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Author Topic:   Slow and Quick
posted 03-24-2000 03:35 PM           Edit/Delete Message
Sorry, I meant second and third....

posted 03-24-2000 03:34 PM           Edit/Delete Message
Can it be, that the second and the first count are just the result of the movement of the first step? If listen to waltz music, one bar always feels like one movement, although it is 3 counts.

posted 03-24-2000 12:06 AM           Edit/Delete Message
Watching the really good champion-level dancers, I've noticed that they don't have a "slow-quick-quick" rhythm on Viennese. It's harder to do 1-2-3, but the other way tends to be hoppy and doesn't look very graceful. It's how almost all beginners start out, and it's a hard habit to break!

Fred Bolder
Junior Member
posted 01-12-2000 07:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fred Bolder   Click Here to Email Fred Bolder     Edit/Delete Message
Hello Jonathan,

Thanks for your great reply! It is all clear to me now.

posted 01-12-2000 04:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Waltz123   Click Here to Email Waltz123     Edit/Delete Message
In the strictest sense of the words, "slow" and "quick" are supposed to refer to very specific beat values: 2 and 1, respectively (or, for us musician types, that's half or quarter note).

So your teacher is not using slow and quick in the literal sense, but more to express the idea that the first step of the measure should be drawn out slightly.

Since there are only 3 beats, you can't literally have slow-quick-quick (which mathematically adds up to 4), but you can interpret rhythms by stretching certain beats and squeezing others. In other words, you don't necessarily take all three steps exactly right at the top of each beat. Some steps may land slightly behind the beat.

This is similar to the way a jazz musician plays. A jazz musician lays back on the beat in such a way that the melody or rhythm "grooves" with a very human and musical feel. Dancers also stretch and sqeeze beats for a more artistic and musical interpretation.

There's also a matter of logistics... We still have to bow to the almighty laws of physics as they pertain to the human body. Certain constructs of human body movement dictate how fast or slow (in literal time) we can take a particular action. And we have, out of necessity, formed our dance techniques around these rules.

With Viennese, I beleive it's more the physical necessity, rather than the artistic interpretation of the music, that causes us to draw out the 1 and squeeze the 2 and 3.

It takes a certain amount of physical time to prepare and then execute a really good forward driving walk with swinging action. In fact, the Viennese Tempo does not quite allow us all of the time we need to execute that perfect walk. So we take measures to insure that we get as much time as possible, like lowering sooner, not rising as much as we do in other dances, using momentum from previous the step and, as you noted, lengthening the time of the first step and borrowing that time from steps 2 and 3.

The most important thing to understand about this is that you spend all of the necessary time to prepare, execute, and then follow through the forward (or backward) step on count 1. If you do this well, then the timing of the steps you mentioned will naturally result.

I hope this helps.

Jonathan Atkinson

Fred Bolder
Junior Member
posted 01-11-2000 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fred Bolder   Click Here to Email Fred Bolder     Edit/Delete Message
Hallo Jonathan,

I am confused about the exact meaning of the terms Quick and Slow. Since I'm also a musician, I compare dancing with music. I always thought that the terms Quick and Slow stood for the time between the steps. We are now learning the Viennese Waltz and my teacher counts Slow - Quick - Quick, but the steps are taken on the normal 1 - 2 - 3 counts. If you listen to a waltz, you can hear a bass on the first count with a long duration. On the counts 2 - 3 there are often chords with a short duration. In this case it looks like the terms are used for the duration. You take more time to do the first step compared to the other two steps, but the duration is the same. Can you tell me more about this?

All times are ET (US)

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