz as your first dance at your wedding, for example, you'll be limited in what songs you can select due to this unique timing. However, it is often possible to find "remixed" versions of songs with the correct waltz timing (see our example below), and there are many beautiful songs originally written in a waltz timing as well (we've highlighted 10 of our favorites later in this post).
To give one example of songs that are (and are not) appropriate for dancing the waltz: the original version of the song "Beauty and the Beast", which is danced as a waltz in Disney's animated film, actually has a 4/4 time signature, making it appropriate for a rumba or foxtrot but not a waltz.
However, an artist named DJ Ice has reimagined the "Beauty and the Beast" song as a true waltz with a 3/4 time signature, making this version perfect for dancing the waltz at an event or during your practice. If you play both the original version and this version of the song, you may be able to hear the difference between the timing. If you can't hear the difference yet, don't worry! Counting music is a surprisingly difficult skill, but our professional dance instructors can help teach you this skill in person during your private lessons or group classes.
In the meantime, we've listed 10 of our favorite songs for dancing the waltz below! All of these songs already have the correct time signature and speed to dance the waltz. We've assembled songs from different genres to show the versatility of the waltz. If you have any more questions about the waltz and what songs it can be danced to, please contact us at email@example.com - we're happy to help!
10 Songs You Can Waltz To
"It Is You (I Have Loved)" - Dana Glover
"Come Away with Me" - Norah Jones
"Run for the Roses" - Dan Fogelberg
"Moon River" - Andy Williams
"Foolish" - Johnny Mathis
"Open Arms" - Journey
"Misery" - P!nk and Steven Tyler
"Tennessee Waltz" - Anne Murray
"Shores of the Swilly" - Phil Coulter
"Nocturne" - Secret Garden
Want more waltz? DJ Ice Dancesport Music is known for remixing popular songs for ballroom and Latin dance. We have included his playlist for slow waltz below. All of these songs should be relatively easy to count and have consistent timing, as they were designed especially for waltz. (Click the icon in the top right corner of this video to open the full playlist.)
Click here to learn more about the waltz, and how you can learn this dance at Areté Dance Center!
If you have any questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (408) 824-0074. Enjoy your dancing!